Justice for the Fangirls

Wednesday, January 27

By Grace Kuraska

Fangirls. The term itself sounds so belittling, and carries somewhat of a negative connotation. Fangirling over a band, movie, or book sounds obsessive and frivolous. Typically, whatever is being "fangirled" about is written off as trivial and meaningless, due solely to the fact that it is revered by girls. But let's be honest here, girls run the music industry. And not just the female artists. I'm talking about the fans-- the fangirls. Some of the largest acts in music were made popular thanks to the screaming, hyperactive crowds of girls lining up outside concert arenas. I think it's about time we had justice for the fangirls of the world. 

Scroll through Tik Tok these days, and you might see quite a few videos of users poking fun at artists with primarily female fanbases. A lot of these users also make videos attempting to gatekeep musical acts that are viewed as more masculine, due to having more male fans-- acts that tend to be regarded as real, serious music. It's not really about the quality of the music. It's the fact that girls' opinions and interests are not respected by society. We see this constantly, be it with hobbies, fashion trends, pop culture, etc. (remember when girls were relentlessly ridiculed for the "VSCO girl" style?).

Take Taylor Swift for example. Probably the most influential artist of our generation. She is already a musical icon. But she still doesn't receive as much credit as she should, and her lyrics are oftentimes typecast as silly and superficial by many. Taylor Swift notably has the lyrical prowess of some of the great legends that came before her, and her stamina and ability to remain relevant is unmatched in the industry. She's even been dubbed the 'Milennial Bruce Springsteen', yet she is not taken nearly as seriously. So, when will people start seeing her as the trailblazer that she is rather than a popular singer for lovestruck girls? 

Fangirls are presumably the biggest market in the industry. They keep some of the greatest artists and bands alive, and propel their careers into stardom. I mean, what about The Beatles and Beatlemania? Sexism inherently fuels the deragatory comments towards fangirl behavior. Can we finally stop shaming the fangirls and recognize them for what they are? The music industry. Without them, some of today's biggest icons (many of whom men attempt to gatekeep) would perhaps be obsolete. So instead of ridiculing what girls like, take note, because that artist, band, or trend will most likely be the next big thing.  

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