Yesterday I read an article about why (adult) people hate the things teenage girls love. Apparently, once young girls are into something, it is doomed. Look at One Direction, look at Twilight. Neither were really taken seriously after they became the thing idolised by millions of fangirls. Perhaps the fact that Twilight wasn’t really well-written helped the fact that it wasn’t taken seriously, but that is my personal opinion.
When you are as old as I am (I just turned 24 so basically I am ancient), you look at teenagers and think “Was I really ever like this?” but you realise that it actually wasn’t that long ago that you had posters from a variety of long-forgotten bands on your walls. I think all of us went through a phase in which we thought that we would totally marry our favourite boyband member (Justin Timberlake, I am looking at you).
The difference between the time when I was a drooling teenager and now, is that teenage girls have social media to release their lusts on. It is easier to connect with other fans and tweet your idol a million times asking them to follow you. You can spam your tumblr with gifs of particularly funny/sexy/cute moments. Basically, teenage girls are more present than ever. But teenage girls are exactly the way they were 10 years ago or even 40 years ago (because yes, even your mothers and grandmothers were crazy about Elvis/The Beatles etc.)
I once was brave enough to attend a Justin Bieber concert. It wasn’t voluntarily, but I had the chance to ‘meet’ Justin Bieber. He was very late, and despite the fact that I wanted to jump out of the nearest window, it was very interesting to observe these girls in their natural habitat. I saw girls with shirts that said Future Mrs. Bieber and girls with way too much make-up on, declaring that they looked that way because “Justin likes natural-looking girls” (they really said this). When it was finally time to get in line, girls came out of the meet and greet room bawling their eyes out, swearing they would never wash themselves again.
All in all, a meet and greet lasted no more than 5 seconds. It was PICTURE AND LEAVE. In my case, I was also yelled at by security. I personally did not find the Biebs that impressive but I do understand that when this is your idol, even just a second in his presence is enough to drive you insane. The fact that some paid 425 euros for those five seconds might sound crazy to some (me included) but if it is really what you want, then why not? I left the concert with a hearing impairment, but I realised that yes, this is also what I was like at that age.
I was 16 when I met the artist I loved most for the first time. I was soaked because of the rain and freezing and we were put in a large tent, waiting for him to arrive. When he did, I felt those butterflies in my stomach, but I was too frozen (literally) to move. So when he came over and started chatting to me, I was both star-struck and incapable of speech anyway. He urged me not to get sick and I said I wouldn’t. The interaction was very short but it meant so much to me that I spent all my phone credit texting my friends. I have met said star quite a few times now and I no longer see him is that pop star. I do still enjoy watching teenage girls meet him for the first time, because I remember what it feels like.
Fangirl: love whatever you want to love
Over at the katyperryforum, we get the chance to give away meet and greets with Katy now and then. Despite it being an insane amount of work, it is very rewarding when you get a message saying you’ve made someone’s dream come true, or even just a “OMGNUSHDIUFFHSDIHSJS”. It makes me happy to see these teenagers taking a picture with their idol and feeling the happiest they have ever felt because at that point in their lives, their idol is one of the most important things. I think that when you become an adult with all the worries that adults have, you forget that your teenage years are still supposed to be relatively carefree.
So to all the teenage girls out there: Love whatever you want to love. Post about it wherever you want. Drive your mother crazy with your loud music, dream about Harry Styles being your boyfriend and please don’t let anyone make you feel bad about being a little bit fanatic. Yes, once you are in your twenties you will think “DID I REALLY DO THAT?” (I have experience with this), but you live and you learn and you better have the best time ever while doing it. Make friends within your fandom, share stories, be creative and be whoever you want to be. Let adults be bitter and sad about it but please next time, before screaming your lungs out, wait until I have put my ear plugs in.
To all adults out there: You were a teenager once too. Let them do their thing and discover who they really are. In the meantime, buy ear plugs. You will not regret it.