The art of fangirling: What it means to be a true geek

This article is probably some kind of expansion on my homegirl Emily’s article “A definition of geek.”


“What is means to be a true geek? Stewie, dear God, please tell me you aren’t here to tell us how and why to geek. Could you be anymore presumptuous?”

Before your hackles get raised too high, and you knock down my door shouting “KILL THE BEAST” with pitchforks in hand, read this post. I’m not the entitled geek-shamer that the title may lead you to believe.

Geek doesn’t start in grade school for everyone, but we can see how the subculture of a typical high school has made the fangirl to feel ashamed of what they are. The noogies and wedgies weren’t reserved for the jocks or cheerleaders, oh no – they were given to the “geeks” – the nerds, the otaku, the academics, the Sci-Fi club, the theatre kids. And yet geeks today still treat other geeks of certain fandoms, or of no particular fandoms, with disrespect or even disdain.

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At Setsucon this weekend, I met so many genuine people. So many people who were in an environment that made them feel comfortable enough to be their true selves. Yes, some of them may have been considered a little bit socially awkward, obnoxious, or child-like. But the truth of it was, what some may take as being “socially awkward” was really just a fearless attempt to try to meet strangers who shared the same passions in a short 2-day span. What might be mistaken by some as being “obnoxious” was really just a boistrous excitement for a fandom. That their “child-like” attitude was them expressing themselves in a way that was unhindered by doubt. None of them held back in expressing what they loved, and why. They were being true to their geek selves. And it was glorious, and beautiful. But… it’s not always easy, and not all fandoms are necessarily created geek-qual.

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This chart, while hilarious, probably makes certain furry people feel like crap.

Yes, sometimes geeks shame other geeks. In the proverbial high school of geeks, comic book fans are giving LARPers swirlies, and Trekkies are giving Furries slushie facials. How can they call themselves geeks, when they know the stereotypes, and the way that the strange subculture of high school has made it hard for people who love something to feel comfortable expressing that love?

furries
Totally fluffy and loveable. Via aceofgeeks.blogspot.com

To be a fangirl, or fanboy, is to embrace something, ANYTHING, without fear of being shamed for it. And that goes both ways, for the taboo, and not so taboo. Maybe “furry fandom” is something that’s hard for people to understand, but it’s just as legitimate as any other fandom. Hell, you can fangirl about normal things too! Coffee, the stock market, football, Bieber, celebrity gossip, fashion, or nail polish. Things that weren’t always wedgie-worthy, YES, you can geek out about them. As Emily puts it in “A definition of geek“, a geek can geek out over anything they want to geek about. When you finally coming to grips with what you truly love and who you truly are, then you too can fangirl.

pizza

You can definitely be a pizza geek.

People can have things that they like, but the fangirl comes out when you’re not afraid to be in a giant roomful of people and squeal excitedly about whatever it is that you love. It’s going to a convention with people who are being true to themselves, and being your true self right along with them. It’s that child-like enthusiasm of Christmas morning coming out all over again. It’s singing songs loudly and hoping others join in, without being ashamed. It’s dancing because you’re so excited that you don’t know how to express it other than to wiggle and jiggle your booty. It’s making a high pitched “Eeeee” noise like a “Woo girl” because you’re just so thrilled about something that you might explode if you don’t express it somehow.

Excited-Kids-Christmas-06

I guess a little anecdote is in order. I have a younger sister, named Natalie, or Noot Spoot. She’s 27, but she’ll always be 5 to me. And Natalie has always been a fangirl. She loves Disney, heart and soul. She unashamedly loved it as a child, she loved it through high school, and she continues to love it to this day. I was more jaded. I couldn’t fully embrace my love of Disney until I was an adult, even though I adored Disney as a kid and still loved it. When I was in high school, I felt like Disney was, well, for kids… and couldn’t really bring myself to say, “Yes, I’m not a little kid, but I freaking biddidy bobbidy love Disney.” Seeing my adult sister continue to express her unashamed love of Disney is what inspired me to finally come out of the “fangirl closet” and embrace something I always felt too silly or ashamed to really embrace.

disney-princesses

When I was finally able to say that I was going to love what I wanted to love, no matter what society might think about it – including Disney, which I had my own personal misconceptions about – that was when my true self was born. I began to surround myself with people who wouldn’t shame me for it, and who would encourage any and all geeks to geek about whatever it was they wanted to geek about – be it little kids’ cartoons, costumes, coffee or Christmas. You can geek out about anything if you aren’t afraid to reveal your love for it loudly, and without being afraid of getting a slushie to the face.

