What goes on inside the mind of a fangirl?

Yesterday, a fan of Kim Hyun Joong (also a personal acquaintance of mine) had personally approached me and accused me of being vindictive when she read my post about him. She said that I’m being so unfair and one-sided with my post and that I shouldn’t judge him until he’s proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. I didn’t immediately respond to her at that moment. What I did first was to go back to that post, re-read it and reflected on it. Had I been vindictive, unfair and one sided with my post? I don’t think so. I even went by his side of the story that the beating incident only happened just one time. I didn’t even take into account the published reports that he had beaten her up several times during the course of their entire relationship. I didn’t even take the fractured rib into consideration.  Only one thing is crystal clear for me, and that is the fact that he did admit to beating her up in that one incident. He did say that he couldn’t recall how many times he had hit her or at what parts of her body that his fists or palms had landed upon. The fact that a well-built man even has the guts to actually have a physical fight with a woman who is much weaker and smaller than him no matter what the reason may be is just simply despicable. As I’ve already said, one time is more than enough. There should never even be a one time.

That fan even went on to say that the reason for my vindictiveness is because I’m not his fan and therefore I couldn’t see his side. I really just had to laugh at that statement. If more than anything, I firmly believe that the hardcore fans are the ones that tend to be more one-sided when it comes to their idol’s welfare, and even more unfair to the other party because they have already judged her to be a money-seeking and vengeful scorned woman when the fact remains that they don’t even have any idea who she really is or what she went through. I also believe that if only those fans are a lot more open-minded, they would come to realize that the non-fans are actually the ones who are more sound with their assessment since there are no emotional attachment involved on their part. But to be fair, I have to admit too that some non-fans do tend to go overboard with their comments sometimes, as I’m also guilty of it on some occasions. And of course, there are also those people who have been harboring ill feelings towards certain celebrities for the longest time, and who see scandals or controversies as their chance to finally open fire at their hated celebrities under the pretext of an innocent bystander. But all that aside, the bottomline here is that he admitted to the beating. That’s it. No twists nor turns, no buts, no what ifs, none of that BS. Again, no matter what the reason may be, whether it’s the woman who initiated the fight, whether she threw the first punch, or whether she wouldn’t stop pounding on him, there is just no excuse for a man to beat up a woman. Maybe except in extreme cases where she killed or seriously hurt his family members (:P).

I also have to make myself clear that I’m not offended by what she said to me. I know that she’s only stating her own opinion about the matter. If more than anything, I understand her sentiments about it or where she is coming from. And that’s the reason why I’m writing this post. I’ve read a lot of comments from some blogs where some people are asking just what goes on in a fangirl’s mind, because they just couldn’t seem to understand their logic in certain circumstances, such as the case with Kim Hyun Joong. What really does go on in a fangirl’s mind? To really understand a hardcore fan or the typical fangirl, we have to know what goes on in her mind, or what kind of emotions that she tends to feel when it comes to her idol. I don’t claim to have the credibility to touch on this subject matter, although I must say that I do have some insights to it. I’ve read some blogs before that were written by some fangirls or the hardcore fans. As I’ve read the things that they have written, I kept an open mind and tried my best to come up with a fair assessment. And also, I must come clean too and admit that during my younger years (which are not that long ago :P), I was once a fangirl myself, from one celebrity to another. And boy oh boy, I can definitely say that being a hardcore fangirl was never easy. There are really a lot of strong emotions involved. And I mean, A LOT.

Okay, to start with, there are actually two kinds of fangirls, the younger ones which includes children, tweens, teens, and young adults, and the older ones which includes the older adults, parents and even the grandparents. The younger ones are those that are possessed by very strong emotions. They are very passionate and they tend to get overly emotional when their idols get involve in scandals. They are the ones who tend to refuse anyone else’s opinion because only their opinions, or those that are similar to theirs, matter. The older ones are more reasonable, but they can also be a lot more protective of their idols, maybe even more so than the younger ones do. These older fans can also be more patient and more forgiving.

For these two major groups of fans, one thing is clear – they consider their idol as someone who is more than just a celebrity that they admire. For the younger ones, whether they admit it or not, the illusion and fantasy of having the chance to cultivate a relationship with their idol, intimate or not, does exist. That’s why they are the ones who are most affected once they find out that their idol already has a girlfriend, or is already married, or worst yet, already has kids. The older fans are more welcoming of their idol’s intimate relationship with another woman. It’s because these older fans tend to treat their idol like a part of their family instead of a prospective lover. They consider their idol like their brother, or their son or their grandson, or even someone whom they would like for their own daughter or granddaughter to marry someday.

