Sunday, 11 September 2011

How to Be a Fangirl (or boy) by Kelly Besecke

I have been a fangirl my whole life. At the age of four, I began a three-year obsession with The Monkees. I could sing all their songs by heart. Every afternoon, I sat wide-eyed and mesmerized by reruns of their TV shows. I daydreamed about The Monkees.

Now I'm forty-one, and I'm still like this. Mostly musicians, sometimes actors, occasionally authors. Mostly men, occasionally women. They captivate me for a while, and I listen to their music over and over, watch all their movies, memorize their books, and spend hours searching YouTube for interviews with them.

But I'm proud of my fangirldom, because I know exactly what I'm doing. Once upon a time, when I was very young, I heard this advice: "Women should become the men they want to marry." I thought this was brilliant. Because what we're drawn to, what we're attracted to, is really ourselves--deep, essential dimensions of ourselves that we want to more fully integrate.

So my obsession with The Monkees was about humor and energy and friendship. My teenage obsession with David Bowie was about crossing boundaries--breaking out of old confines and moving into forbidden territory. In my twenties, The Beatles were all about my creativity--some colorful, right-brain freedom to let my mind wander and create beauty. Right now, I'm cultivating a sense of centeredness, confidence in expressing my own unique perspective, authority over the conditions of my life, and a natural commitment to my own truth--and I can tell you anything you want to know about Johnny Depp.

So how to be a fangirl? Just give in, as you would to any other passion. Find the people who draw your attention, the people you admire, and immerse yourself. Absorb them. Find out what it is about them that's so captivating, and know, without a doubt, that those qualities are your own. They're who you really are--the aspects of you that you want to more fully express, the colors of you that you want to brighten, your greatest gifts and truest purposes, about to come into the sun.

Kelly Besecke writes about spiritual meaning, progressive religion, and authentic living. Her first book is You Can't Put God in a Box: A Thoughtful Spirituality for a Rational Age. She's a dreamer, a thinker, and an incurable idealist who loves singer-songwriter music, impressionism, and every dog she's ever met.


  1. This is wonderful advice Kelly and something I never thought about before. I am going to have to spend sometime thinking about who I really admired as I went through the different times in my life and who inspires me the most now and see what insight that gives me into myself.

  2. This is just too funny. I recently got "hooked" on a Korean TV show on called "Coffee Prince". I am so in lust over the 2 main guys and the story line is fantastic....subtitles and all. But my 20 year old who is all into manga and anime from Japan, giggles and started calling me Fangirl because I have become so obcessed this show.

    By the way, I dropped my dream of being an actress when John Wayne died because I couldn't be in a movie with him.

    Fangirlism is great!

  3. What an interesting point of view on the subject!
    Like Ginny I´m inspired to look at my choices along the years to see if I can reconstruct that.

  4. This post put a smile on my face. What a great way to look at fan-dom to find something deeper.

  5. Looooooove this. I've been fangirling for most of my life over a wide variety of people and topics. I only recently came to this same conclusion, and it makes me really happy to see that you're in the same boat. I fangirl because there's something reflective of myself in what I'm adoring. Important stuff, that.

  6. Great piece. Sometimes I've been a fangirl of some unassuming person with whom I am acquainted who is smart or fit or funny or just humble. Sometimes it's someone walking down the street who I imagine has made all the right moves in life or who is wearing killer shoes.

  7. This is some of the best writing I have read in a while. Just great. And very insightful. It is intriguing to consider what about those we admire we hold within ourselves. Thank you for sharing that important bit of wisdom, and so beautifully.