Being a fan of fans

“Fangirl Vision” by pie1313

Fans (by which I mean the people who adore certain things, rather than the metal devices I bless these days for keeping me cold) are something I love to observe. This sounds weird (and it probably is), but studying the behavior of people who belong to one or multiple fandoms should be a science in itself. Fanology sounds catchy, so let’s go with that.

To clarify my fascination with fans, you must know that I can be a really enthusiastic man (trust me, if I love something, you’ll know), but for some reason I lack the capability of being a real fan. What do I mean when I say “real fan”? Well, let me tell you about living with a few girls who are all really awesome and stuff, but who all have the capability of “fanning hard” (gosh, that sounds wrong) when it comes to their fandoms. They are the kind of people who are up-to-date about when the next book from their favourite author is published, who discuss the last episode of their beloved show in depth on all social media and who turn into drooling and mindless teenagers when they see certain actors. They show honest and deep love for whatever they…well, love, and don’t mind if the world finds them strange for that. Watching them is a pure delight, as these highly-educated women use their vast mental capabilities to dissect shows like Supernatural or Hannibal, while getting all pumped about a tweet from some presumably hot actor.

And you know what? I love them for that. I’m a fan of them because of that. Not just of those girls I used to live with, but of fans in general. These die-hard fanboys and fangirls are both fascinating and disturbing, and this stark contrast just begs to be observed. Different fandoms are social structures on themselves, but no matter if you geek out about Harry Potter, Game of Thrones or some elf dude who had fifteen seconds of screen time in The Hobbit, certain elements can be found in each and every fandom. Though the thing they love might be different, the way they love is the same, and it’s always curious to observe.

Yeah, I might never be as big a fan as some of those people, but I will always be a big fan of all you fans out there! Though you scare me from time to time and have me question my faith in the intellect of my generation, I do understand that all you do is out of love. And what is born from love, often gives birth to love…even if that love is expressed in really gross Yaoi fanfic featuring My Little Pony and one of those guys from Merlin.

Oh fandoms, you never cease to amaze and disgust at the same time.

With (cautious) admiration,

the Chindividual

Geek Jitsu – Tumblr reminded me of something

Let me share a little something with you: Tumblr scares me. The reason for that is simple: I don’t know a single sane person who’s on there, and most of the stuff that Tumblr spawns is related to some weird fandom I just can’t wrap my head around (why do all you geek girls love Tom Hiddleston so much?!). Some people warn you of 4chan’s /b/, but I warn people of Tumblr in its entirety.

Now, to be fair, even the darkest hellhole of the Internet can be of use for something, and this week, Tumblr reminded me of some handy knowledge. The picture below appeared on seinen-engel’s Tumblr, and has been madly reblogged:

I want to use this week’s Geek Jitsu to discuss this list, since I think that this is relevant to many a geek trying to live healthy. In a subculture where both genders are heavy sexualized in our media of choice, be it games, movies, tabletop RPG’s or the likes, it’s easy to associate many superficial physical features with health. The list above should be a helpful reminder to you, but I still want to work it through, point by point.

  • The first three items on the list: I summed up my opinion about that pretty well in another edition of Geek Jitsu, so there’s nothing left to say.
  • Rips and hip bones aren’t meant to be visible: while some of us are just bony by nature, most geeks will have a normal physical appearance. That includes the fact that your rips and hip bones shouldn’t be showing. If they do, you might consider actually gaining some weight.
  • Collarbones are not meant to jut out: unless you’re Benedict Cumberbatch, everything I said on the previous point applies here as well.
  • It’s normal to have rolls on your stomach when you sit down or bend over: how also would you want to bend over then? D’you want your belly to be just in the way? Trust me, nature got you covered, even if it makes you look like you’re a walrus. Trust me, you’re not!
  • It’s normal to have a stomach that curves out: it really is. Of course, there’s a difference between a curved stomach and carrying around a keg of concentrated fat, but I’m assuming that my readers are smart enough to spot the difference.
  • Both points about stretch marks: this doesn’t just apply to girls. As a guy with a stretch mark-covered belly, I know how annoying and ugly they can look. However, after thinking about it, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. As the picture says, stretch marks come from growing, but they do also appear when you lose weight. Your skin is a bit loose there, still used to the amount of fat it had to cover. This makes your stretch marks badges of honor, showing the world how you won the fight against yourself. Wear them with pride, and have the world know that you are a symbol of physical change!
  • BMI charts are not accurate: thank you for supporting me here, list! I keep telling people  the BMI is no accurate way of telling if you have a healthy weight or not. It leaves out too many factors (like muscles) and will only depress you. It’s a nice general indication, but not the doctrine that should control your life.
  • Six packs abs are not necessary: though my vanity would like to disagree, my logic has to agree with this points. Having good-looking abs is nice and great to impress the ladies, but they are no prerequisite for a healthy body. If you want a six-pack, go out and get it, but don’t believe that others can’t look good without one.
  • Eating whenever you are hungry is perfectly fine: though I technically agree, I would like to point out that you should get to know the difference between being hungry and just wanting to eat. I’ll discuss that in another installment, but you can already think about it. Nevertheless, starving yourself doesn’t grant you a super-powered body, it only shows how stupid you are.
  • The best way to get a bikini body is to a put bikini on your body: power to everyone who just does that, but be ready for some backlash!

That’s my two cents about this list. Generally, I think it’s a good idea to keep it somewhere visible, as a helpful reminder and a good set of guidelines. Thank you, Tumblr, for providing me with something not-fandom-related and / or really scary.

Geek on!