Now what happens when their beloved idol suddenly got involved in a scandal, like being involved in a woman-beating incident, or being caught red-handed using illegal drugs? The first instinct of these fans is, if course, to protect their idol from the harsh words of their critics. They are in a sudden (overly) protective mode, and also in a sudden state of denial. They defend their idol with all their might and deny all allegations. They are willing to turn a blind eye for their idol because they believe that they know him more than enough to be sure that he would never be able to do any wrongdoing in whatever form it may be. Now, that’s just what goes on at the surface. What goes on inside them is more complicated. Inside them, there is that deep feeling of hurt from the scandal that their idol just got himself involved in. They would think and feel that he has been unfairly accused and judged. They tend to sympathize and empathize with him. Added to that deep hurt are the harsh words of those people whom they believe have no right to judge because they don’t know their idol just as much as they know him. There is also that feeling of deep turmoil inside them, because they firmly believe in their hearts that they truly know their idol well enough to say out loud that he is just not capable of committing certain mistakes, and then out of nowhere, he is suddenly accused of a certain crime. For them, if there is one celebrity who can do no wrong, it’s their idol. That’s why it’s not easy for them to just accept the fact that their idol would suddenly be accused of malicious wrongdoings. They will just initially dismiss them as lies or a ploy to bring him and his career down to the ground.  But as the evidences continue to mount, making their idol more and more likely to have really committed that mistake, they will start giving out reasons for his actions. They will turn a blind eye over his mistake. At least for the time being. They will set their own terms and conditions on what would make their idol’s mistake a forgivable one or not. And by no means can anyone tell them what they should or shouldn’t do or feel. Only they can decide that for themselves. There is just nothing anyone can say or do to make them change their minds at this point.

But what if the worst happens and that the allegations against their idol are finally proven true beyond reasonable doubt, or he finally admitted to the wrongdoing and is now asking for forgiveness? This is where things can get much, much more complicated than they already are. For most of the younger fans, this incident can affect them greatly. There would be that feeling of betrayal by their idol. This could leave them disillusioned for many years. For these younger fans, their idols can be likened to their first love, because this is actually the first time that they learn how to truly care and love a total stranger, someone whom, for some, they have never even met or most likely will never meet in their entire lifetime. So it’s more like that these fans have given their unconditional love for that idol, only to be deeply hurt and sorely disappointed in the end. These fans tend to hate as much as they have initially loved. They would now shun him away, that even the mere mention of his name can already leave a sour and bitter taste to their mouth.

Then there is also this group of younger fans who are more than willing to forgive and give him a second chance, but who tend to become more oversensitive unconsciously to their idol’s every word and action. One wrong slip and it’s all over. The adoration will still be there, but not as passionate or with as much fervor as it was before. As time goes by, they slowly move on away from him, leaving him behind in their childhood memories. Then there are the few young fans who will still choose to stick it out till the end, or at least until they find a new idol to adore.

For the older fans, its all or nothing. Its either they forgive him and give him a second chance, or they just drop him off altogether. Most older fans are more forgiving. Since they treat these idols like their family members, these fans are more than willing to forgive and give them that second chance once their idol apologizes profusely and swear by his grave to never do any bad deed again. But for some fans, they can become very disappointed that they will just drop him off from their daily lives. They can become disillusioned too, because for them, there will never be a second time where they could ever follow or admire another celebrity the same way again.

In the end, these fangirls will eventually come around. Or maybe they won’t. But either way, it will have to be on their own terms, and never on the terms of other people. There’s just no point in arguing or reasoning out with them because that’s just a losing battle.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on certain things. People can also look at things in different ways. No opinion can be considered as right or wrong, whether we like it or not. Exchanges of different opinions can be very fun and interesting. But it can also lead to endless and senseless debates, almost like a vicious cycle where both parties just tend to go round and round in a tiring but rather annoying loop. The most important thing is to learn how to respect the opinions of others. Being open-minded also doesn’t hurt one bit. If we don’t like what others have to say, instead of going headstrong against one another, we can always push that ever reliable ignore button.

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