Why I'll Never Let Go of My "Fangirl" Side

Ashley Gale

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I was watching the new Shawn Mendes documentary on Netflix the other day and seeing all those fans in the crowd losing their minds over a musician right in front of them brought me back to my middle school years. I thought to myself “Wow, it’s moments like that I will never regret or forget.”

It is pretty normal for a preteen to fall in love with a member of a boyband and have them, among other celebrities, plastered to the walls of their childhood bedroom. That was me. I had almost every person that was famous from Disney during the years from 2006-2009 somewhere on my light blue wall.

I think my first real fangirl experience was with The Jonas Brothers. I first discovered the late 2000’s boy band when I was in sixth grade. The first song I ever heard from them was their rendition of Busted’s “Year 3000.” I was sitting on the couch one day and the music video came on the Disney Channel and I just couldn’t get that song out of my head. At that moment, it began a moment where I discovered my music taste: Pop.

I wouldn’t consider myself a well known kid in my public school years, but everyone knew I was "the girl obsessed with the Jonas Brothers," even people I didn’t even know. Did that bother me? Not one bit. I wore a giant Nick Jonas button (he was my favorite) that I got from Limited Too (today what young girls know as Justice) every day to school and my binder was covered in photos of them. I just didn’t have a care in the world. I saw them in concert 4 times. 2 in 2008, 1 in 2009 and 1 in 2019. When they released their comeback single in 2019, it truly brought my 7th grade fangirl back out. In 2015, I finally got to meet Nick, it was only for a second or two since it was so rushed, but it was amazing. To any person that is reading this and loves a celebrity just as much as me, never give up on meeting them. Seriously. It may take some time, but one day you will. However, I do NOT condone stalking or invading anyone’s privacy. You can love and support a celebrity by just going to their concerts, buying their records, and hanging pictures of them in your room.

I think my middle school fangirl phase was the highlight. My JB obsession lasted for a couple years until high school. I still loved the Jonas Brothers but there were others I was obsessed with. Which brings me to my Justin Bieber days. They didn’t last long, but when they did it was pretty crazy. I had an entire wall dedicated to him. It lasted for about a year then I took it down and put up other posters.

Those teen magazines were like a bible to me. You know: J-14, BOP, Tiger Beat, Twist etc. Half of those magazines don’t exist anymore. And if they do, they just don’t interest me as much due to the fact I’m now 25 years old. Obviously, I’ve grown out of that phase, but I do look through it if I see it on the newsstands. I always brought one of those magazines to school to look through during my free time. I had it placed nicely on my desk to keep me company in math class. I still have some of them today because I just can’t get rid of the nostalgia. It became overwhelming how many magazines I actually had so I kept covers or posters and put them in a giant binder. It's definitely going to be something I look at again throughout my life.

In college, I loved One Direction. However, I only saw them twice as a band in 2015.

Now, I’m currently in love with Harry Styles. I mean, who isn’t? I’ve seen him three times as a solo artist. His music is incredible, he has a great sense of style and he’s currently filming a movie with Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde. Talk about being on top of the world.

I may have outgrown some of my fangirl tendencies, but I will never not freak out at a concert of my favorite singers. But, I won’t write “I love the Jonas Brothers” all over my arms or tattoo a picture of them onto my face like I have done in the past (please don’t judge me, I was 13).

I’ve gone to over 40 concerts in my lifetime and it’s something I’ll never get tired of. They really are the best. Concerts are the best times to lose yourself in the music and to really take in the environment. You can really think to yourself “Oh wow, the artist I really like is real and right in front of me.”

I’ve met some of my best friends due to being a fangirl, going to concerts, and being a part of “stan Twitter.”

Especially now, since no concerts are happening, I’m behind on my concert behavior. The next concert I’m going to is Harry Styles next September, hopefully.

Why don’t I regret the fangirl side of me? It’s just become a huge part of my personality. It’s not harmful. Fangirls are just super dedicated. Also, being a fangirl and just the obsession of Hollywood made me want to pursue a job in the world of celebrities. That’s why I chose to become a writer: to write about my favorite boy bands or actors/actresses, movies and tv shows. The fangirl in me created a pathway to the rest of my life.

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Writer, concert goer, pop culture expert. I love writing about many topics including celebrities, movies, tv shows and more!

Philadelphia, PA
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