Opinions: Politically Correct?: The importance of being a fangirl


When my older sister was 13 she became obsessed; Kristin and her friend watched “Pirates of the Carribean” for the first time when it came out in 2003 and fell in love with a very young, English pirate… hard.

Orlando Bloom was everything my sister could ever want. He was English, an actor and attractive. My sister thought she would actually marry him. The problem: he was 14 years older. It didn’t matter to Kristin.

At the time I was nine and dumbfounded by the posters that came soon after, flooding Kristin’s room with over-sized images of Orlando Bloom laying on white sheets and staring directly into the viewer’s eyes: a pirate Mona Lisa.

I remember awkwardly standing behind Kristin in my family’s computer room as she hunched over our PC, frantically hunting down websites with newly-released images of his proper posture and dark brown hair.

I mocked Kristin in the overly mature and cynical manner I carried when I was nine, constantly telling her she would never marry Orlando Bloom and she should just get over him. I remember her response very clearly. With fire in her eyes she looked directly at me and told me, “You can’t understand it now but you’ll get it when you’re older and you love someone yourself.”

I still don’t get it.

But I’ve been thinking about what it is to love something that you can’t physically obtain. There are girls my age that love the British boy band One Direction and others who have never missed an episode of “Sherlock.” I have never read Harry Potter, loved a boy band, been obsessed with an actor, hung up cute posters in my room or even watched the same movie twice in a year.

I’ve started to think that there is something wrong with me. Is my lack of fangirling really a deeper implication for me not having the capacity to love anything other than what is right in front of me?

I texted Kristin yesterday and asked her the simple question, “Why Orlando Bloom?”

Her first answer was, “Ohhhhh goodness. He was so attractive and English.” That’s what I expected, Kristin hasn’t lost any of her romantic side even though she is now 22. But then she texted me something else that hit a nerve, “He was probably the first man I was really attracted to.”

I reached back into my mind and tried to pull out a memory of who the first guy was that I was attracted to before I was old enough to date. Nothing. I remember being young and seeing guys in Dierbergs that I thought were cute, and I would feel a deep sense of heartbreak and longing but I never thought about them after the grocery store visit and I certainly never hung up a poster.

Did I not have the capacity to romanticize?

All my favorite authors write from real life. Hemingway, Thoreau and Bukowski never wrote about wizards and warlocks.

I have favorite bands, too. The singer/songwriter that makes up the band The Tallest Man on Earth is one of my biggest inspirations. But I don’t love him, and I am happy he is married.

I’m a realist, and I will probably never like “Star Wars” or “Twilight.” (There is an exception to the rule…I do like zombies).

I wonder if there is something I posses that others do not, like my keen (almost psychic) sense I get when something is about to go wrong or my unyielding love for office supplies. Kristin–the eternal romantic–and not loving Orlando Bloom would not have been Kristin. And me–the true pessimist–not telling her to stop would not have been me.

Even though I’m lacking in the category of boy band swooner I make up for it in other categories, like the fact that I’ve read Thoreau’s dense Transcendentalist manifesto “Walden” twice.

Kristin’s Orlando Bloom poster still hangs in her childhood bedroom, left alone to tatter and rip, for there is no one in the Walker household to admire it any longer. But, the poster does not haunt me, for I know that I am of my own making and I do not need to love One Direction or Harry Potter to be whole.

It doesn’t matter what other qualities people possess and I do not and vice versa. I find the quirks and idiosyncrasies of each person keep life interesting.