I often post about the people or the things that I love or fangirl over, showing everyone how much I love them, highlighting what I love about them, mentioning good things about them, etc. Well, often times my friends don’t even know them, and I don’t even know if they might actually be sick of my posts about them. Haha But then, sometimes some friends would comment about my fangirling activities, like, how much I spent my time for my idols. However, to be honest, I don’t think I’m a great fan. I’m just a great “online” fan. I love following up news about them. I love spending my time reading about their updates, staring at their photos, smiling over what other fans say about them, etc. So, yes, time (and attention) might be the only thing I’m willing to give a lot for them. That is to say: I’m not willing to spend too much money on things that I don’t think will be “useful” in my life. And to this, one of my friends says, “That’s great! It’s good to fangirl with a mature mind!” And honestly, I’m not sure if it’s called being “mature”. I thought I was just being stingy and strict about my priority. And most of the times, it’s more because I don’t have the money at the first place. LoL
But, well, let’s see…
When we idolize something or someone, we tend to always want to support them. For example, when we love a certain actor, we would always want to go to the cinemas to watch their movies. When we love a singer or a band, we want to buy their albums and go to their live concerts. Then there are merchandises, posters, fans meeting, magazine photo-shots, calendars, etc. There are a lot that we can spend our money on for them. Well, if you’re rich and have the money, it’s no big deal, you can always get them “to support” them or “prove your love for them.” But if you are short of money, I think you must set your priority right. Even if you can somehow save, you still need to set your priority right with your saving. Well, I understand it’s thrilling to be able to buy all of those things, to own them, to show them off, etc. It’s fulfilling. It makes you happy. I get it. It makes me happy too when I can get a hold of one of those things myself, but…
BUT, well, maybe now you‘ll start thinking that I’m a bad fan, that I’m not a true fan, I often think of myself that way too… But maybe this is because I was born and grew up poor, so I’ve become really strict about my money, distinguishing between my needs and my wishes. The things I fangirl about are definitely my wish. Well, yes, sometimes we need to get what we want to make us happy, but often times, we can find the alternatives to make us happy – without sacrificing our real needs.
I remember when I was younger, I loved this local band in my country. I loved them so so so much. There was even this one time they came to my town for a concert, but I couldn’t go. I didn’t have the money… Later on, I saved from my pocket money little by little, I saved so I could buy their original tape-cassette albums. At that time CD, DVD, let alone Spotify and iTunes were not popular, and perhaps not even present. Buying the original cassettes made me feel accomplished somehow. It gave me such a “I can finally do something for the people that I love” feeling. But, well, that’s as much as I could do. I didn’t buy magazines just because their photos were in them either. I didn’t travel to far away cities just to watch their concerts. I didn’t do that. I couldn’t. I still can’t, sorry…
But, well, I have my reasons. First, buying magazines that have their photos…then what? I wouldn’t know what to do with them later, right? And I’m someone who finds it hard to “throw away” things, so imagine how they’re just gonna pile up and take too much space in my room? I don’t do it with posters either. I’ll feel guilty when I have it and have to throw it away. Well, especially now that we have social media and advanced technology, (and environmental concerns? 😜✌), I guess it’s not wise to buy paper magazines, posters, etc. I mean, we can always look them up! And fans always share their pics, updates, etc. And I’ve invested my time on checking about them online, so, ugh, no, unless I’ve got really lots of money, I don’t think I’ll buy it. Then calendar! Well, I use the calendar on my phone, so… I think I really consider myself a “functional” person. If the stuff is simply “useless”, I can’t bring myself to do or have too much of it. Once or twice for pleasure is okay, but more than that, no, there are a lot that need to be attended.
Second, about going to a far-away place for a fans meeting or concerts, well, it’s not safe and simply takes too much money for me. The ticket, the fares for the transport to get there, the local transport to get to the venue, the hotel/hostel/accommodation, etc. Gosh, it’s too much for me. Not to mention if the city is simply not safe, someone might trick us, right? Nope, I won’t risk it. I might be stingy and too paranoid here, but I think it’s important to fangirl rationally and responsibly. (Well, ok, love actually doesn’t collocate with rationality so perhaps it’s hardly possible to fangirl rationally. LoL) Bu, anyway, I do have my respect for other fans who are willing to go to such lengths to see their idols, and sometimes I wish I could do the same confidently, but for me, at least for now, no, unless I really can make it, unless it doesn’t ruin my other/main responsibilities, I won’t go to such lengths. I mean, if I were to do all of that, I would want to be able to at least take photos together, have a talk with them, record a video, or sing together! Haha Yeah, I know, I ask too much, but, oh, well… Besides, sometimes it’s simply clearer to see them on TV/screens/on the videos that the fans share or the DVD that they later sell. Except maybe, if somehow I happen to be in the same city and I happen to have the time and money, then maybe I’ll go for it. Well, you might think I’m a really bad fan considering that I won’t make such efforts for my idols, but hey, you know what, many of my friends who used to spend money on their idols, buying merchandises, posters, albums, etc…many of them now regret it. They said, “Give me back my money!” Hahaha And some of them said they decided to quit the fandoms and sold the albums they had because they can no longer endure the scandals. Haha They’re so cute 😊
I mean, it’s understandable. Again, at the time they bought all those things, they must have felt happy and accomplished so the money didn’t actually go to waste because it gave them that feelings that couldn’t be attained by doing something else. And I know how frustrating it is not to be able to do the things for the people you love especially when you know that others can do it just fine. However, I think it’s important to put ourselves before our idols. It’s a must to prioritize ourselves before our idols. I read somewhere a fan saying, “Gosh, I only have $500 but I need $2000 so I can fly and go watch my favorite groups in that country. Can somebody please help me?” Someone else says, “What organs should I sell so I can afford to buy their merchs?” I know that they might be just joking, and sometimes we have this tendency to dramatize and exaggerate things when fangirling even though in reality we don’t really mean it that way. Still, sometimes I think it’s scary.
