I read an article today on ilovelibraries about fandom and libraries called Ticket to Fandom. It made me realize that fandom is not something just discussed in dark internet alleys or at huge in-your-face meetings like Comic con. The celebration of fandom is becoming a normal thing for everyone and I love it but, I’m still struggling with the concept.
As a huge fan of K-pop I’m well aware of fandom, both the good and the bad. It wasn’t until I joined tumblr that I realized that K-pop wasn’t the only genre of fandom. Although, I do think the fan names given to the groups by their companies help the unification and solidarity of a fandom but, I digress.
Now, some of you might be asking ‘what exactly is a fandom?’ well don’t worry it is pretty simple. A fandom is a collection of people who are fans of the same thing. For example, if you really like Star Trek you would be in the Star Trek fandom. If you like The Pretty Little Liars you are in that fandom. Pretty simple. Really, the only qualification is that you be a fan in some way.
“If it is so simple, what are you struggling with?”
Great question. I’m struggling with older prejudices. When I first became a part of Cassiopeia (fan club for TVXQ) back in 2009 *holding back tears because I’m still not over the split* I knew anything and EVERYTHING I possibly could about the 5 guys in the band. I knew their heights, I knew their laughs, and really so much more. To me, since I couldn’t pay to be in the actual fan club this was how I proved my loyalty.
On tumblr and other media you can even see fans now figuring out who is who in the bands they like only from their hands. Fandom can get intense.
Therefore when I think about fandom I think about intense love of something. A group of fans who take their love of a show, a band, a book, etc to the next level. So, I could say I’m a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean but, I’m not in the fandom. I like it but, it doesn’t have my love like The Fast and The Furious movies which even then, I’m hesitant to say I’m in the fandom of. I’m definitely in the Tortall World books (by Tamora Pierce) fandom. That’s the love I think elevates a casual fan into a fandom.
I’m still trying to learn the rules. I’m trying to figure things out. So, when I saw the link above about libraries featuring fandom, I was excited yet, like I said, still hesitant because I feel the casual fan sometimes doesn’t get it.
Then again, maybe that is why it is called a fandom… a kingdom of fans* from those who have given up their soul to it all the way down to the innocent fans who are just strolling around. In the end, fandoms are a place to belong– a place to cry, laugh, invent conspiracy theories, and not feel shame about it.
If you read this far WOW! Thank you 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on fandom even if it is to disagree with me completely! And share your fandoms! What do you love 🙂
*I’m not suggesting there are better fans that others or that there is a hierarchy, merely a level of how involved or invested one is.