I Am A Grown Woman and I Am A fangirl

I fell in adoration of the good old fashioned villain, and a deplorable level of respectful lust for the virgin. I fell just as hard for the doctor not of this earth as I had for that ranger who would be king from Middle Earth. And goodness knows a certain Sassenach of the 1940s would totally understand -well not really- that am I, a woman of the 2010s, would go BAMF for JAMMF of the 1740s –  Je suis Prest indeed! I follow the Tumblr posts, the Facebook pages, subscribe to YouTube Channels of my faves, “Tried It!” in Pinterest and yes, as much as most fanfic has me rolling my eyes, crying with laughter, the few magnificent pearls found amongst the swill of the swine, makes the dumpster diving worth it.  I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

I am fully aware I am not the demographic that come to mind when one thinks of fangirls. Girls is a misnomer. For I am here to tell you, honestly, there is no demographic. Yes, some ages cater to certain shows or characters than others, but across the board, it is the shared love and adoration we feel about the chosen characters to bind us.  Like everything else in life there are levels, I prefer to think I am a fangirl based somewhat in reality.

I fall in love with the characters, how they behave, how they feel, how they make me feel. However, I do not confuse the character with the actor. We all understand that actors, especially method actors, must have at least a trace characteristic of each part played in order to portray them so well. But having a trace of a characteristic in an actor’s real life, is not the same as having the whole of the personality presented. Even when they purposely blend the two.

When watching “Iron Man” we know the egotistical, but likable genius, multi-millionaire, manufacturer of various technology, decadent playboy, and philanthropist Anthony Stark is not the actor Robert Downey Jr. However, RDJ the multi-millionaire, actor, happily married man, father and philanthropist has wonderfully gleaned from the reckless cockiness of his youth as a Brat Packer to give snark and charisma to the character. Yet because it is a small part of him, he plays the part of likeable scoundrel off well to his adoring public.  (PS: And not that he is ever going to read this, but all these years later I want give a most sincere Thank You to Elton John — those of you that know what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about.) I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

When it comes to, say, BBC’s “Sherlock”, I adore the Gatiss/Moffat modern interpretation of the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Not even gonna lie, I, like so many millions of others, put myself in Molly Hooper’s place for the five seconds of a most crashing Holmes kiss. However, once the show fades to black, those feelings I have for William Sherlock Scott Holmes do not transfer to Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch. While I feel I “know” this Sherlock, well – as well as anyone can know a fictional high-functioning sociopath that is, I do not pretend to know Benedict Cumberbatch. Do I admire his incredible acting talent? Oh hell yes. His talent and that damned voice, a weapon which he wields with utmost pervection (that is not a misspell – think about it), as Sherlock, it is used to even more deadly effect in the character of Khan Noonien Singh in “Star Trek: Into Darkness”. Most of us know of the now infamous Cumberbatch photobombing of U2 at the 2014 Oscars, it is a pure Benedict being random and having fun moment; it is something neither Sherlock, nor Khan would ever deign to do. I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

Fans of the “A Songs of Ice and Fire” series of novels by George R. R. Martin, know the character of Tyrion Lannister is a physically repulsive character, we adored him nonetheless.  The adoration of Tyrion increased a thousand fold once it became known by the moniker of the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones” where the character was graced by the incomparable talents of Peter Dinklage.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe of “The Avengers”, the wicked Loki of Asgard, is portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. Fangirls find Loki beautiful in spite of the evil he’s done because of Tom Hiddleston gives the character depth that transcends his physical space.

With a nod to Capaldi who has had the role since 2013, but there are fangirls to this day who argue heatedly over Tenant versus Smith as the better Doctor.

It is easy to why Sam Heughan raises heart rates as Jamie Fraser in Starz “Outlander”, the deities have given us most delectable eye candy in him. That he is an excellent actor, playing Diana Gabaldon’s well developed dimensioned male protagonist is icing on an already very delicious cake.