Look, fangirling is just one part of our lives. One part. And yes, it’s as important as the others, but it’s not everything. We have other parts of our lives. We have responsibilities. Some of us have to study. Some of us have to work hard just to survive. Fangirling should make life for us easier and more bearable, not harder and more burdensome! It should make us happier not feel more miserable. Besides, not being able to see them in person or buy their merchandises won’t make us less as a fan. Love them a lot, but don’t overdo it. Love them a lot, but don’t destroy ourselves in the process. Also, I know I don’t want to blame my idols if my life turns into a mess “because of them.” That’s why I need to live and love responsibly.
I’m not judging those who are willing to do “anything” to get the money to spend on their idols. I understand the frustration. And whatever they do is their business. I’m sure they have their reasons. I just want to “remind” you not to overdo it. I want you to stay “sane” and love your idols enough to be happy but not too much to destroy your own life. You don’t want to borrow some money, spend all of it to buy merchs or watch concerts only to come back to reality after all of that and find that your life is getting worse, you have no money to eat, you have your work piling up, you have to pay back the money you owe, etc. Personally I don’t think it’s worth it. Also, take care of yourself. If something happens to you, it’s not your idols that will come to you and take care of you. Chance is, it will be the people around you who will be worried and take care of you. Maybe your parents, your family, your friends, etc. And I don’t think it’s fair to make them worried that much just because you’re overdoing your fangirling life over an idol that might not even know about your existence. So, yeah, know your worth. Know your priority. Love your idols as you can but be reasonable about it. Happy fangirling 😊
PS: Because I don’t have a lot of money to spend on my idols, so sometimes I get creative, i.e. I try to draw them myself, I try to make something from scratch so I don’t have to buy it. I mean, if I can have something with cheaper price, I guess it’s preferable. Still, I pray that not all fans are like me. I do pray that richer fans will be willing to spend their money on my idols. Otherwise, my idols will be sad if they don’t get a lot of money, right? Hikz
But then how do I manifest my love for my idols if I don’t always buy the merchandise or go to their concert? I guess it’s by trying to be a good fan. Behave. Don’t cause trouble. Don’t make others hate my idols because of me. Share good things about them with others hoping the richer ones will come to love them and buy their merchandise. I’m not sure if my love will ever reach them, but I want to be a good fan. I want that when people ask me who I love and I answer X, they’ll then think, “Oh, X must be very good.” I want that when I talk about X, people will be like, “She keeps talking about X, I’ll check X out.” And then find more good things about them. That’s the least I can do. And speaking of which, you know I love Hey! Say! JUMP (I wrote about them before, here). Recently I found that the fandom itself, tobikko, was actually toxic. Some said that we’re actually the most hated/toxic fandom in Jfandom. And it made me kinda sad. But guess what? It makes me love Hey! Say! JUMP even more. I read that there was this one time when Hey! Say! JUMP canceled their tour/concert because the fans caused a public disturbance when riding buses/trains to get to their concert. And it makes me respect them a lot. Instead of thinking of the money they’d get if they had had the concert, they chose to cancel it and educate their fans, to teach them about responsibilities and consequences. I might be exaggerating this because I love them after all, but I think it’s worth the praise because not all artists are like that. Also, they communicated this with the fans and being stern about it (Hika, I love you!). He wrote about how it broke his heart when he saw fans ran chasing after them but almost hit a mother with her baby. He said that while he was okay if he was run over while fans were chasing after other members, he wasn’t okay seeing innocent people like that mother and her baby getting hurt because of them. I respect him a lot for that. Again, showing strict or stern warnings to the fans is quite risky because it can potentially make the fans hate him or leave him. However, he chose to hold onto what he believed was right so I really respect that. Besides, the rude fans might get disappointed, but guess what? They actually gain the public’s heart. I don’t know if it has been their trick or purpose from the very beginning, but it doesn’t matter, it’s still true: the fans should learn to behave and respect the non-fans public. And, I’m not sure if Tobikko fandom is still as toxic, but I know that the tobikko that I know are not. They’re very supportive. We remind each other in a good way that we should behave. I really love them 😊
PPPS: I bought One Piece jacket, but it’s useful, right? I want to buy another One Piece jacket but I’m still thinking about it ’cause I’ve already got one (I’m wishing someone to buy me one as a present. LoL). And I have a cool experience about it. There was this one time I was in a hurry, running up the stairs to get into my class, and this girl passing by me said that I’ve got a cool jacket. It was one of the happiest moments in my life. Guess what jacket I was wearing? It’s One Piece! 🥰❤️😎 Every time I am wearing my One Piece jacket or mask, I always make sure to show off the strawhat skull and logo. If people don’t know it, I want them to be curious about it. If people recognize it, I want them to know I’m proud of it! 🥰❤️😎