Of Fandoms and Fangirls: 8 Etiquette Rules of Responsible Fangirling

Words by Lorraine Giron 

Graphics by Jury Salaya 

With the advent of the internet and social media, fangirling has definitely gone up a notch. It gave an avenue for fans and their favorite artists and celebrities to communicate more openly. However, it has also fostered a negative and toxic environment. Truth be told, there is nothing wrong with being a fangirl!  Young girls and women alike need not be ashamed of their interests. Fangirls contribute much to the success of personalities and institutions.  However, some fangirls need a reality check that there is a clear difference between fangirling and destructive obsession.

8. Do not starve yourself. 

Buying merchandise and spending for concerts and events are some of the concrete ways where fans can show support for their favorite artists and celebrities. However, being a dedicated fangirl is actually an expensive hobby as the merchandise alone costs way more than people can imagine.  If you are already working, it’s a little easier for you to save and afford these things.

However, many fangirls who are still students, are dependent on their parents for an allowance. This is where some may resort to extreme measures such as starving themselves in order to save money. Sometimes, it’s better to be #TeamBahay rather than #TeamBroke because being physically healthy and financially wise is more important in the long term.

7.  Let your Idols date. 

It’s normal when fans feel a little bit sad when their favorites are caught in dating rumors or when they have confirmed it themselves. After all, it’s also a normal part of fangirling to have this crazy, wishful thinking of being girlfriends or wives of their favorites. Many Filipinos also obsess over “loveteams” which has become a norm in the local showbiz industry.

However, in reality,  celebrities definitely do not owe fans their personal lives. I find it ridiculous that people have to debate whether idols should date or not. It’s also frustrating that artists and celebrities decide not to date or can’t be open because of their career and fans. Respect who they want to be with. Most importantly, do not bash their partners on social media.

6. Do not start or contribute to immature fanwars. 

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Fans are the extension of an artist or group, so the type of fans give an impression of the artists themselves. Fans who involve themselves in these fanwars do not realize that they hurt or damage the reputation of their favorite artists. Most importantly, they fail to see how their actions show their personal attitude.

As a fan, it’s important to concentrate on supporting your favorites without bringing down other artists. If they are truly talented, there is no need to prove that your favorites are superior to others. One does not need to like other artists in order to respect them.  There are far more productive things that you can do with your time and energy rather than sending hate messages to people you don’t actually know.

5.  Do not defend your Idols if they’re wrong. 

Idols are normal people, too. They’re not perfect, and we don’t know whether they are actually sincere or it just their “manufactured” or projected image. Most of what we know of them is only through the media. Be careful who you stan, and don’t support someone merely because they’re eye candy. Setting criteria is good, especially if you are looking for a person of good influence.

ALSO READ: WOW: This KPOP Fangirl graduates university with honors & shows how fandom can inspire you

4. Extreme stalking is definitely a no-no. 

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It’s normal to do “research” on the people we like or are interested in. However, some fans have taken extreme measures such as they follow their every move or even physically assault their idols. An example are sasaeng fans in South Korean pop culture. These are fans who stalk and intrude their idols’ privacy. Their actions have caused negative psychological effects to idols as well and they have developed paranoia and trauma from these encounters.

3. Keep your cool when you meet your favorite celebrities. 

Recently, Korean girl group Blackpink went to the Philippines for their 2019 World Tour and Filipino fans made headlines with the chaos they caused at their arrival at NAIA. There were videos of fans climbing their cars, screaming and inappropriately touching the artists like it was straight from a zombie movie. Not only did Blackpink receive this kind of reception here in the Philippines, but other artists as well. Fans fail to realize that this can endanger the artists themselves as well as give a negative impression of Filipinos in general.

2. Remember your priorities. 

Do not let fangirling get in the way of your work or academics. It’s okay if you are not on time with live tweeting or if that piece of fanart needs to take a backseat. The comeback of your favorite group can wait, but your exams and homework can’t. With proper time management and discipline, fangirling can become an inspiration rather than a distraction.

1. There is so much more to life than fangirling. 

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While fangirling may comprise the majority of one’s time and interests, do not forget that there is a bigger world out there! With too much fangirling, one becomes out of touch with reality sometimes. It may be a tough balancing act, but it’s important to have an open mind and be aware of what is happening in the environment you’re in. By being responsible with one’s words and actions, one can truly enjoy being a fangirl.

Are you a fangirl? Share your thoughts below!