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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY HANNAH ELLIOTT | Robinson High
Fangirl; (n) a female often in her teens who is exceedingly infatuated with a band/person/movie/book, extremely recognizable when traveling in groups, who can reach such delirium when in contact with band/person/movie/book or other fans that it appears she may spontaneously combust.
Fangirls have existed for decades, at first mostly the musician-addicted type who loyally follow bands wherever they go. Fangirls started to emerge in the days of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, but the early fangirls were just paving the way for the mass wave that began with “Beatlemania’’ in the early 1960s. Bands immediately started targeting teens because they showed unrivaled displays of devotion and a willingness to spend countless hours and dollars paying homage to those they love.
These special fans became part of cultural history with their frenzied support, packing airports to greet the bands, loitering outside hotels, lining up for hours or even days for concerts, signings and meet-and-greets. After Elvis, Paul McCartney and John Lennon made the girls swoon with their dreamy serenading and perceived-sexy bowl cuts.
This frenzy triggered an avalanche of heartthrobs such as Jim Morrison (the Doors), Roger Daltrey (the Who) and Mick Jagger (the Rolling Stones). The frontmen of these bands all had one thing in common — the ability to transform ordinary girls into screaming, rabid fangirls. Whether it was the raspy voices, tight pants, long, scruffy hair or alluring dance moves, these singers could capture a girl’s heart in an instant.
Now it is not uncommon for other entertainment genres to have their own fangirls: Twihards obsess over Twilight books and movies while the Harry Potter series continues to draw legions of enamored fans. Some are so entwined with the objects of their desire that they write their own versions of stories. (See “fan fiction by the numbers” at right.)
The appeal of band frontmen, movie and book heroes, and the fandom surrounding them is timeless. With Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, fangirls have become increasingly hardcore.
Artists such as the Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber and, most recently, One Direction have caused fangirls to step up their game.
With social media sites, fangirls can be fangirls 365 days a year, not having to wait for a concert to be heard by their band-crush because Twitter or Facebook allows them to be in contact 24/7.
Heartthrobs may even be starting to repeat themselves. Many compare Harry Styles of One Direction to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, both with the same British charm and messy hair. Times have changed, but girls continue to turn these bands and singers into huge cultural icons.
Though we may roll our eyes at the obnoxious habits of fangirls, it cannot be denied that crazed teens have cemented the status of countless classics over the years and will continue to do so until attractive male performers making music cease to exist or vampires with chiseled jaws stay in the coffin.
In other words, fangirls are here to stay.