The Theology of Shipping

The+Theology+of+Shipping

Hannah White, Staff Writer

We’ve all heard the slang of teenagers – YOLO, hashtag, BAE, swag, cray-cray, totes, JKJK, LOL, and BT-dubs.  And of course, who can forget shipping?  No, not as in shipping a package or shipping as in boats – shipping as in the love kind of shipping (“ship” being short for “relationship”).  According to dictionary.com, shipping is “the act or practice of taking an interest in a romantic relationship between fictional characters or famous people, whether or not the romance actually exists.”  And yes, this is actually a thing – a very big thing, in fact.

While some of these fandom “ships” include Percabeth (Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase from Rick Riordan’s novels) and Zelink (Princess Zelda and Link from The Legend of Zelda) they actually exist.  However, in all this fiction, you still get Dramione (Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter) and Jelsa (Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians and Elsa from Frozen), which didn’t and/or can’t happen.  Junior Irelynd Brown says, “My OTP (One True Pairing) ship is Dramione but I’m leaning more towards Jelsa because their chemistry is so fly.”

So, what’s the point?  Why do so many people go through the pains of shipping people together, especially if they never existed in the first place?  Junior Sarah Jenson says, “Shipping is completely weird until you start shipping.  It’s like addicting.  You start with your Dramione and Percabeth and next thing you know you’re finding ships in two people that passed each other in a hallway.  It’s cathartic in a way.  Even though it didn’t happen in the books, or wouldn’t really happen in real life, you can pretend and imagine a world where they’d be perfect together.  Life doesn’t have perfect . . . romances, but shipping does.  That’s why I love it.”

But here’s the deal.  It goes beyond the mere world of fiction and celebrities.  For some, shipping has extended to become a part of everyday life.  Some people ship their best friends with certain guys (my friend has shipped me with about twenty different guys . . . “Jannah” was a thing last year, apparently) As Sarah Jenson said, shipping may even extend to people in a school hallway.  Even teachers may join this shipping escapade (see Faculty Room article).

Whether shipping takes place in fandoms, reality, or even the smallest flickers of hope, it’s a part of pop culture, and who knows how long it will last?  I guess we’ll all have to either start shipping or deal with it for however long it does.