In my free time, you can catch me reading a lot of fantasy books or watching science fiction (sci-fi) movies. These activities are some of my favorite things and something I like to share with people in my life.
However, every so often when I tell people this they tell me I’m a “nerd” or “fangirl.” Over time, I realized this was a common occurrence within my daily life. Almost every time I’ve expressed that I like something––whether that be “Star Wars” or even just women’s basketball––the person I’m telling passes judgment for how much I enjoy it.
For a long time, this really bothered me. I felt like people were looking down on me for what I was interested in and tried to talk less about my hobbies. I shrunk myself so I was more palatable to those around me.
After a while, I also realized there was a double-standard involved with fandoms and interests. I started to see that when my male classmates talked about sports or video games or really just what they were interested in, no one commented on what they did.
When this happened, it dawned on me that I shouldn’t have to tone down my love for my hobbies and interests just because of a societal double standard. Once I acknowledged this, I truly came to understand the joy of “geeking out” about things I liked. Whether this is from talking about common interests to doing deep dives about my Star Wars theories, it’s truly so enjoyable.
To this end, I encourage everyone, regardless of their gender, to tap into their inner fangirl. When you express what you’re interested in with like-minded individuals, you feel a form of acceptance that is wonderful. You get to connect with someone in a way you maybe wouldn’t otherwise. Human connection is something that separates humans from other animals and bonding over shared interests creates this. Heaven knows we could all use some human contact after two years isolating ourselves.
Beyond that, there’s a lot we can learn from expressing our shared interests.
In the end, we’re all fangirls for something. The world would be so much better if everyone could share what they’re interested in and bond over that. In the meantime, you can catch me putting in Leia-style space buns and telling everyone about the inner workings of every fandom I love.