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The Fate of the Fan Girl

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

By: Dakota Thomas

Last night thanks to a new Disney plus subscription I rewatched one of my favorite Disney Channel original movies, Starstruck. In the 2010 romantic comedy, our protagonist cool and chill Jesse Owens starts a relationship with the pop star Christopher Wilde. Jesse’s sister Sarah happens to have a massive crush on Christopher while Jesse couldn’t care less about him. Classic enemies to angsty lovers with questionable pop music. I used to love Jess and Christopher’s relationship, I used to want it for myself, but now as a sophomore in college and self-proclaimed fangirl, I almost resent Jesse and Chris’s coupling. As someone who has multiple hyper-fixations, my sympathies now lie with Sarah. The sister loves Christopher but is depicted as crazy, annoying, and a burden to her family.

Sarah’s character and adoration for Christopher reminded me of a question I asked my mom not too long ago. Does the fangirl ever get the superstar? My mom’s answer was yes the fangirl had got the superstar. Look at Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. Holmes fangirled over Cruise on Dawson’s creek before marrying, and later divorcing Cruise. Look at Jason Mamoa. He proclaimed that he would marry Lisa Bonet and decades later he did. You could probably find many celebrities whose relationships have gone from fangirl to bride, you will have to scroll through several ads but you will find them.

My mother's answers indulged my desire to be with my favorite rapper but still did not give me the confidence that he would pick me. And based on the representation of fangirls or “stans,” why would he choose me? In the 1990 psychological thriller Misery adapted from the 1987 Stephen King novel of the same name the fangirl in question Annie kidnaps her favorite author in hopes of him changing the plot of his series. Annie is obsessive and crazed, and Paul fears for his life under her roof. Kathy Bates's performance is golden, but is it a true representation of the modern-day fan-girl? Obviously, it is exaggerated, but there are still implications that fans are to be afraid of and meant to tread lightly around. Yes, Katie Holmes married Tom Cruise, but this happened after she entered the realm of being a celebrity. We random girls who eat ramen noodles on the floor of our dorms, do we have a chance? Due to my own hyper-fixations, my first instinct is to say yes, but we need to look deeper. How is the fan girl supposed to win over her favorite celebrity when she isn’t even seen as a person? Before we can even think about the possibilities of fans marrying their idols we have to look at the complicated relationship between artist and fan that can prevent this from happening.

We talk about celebrities being humanized and treated like the rest of us, and I agree they do need to be treated better, but fans deserve the same humanization as well. Fan girls are more than girls standing in line waiting to see their favorite artist. They are girls who have a passion for their favorites and aren’t afraid to show their passion. Maybe it isn’t the fan aspect but the passion. Boys have been socialized to chase after the girl who doesn't like them or care for them. Think of every nerdy girl in a rom-com who is sidelined by the mysterious girl who doesn’t even know the main boy’s name. She knows everything about this guy, she has watched him and treated him like a king yet she is ignored. If Jesse Owens was just as obsessive as her sister would she steal Christopher’s heart or would she only be able to watch him on tv?

I started this article asking if the fangirl can get the celebrity. If her wildest Wattpad fanfiction dreams can come true, now I think about myself and the average fangirl. Is this what she wants to be with the man on stage or does she just want to be seen by him? Does she want him to take her backstage or does she just want a hug? I only have myself to ask, and I think deep down I just want to be seen by these amazingly talented people I obsess over. I want to be seen as more than a customer in their eyes, more than someone with a concert ticket. Getting the guy would be cool, but being seen for being me for just a second would be cool too, and if I have to pretend I don’t know my favorite celebrity to do that I will.



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