When Do We Get Too Old for Celebrity Fan-Girling?

Do I need to throw out my One Direction cups and my Union Jack shirt?
Publish date:
September 17, 2013
celebrity, One Direction, fangirls

Somewhere, tucked deep in storage in my parent's attic is a diary entry where I write an elaborate story about me (a mysterious, wise-beyond-her-years 12 year old), Billy Corgan (my lover), and Trent Reznor (the jealous suitor that wishes to take my hand).

I am pretty sure that I make out with Trent in a graveyard and they get in a fight. The details are hazy. If I ever find it, I should burn it but I will probably share it on the Internet instead because I love getting attention for what a batshit adolescent I was.

You see, I am a total fan girl. Well, fan woman I guess. My celebrity crushes are often strange (I wore a locket with Rasputin in it in high school, THOSE EYES, I couldn't help it), they last a long time (me and Matt Damon have been going strong for 15 years now), and I crush openly and shamelessly (you guys may have seen my One Direction shirt in another post).

But on a recent outing, when I expressed my excitement about the One Direction movie coming out, someone retorted coldly, "What are you, 12?"

I wanted to say, "Do you mean in my body or my spirit?" but just sheepishly quit talking about it instead.

I threw a Leonardo Dicaprio-themed birthday party for a friend in March and just never took down the wall of photos I put up for the event. I think it adds character. But am I getting too old for this kind of thing? Is it an eccentric quirk or just creepy?

Now, for the record, I have never been the kind of fan girl that stakes out hotels or screams at premieres or cries at concerts or whatnot. I've never been a member of a fan club or a message board or anything. No fan fiction bears my name. But my bedrooms have been well-decorated with celebrity faces and I've gotten giddy (on the inside) when I've seen my favorite celebs in public.

I think that having celebrity crushes is an important outlet to have a big crush which is exciting but that you know can't hurt you because they're not actually in the realm of the possible. Celebrity crushes are safe, and, I might add, a little sexy. Below a brief and heavily abridged history.

Pre-Teen Fan Girling

So around 11 and 12, I had a crush on absolutely everyone and there is archival evidence to show for it. A middle school friend of mine recently found these "Wanted" posters I created where I essentially mean-girled a bunch of female celebrities for stealing our celebrity crushes both on and off screen. The men we were robbed of included Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Philippe, Jeremy London, Freddie Prinze, Jr, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt, so we were totally justified in calling these ladies out.

This type of fangirling is totally adorable and acceptable. I get a serious rage blackout when adults make fun of young girls that are just having fun crushes. Being a kid is hard, let them have their Harry Styles posters!

Teen Fan Girling

I would be lying to you if I said that part of my reason for accepting admission to NYU was because I thought it might be my destiny to find and marry Gideon Yago of MTV News. Ivy-educated? Glasses? That smile? There are actually zero things to dislike about Gideon Yago. So I present to you, The Yago Files.

I managed to fill not one but two VHS tapes of Gideon Yago doing his hard-hitting journalism on MTV in the early 2000s. He had a show called "Criminal" exposing hate crimes! He went to Iraq or Afghanistan (I don't have a VHS player to watch this over again so I don't remember which) to see what was going on and it was eye-opening! Gideon Yago was a man of the people.

But the most shameful element of these tapes is that when I was at home, at 10 to the hour, every hour, I would record the MTV news briefing if Gideon was the one hosting. Sick days were GREAT for this weirdo habit. Heavy was my heart when Sway, Matt Pinfield, or the impossibly pretty Suchin Pak was the host. I always imagined Gideon had a secret crush on Suchin and that they were always playing pranks on Kurt Loder together and it made me SO JEALOUS.

But that is all beside the point. This kind of crush is getting into weird territory but acceptable.

Adult Fan Womaning

As you read above, in my younger years my musical tastes veered toward the dark side with Trent and Billy and Manson and the like so I made up for it as an adult by becoming an insane Spice Girls fan. At the age of 23, I crossed state lines to see them and then saw them again a week later in my own state. And I did it all dressed like this:

Was 23 too old for this? It was right out of college so I sort of give myself a free pass because as I look back now, 23 seems impossibly young. And besides, the Spice Girls are timeless, classic women of elegance, grace, and most importantly, pillars of feminism. Dressing up and having a good time at their show didn't feel that shameful.

Fast forward to today and at 28 I am a legitimate One Direction fan. Is it silly to get all giggly when they say funny things in interviews and cry when they buy houses for their moms? I don’t have actual romantic feelings for them because they are super young, but I joke about it because they are really cute boys that seem to have a lot of fun. Should this be embarrassing? I'm not entirely sure.

My best friend says, "No one is going to revoke your cool kid card for having fun for five minutes." And I think that's incredibly true when it comes to fan-girling out. If you're not being some kind of stalker or overly fixated on the celebrity, that being a silly fan is just harmless fun. To imagine celebrities as your friends and lovers is just a quick escape from the harsh realities of work and family and money and all that the world throws our way.

What do you guy think? Do I need to throw out my One Direction cups and my Union Jack shirt?