It’s very possible that I’ve made it sound like to be a true geek or fangirl, you must be EXCITED about something. That, I think is true, but perhaps you express it in a different way. I’m ENFP after all, and I tend to throw glitter at everyone and everything! I get excited, and sometimes I need to be calmed down a little bit. Some of you out there are not boisterous, loud, excitable types – and yes – you still fangirl. So to introverts and less squealy types, I leave you with this: As long as you express your love of whatever you love however you want to express it, without being afraid, then yes – you geeked it good.

The true geek of today is now the one who is unashamed of their love of whatever it is that they love, and they don’t shame others for their loves either. They scream, dance, squeal, and get real giddy over stuff. They accept the furries and the Beliebers. They are not going to let you dip their head in the toilet anymore, oh no – they are geek, hear them roar.

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Geeky pixel and video game inspired resume!

Annoyance #47 about being engaged to a graphic designer: They always want to try to “fix up” your resume. My hubby-to-be is applying for programmer jobs, and I was concerned the design of his resume might have been a little lackluster. Of course, I may have also read this Mashable article about a girl who applied to an agency with a unique Lego resume. How original and creative! So then I put on the Frozen soundtrack, had a glass of wine, and I just “let it go” on his resume. Hehe.

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Featured image from Basil Bangs

Have you ever seen any creative and unique resumes that you loved? Post a comment!

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Wedding Planning 101: Picking the Date

Wedding Planning 101

Er mah sweet fluffy gerd! You just got engaged! And much like me, I am sure you feel like a confused mess. What the lump are you supposed to do now? Since I’m going through the chaos, I figured I’d blog through the chaos too. Here are my best tips and tricks for wedding planning as an engaged couple!

Step 1: Picking the date.

So what do you do after you change your Facebook relationship status, watch the “likes” and “congrats” roll in, and call your close friends and family to squeal with them over the news? You pick the date of course! Here are my tips for this giant detail.

  • If you want any part of the wedding, including pictures, to be outside, consider your local area and what might be happening outside during that time.
    Here in northeast Pennsylvania, it gets hella hot in July and August, and snowy in October and November. I really didn’t want to be all red and sweaty in my wedding pictures. I also really didn’t want to deal with it being too cold either. We settled on June 7, because we think it won’t be too hot or too cold. We also picked June because the beautiful flowers are in bloom, so they will make my outdoor wedding photos lovely. We opted not to have flowers at the wedding, because they are expensive and will die in a week, so this is a nice, cheap way to get some flowers in the pictures.

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Some people are weird and might want to get married in a downpour.

  • Run the date by people you have in mind for your bridal and groomal party.
    You probably have a special kid in mind for flower girl, or an old college roommate in mind for your bridesmaid. So keep in mind their schedules and run the dates by them – without telling them you’ve committed to having them in the wedding, just yet. I really wanted my 9 year old niece and 7 year old nephew from 3 states over to be the flower girl and ring bearer, so I chose to have my during the summer, when all my family members in school would be on vacation.
  • Consider other family members birthdays, holidays, and special events you may want to work around.
    Having your wedding the same weekend as your grandma’s 75th birthday might not be the best idea. You should check your calendar, and find out if it’s any kind of National Holiday as well. These might impact your guests travel time, or even give someone an extra day off that weekend – for example Memorial Day or Labor Day would give guests that Monday off… or *insert cultural holiday from whatever country you are from that isn’t the USA.* My sister had her wedding on Labor Day weekend, and the out-of-town guests loved having off on Monday to travel home, and get an extra day in with the family.

