Fangirls Vs. Nerds

Zion Smith, Staff Writer

Here’s the deal Bingham. With: Star Wars having just came out, J.J. Abrams having
made Star-Trek even better, and Marvel paving the streets with new movies, (DC being close at
their heels, of course) being obsessed with obscure fictional material is almost cool again. Here
we meet a problem, however, because the ways in which we show our fanaticism are becoming
mixed up. The case in question is that of the “fangirl” versus that of the “nerd.” And that, is
unacceptable.
“I own every piece of (Add name of Sci-Fi character here) merchandise possible! My
lunch box cost too much at Hot Topic, and it has fake aging on it to look vintage. I have a poster
of every one of my favorite fantasy characters plastered on my walls. If anyone has an opinion
(about anything that could be considered nerdy) that is not mine, I will argue with them until they
concede to my superior knowledge over them about any given topic. Everything I know about
(add name of fandom here) came from YouTube and social media. I know; I’m a true nerd.”
No, no you’re not. This, my fine students of Bingham High School, is called fangirling. (I
would say fanboying, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way.) It should in no way, ever,
be considered nerdiness. While both being perfectly fine, and both having gained a position of
respect since May, 1977; the year the first star wars came out, (I Googled it, no shame.) they are
not, and will never be, the same thing.
Webster’s online dictionary puts it like this: Fangirl: a girl or woman who is an extremely
or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something. For our purposes, this applies in no way just
to girls. We’re all probably guilty of at least a bit of this. Spend three hours in Hot-topic looking
at every piece of merchandise for your favorite Superhero- fangirl. Quote internet memes about a
movie while watching it- fangirl. Get in arguments about who’s the hottest actor- fangirl. All of
these things are fine, but are, by definition, being extremely or overly enthusiastic about certain
topics, or, fangirling.
Webster’s also has this to say: Nerd: a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social
skills or is boringly studious, or, a single-minded expert in a particular technical field. So, if
you’ve read every issue of a comic book series ever published, you qualify as a nerd. Spend the
whole day at Comic Con buying collectible card game sets to be the first one of your friends to
have them: nerd. Fail at explaining Einstein’s theory of special relativity to your completely
uninterested friends: also nerd. These are the kind of people who quote Aristotle indirectly
through Mister Spock in casual conversation. By now I hope you’re starting to see the
difference.
Now, here’s the problem: we have a lot of people around good ol’ Miner town that think
they are the biggest nerds in the school. Mostly because they’ve found more trivia than anyone
else while spending way too much time online. Meanwhile, the real nerds are in the library,
reading two thousand page books while listening to the “Lord of the Rings” soundtrack. What
I’m really talking about is the kind of Fangirl (or boy) who insists on being a nerd despite
obvious discrepancy in definition and behavioral patterns.
Though I don’t find fangirls/boys in quite the negative light I’ve given them in this
article, I do insist that they do not disgrace the real nerds, by thinking, and even claiming that
they are “nerdy.” It’s great to be a fan of something. It’s not a bad guilty pleasure to spend long
amounts of time online researching things so we can have a competent conversation with the real
nerds. But for goodness sake, Hot-topic trips and binge watches of TV shows will never be the
same as owning a Captain (Jean Luc) Picard Pez dispensers and arguing about whether or not
time is the fourth dimension or the fifth.
And maybe, next time you see someone playing the Pokémon card game on the hallway
floor, or holding a stack of extremely long books that they finished in the last two days, pay them
some respect. And hey, fangirls, while louder, more social, and more cinema-oriented, are great
too! There is nothing wrong with showing why it’s so cool to like Sci-Fi and wearing
merchandising that us mere mortals won’t ever understand. And those people are the ones who
made it cool so awesome to dress up like favorite characters and go to midnight showings.Them,
and George Lucas.