With the exception of Heughan and by extrapolation Jaime, part of what makes these specific characters of interest is that they are portrayed by actors who do not fit the “convention” of what is considered heart throb material. Sticking with Sherlock for a moment, the character’s purple shirt of sex, notwithstanding – Cumberbatch himself is quoted at not understanding the hullabaloo over his looks. When asked what does he most dislike about his appearance, his responds with “The size and shape of my head. I’ve been likened to Sid from Ice Age.” “BuzzFeed.com” agrees with both his sex symbol status in 25 Things That Prove Benedict Cumberbatch Is The Perfect Man and with a very uncomplimentary list of 13 Things Benedict Cumberbatch Looks Like. I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

So what is it? What pulls us in and then straps us down? Easy answer: the character of the character. Even when the character is considered outside of what society considers normal – Sherlock, Loki, James Moriarty, Khan, The Doctor – can we understand them? Can we understand it, even when we acknowledge that what they are doing is a bit not good? Sherlock is considered to be asexual with Asperger’s or autism depending on whom is asked, whose social skills are considerably lacking to say the least. Loki, in his mind at least, feels he has always been slighted and slotted a life as second best living in the shadow of his brother Thor. “Sherlock”’s Moriarty, played beautifully psychotic in the hands of Andrew Scott, has a genius intellect comparable to Sherlock – that’s bored. Sherlock shoots walls when bored – we all can complete the phrase an idle mind is… Moriarty’s workshop is doing triple overtime simultaneously to keep from being bored, and if people die in the process well, “That’s what people DO!” Kahn, methods leave a lot to be desired, but he just wants to save those he considers his family. Well at least until we find out otherwise.  The Doctor, that last of his kind, an alien by our standards, is a man alone, not just in the world, but in the universe, yet he is the most human of us all. Protagonist or antagonist, can they make us feel for them? It’s no different than the adoration of a sports figure, other than our characters are mostly fictional.

I have encountered actors from various shows I’ve been enamored of over the years, and not once did I lose my mind in those moments. I had my internal five seconds, Isn’t that? Wait – that’s! OMG that’s! for I am sort of human (except for when I must return to my gelatinous form to rest or forever lose my ability to shapeshift ß bonus points to those who get the reference), but again, that’s internal. Once I get those five seconds out the way, outwardly I’m good. Depending on where we are, I may or may not nod in acknowledge of their existence and keep it moving. I presume, like me, they are trying to get from Point A to Point B with as little distraction as possible. Maybe it comes with being born and raised in New York City. Maybe it’s my natural personality, but Toodles RDJ, Laterz Cumberbatch, grown woman here, I got things to do. Who attend 2016’s Tartan Day Parade in the rain because Sam Heughan was the Grand Marshall? This fangirl right here raises her hand high.

Did I get up at 3 in the morning to be downtown by four in the morning to stand in line, to be hopefully be up to stand around outside for a chance to see Robert Downey Jr at 7 in the morning for a news show? Uh, no. There are limits to my fandom. Am I in the process of watching all six seasons of “Game of Thrones” again, because I know Season 7 starts Sunday, July 16? Yep. Have I intermittently re-watched favored episodes of “Sherlock” because I still can’t believe the series might be over – forever? Yes. Have I watched “Captain America: Civil War” again? Yes, because it’s a damned good movie and I am ready to comply. Do I have a OTP in any of my fandoms? God no, but do I “ship” aw hell yeah. Why? I do this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

If they can make us think, if they can make us smile or laugh, if they can make us feel. They’ve got us. And just like Ross eventually won Rachel in “Friends”. They get inside our heads first, making themselves at home in our lives, and before we know it our hearts. When what’s inside them calls to us what’s inside us, we see beyond their physical and all of them becomes something beautiful in our hearts. Once they have taken up residence there, telling us it’s just a television show, is akin to the athletically challenged spouse telling their sports oriented significant other, it’s just a game. We know this, I know this. I did not let my love of “Game of Thrones” and “Outlander” interfere with my trip to Toronto. Hello? That is what DVRs are for. Priorities! The antics of Jon Snow and James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser were the last things on my mind from the moment I locked my front door to the moment I opened it once again. However, fifteen minutes after I walked in the house I had the remote in my hand. I do this because …

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 Challenge – Week 22

52essays2017

A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

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