My family is… a bit mixed up, as far as fandoms go. My parents generally regard my fandoms as silly and meaningless, my siblings tend to gawk at my adoration of male actors *hint* Tom Hiddleston & Benedict Cumberbatch *hint*, and my ferret is happy to sit on my lap and read fanfiction with me.
But my brother recently had been making some pretty snarky comments towards my fandoms, and I had been trying to defend those fandoms. Apparently, he took that really seriously, and sat me down to have a talk. He said to me, and not in a mean way, “Fandoms are meaningless. These books and shows that you enjoy, they’re just entertainment. You shouldn’t want to defend them and be mean to those criticize them. Don’t get invested in your fandoms, and lose any sense of the real world. You should treat these as things to pass the time, and nothing more.”
He also really dissed the whole fandom community on Tumblr and Fanfiction.net, and sites like those, saying it was weird for people online to talk about things and go to conventions and such.
Now, I honestly think that he was trying to ‘help’ me, and he did make it very clear that he thought it was pretty cool that people created fanart and wrote stories and got together to discuss their fandoms. But he just didn’t understand how fundamentally crucial it was to have fandoms and be active in them. I really took that to heart, and I was quite hurt by how little he thought of my interests.
But anyways, this long and rambling post isn’t really about my relationship with my brother. I really wanted to talk about how important fandoms are and how much fun they can be.
I am an active part of many fandoms, including:
Sherlock // Merlin // Harry Potter // Throne of Glass // The Mindy Project // 30 ROCK // The Lunar Chronicles // The Office
And those are just a few! I could go on for ages about all of my favorite actors and their fandoms, all the fantastic authors I’ve read from and their gigantic followings, and on and on. You get the gist.
I definitely don’t think that my fandoms are more important than living my life, or anything extreme like that. I wouldn’t die for a fandom. But that doesn’t mean that, if someone is dissing Merlin, I can’t say, “Well, Merlin is actually a pretty cool TV show. I’m not saying it’s the best in the world, but it’s enjoyable and light-hearted. Have you watched it? Why are you slandering it like this?”
I understand that TV shows and books and movies and all that good stuff is entertainment. Like I said, it’s not taking over my entire life. But I’m a teenager, and I’ve got a lot of energy to invest in whatever catches my fancy.
Books have been a big part of my life for a while, and I’m just as much of a fan of Jane Austen as I am J.K. Rowling. And I mean that extremely sincerely! I adore Austen’s novels; they are witty and fun and romantic, and they have a deeper message that can be very interesting to think about. Also, I’m a big fan of the Brönte sisters. I read Jane Eyre when I was 9 years old, and I’ve loved it EVER since. It’s a truly amazing novel, and the beauty and passion that rolls through the story always takes my breath away. If you told me there was a Jane Eyre fandom site on Tumblr, you better believe that I would be on that sh** in two seconds flat, tweeting and fangirling away.
I’m not sure if I’m getting to the point of this post… What I’m trying to say is that fandoms are an essential and fun part of enjoying something. It doesn’t matter if it’s Game of Thrones or The Catcher in the Rye, it’s all beautiful and it’s all awesome.
I’m NOT saying that some books and movies have a deeper message that’s a bit more meaningful and a bit more strong. I’m NOT saying that there have been some pretty stupid fandoms and some REALLY stupid fandom-fights. But you shouldn’t throw away fandoms as worthless, no matter what they’re about, because that is a group of people who enjoy something and find it interesting, and no matter what that is, it’s unique and amazing in its own way.
Whew! That was a long post. Do you agree with me? Disagree? Don’t really care? Let me know, because I’d love to discuss. *and I apologize for all the Sherlock gifs, I went a little crazy* Also, we can totally rant about all the haterz, because it hurts SO much when people diss your interests, doesn’t it? Let us SHAKE IT OFF TOGETHER! *dances frantically to Taylor Swift*