It takes a special set of qualifications to become a member of a fandom aka a fangirl or fanboy. One must have that special mix of craziness and teenage angst to become recognized as a true valued member of the cause. Don’t get me wrong, you can be perfectly normal and sane to be a fan of such franchises as Twilight and the Hunger Games, but these fangirls and fanboys are capable of reaching the peak levels of human adoration that sane fans just can’t. A fan likes things; fangirls and fanboys obsess over them. Don’t ever let yourself get them confused.
A fandom is actually a community with its own doctrines and hierarchies. You may find it insane to read, but such things as the “No Spoilers” rule, and the great “Jacob or Edward” debacle has become more familiar to you than most laws inscribed in the constitution. Even the way fanboys/fangirls coexist seems to have some sort of hierarchy that is slightly akin to the caste system of India, with the newly inducted fans at the bottom, and the die hard, all-knowing and incredibly dedicated ones at the top. This hierarchy gives its high ranking members the right to call their lower comrades such names as “stupid” or “noob” or “dumb hoe who doesn’t recognize that Bella and Jacob belong together” Well maybe the last one was specific to me. The point is that Fandoms have taken a life of their own. A fandom isn’t just some random hobby you can pick up and drop at any time, it’s something that is a part of your life. This is where my problem with fandoms lie.
I miss the times when adolescents actually wanted to be defined by their own terms, talents and personalities. We used to strive to be unique and independent from society’s norms, but the large amount of trendy fandoms has brought us to our knees and forced us to define ourselves as human beings on their terms.
Yet is this so bad? Filipinos have been defining themselves by the terms of greater bodies for centuries. While the generation of our parents and some of our grandparents may relish in their independence and flower power mentality. Their forefathers devoted themselves and their lives to their respective churches. They value and definition as a human being was that of their contribution and love for the church, mirroring the situation that is humanity is in now. Who are we to judge the habits and lives of the teenage youth when the people we value as wise and all-knowing have lived a life that mirrors it.
Fandoms have become something that people dedicate their lives to. Perhaps our ideals of self-expression and strive for uniqueness was a temporary transition from a life where religion and morals took the center stage at our life, to one where media and dedication to fandoms are at the forefront. Either way, we must realize that the teenage mentality is evolving, and perhaps the time to be unique has passed.
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