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If you have to have ALL THESE GIRLS, then make sure they’re ALL FREE. Man… that’s a lot of Bridesmaids.

  • Pick a date that could coincide with when you want to take your honeymoon (or how cheap you want it to be).
    If you’re looking to take a luxurious cruise or fly to Europe for your honeymoon, you can really save some money by traveling in the off season. So if you don’t mind getting married in the wedding off season, you’ll save a nice chunk of change by flying or cruising in the off season as well.
  • Some wedding venues offer super deep discounts for weddings on certain days or times.
    If you’re set on having it at a certain venue, but the price is making you ill, ask about having it on a weird day. Sometimes brunch or afternoon weddings can be half the price of a night time event, as well as a Sunday or weekday wedding. This funky day can help you pick a date that saves you a good couple of bucks.
  • Pick a date your priest or pastor can make it. If having a certain person officiate the ceremony is important to your or your religion, be sure to ask Pastor Joe before setting a date. Or if you don’t want a priest, just have a computer do it.

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They really wanted an Imperial Officer to officiate their wedding. From the Official Star Wars blog.


Stay tuned for more Wedding 101 tips, and feel free to leave a comment offering your best tip for choosing the big day!

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That awkward moment when George Takei’s Duela Dent Facebook post turned into a geek girl gender war

George Takei posts Duela Dent cosplay

So I accidentally (and I think subconsciously) participated in a not-so-obvious gender battle yesterday. Or perhaps it was never a gender battle to begin with. Let’s discuss. It involved a mistaken cosplay shame meme. An Internet troll posted a meme, shaming a cosplayer’s Duela Dent costume, unaware that she was actually a legit comic book character, but instead believing that she had just put together 3 different ideas into a (very good) mash-up cosplay.

Let’s talk about the language on the meme. “Trying to hard” connotes shaming for effort. Why would we ever shame someone for putting in too much effort? Even if this was, as the meme maker falsely believes, a gender swapped steampunk Joker…. so? If someone tries to do something, and they put hours and hours into it, and it’s obvious they’ve put a lot of hard work into it, why would we try to shame them for it? This raises the question – if it was a male cosplayer with a similar 3 way mash-up, would he be “shamed” for extra effort? Even if the cosplay was executed terribly, if the effort was there, how could we shame someone in the cosplay community for partaking in a hobby we all love so much? But sadly, shaming exists. It isn’t something I ever expected to find so predominant in the geek community, but here we are.

It’s obvious the quality of her costume is incredible. But the meme maker’s issue seems to be with the quality – as well as diversity. It sounds to me like this person doesn’t like cosplay in general, with a statement like that. If they were a true cosplayer, I would doubt they would shame a member of their own community, no matter what they wore! I personally would give a 3-way well executed mash-up costume 5 stars! Mash-ups are hard! I did a “Dalek Princess” at New York Comic Con last year, and I don’t think most people got it. And anyway, if you’re going to be taking issue with any mash up cosplayer, it’s gotta be this guy first and foremost. *shudder*

I’m not sure exactly why I commented the way I did. Oh yeah, that’s right, because I’m an Internet pixie. I make stupid jokes. And I think I did immediately think, “Oh it’s because she’s a woman!” Looking back, yeah, it’s not blatantly about the fact that she is a girl, and a geek. But I think it might be, and even subconsciously, I was wondering, if this sort of thing is related to her gender. Is it that the meme maker (who obviously never heard of Duela Dent) assumed she was doing this for attention? For sexual glances? For something we’d stereotype the “Idiot nerd girl” for doing? What exactly makes the meme maker so mad? Is the meme maker a man?

I put my feelers out to the Geek Girl Pen Pals Facebook community and got some fantastic responses.

Post a comment to let me know what you think about my comment, this meme, and gender roles in the geek community in general. Did this thread get turned into a gender war for no reason? Or is it secretly about the fact that she’s a woman all along? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Other cool articles on the topic
Blogpost # 3: Discrimination in Cosplay
Misogyny and Size Discrimination in Cosplay
The Negative Side of Cosplaying
I’m a Black Female Cosplayer And Some People Hate It

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