Have you ever been so immersed in a fictional universe that you couldn’t stop thinking about it? Did you have the urge to discuss a character’s poor choices with somebody else? If the answer is yes, then you are lost to this world. Welcome to the fandom life! We have a lot of feels, headcanons, and ships.
While some communities are more conflictual than others, they are mostly safe places where their members can explore their newfound interests. As somebody who is part of quite a few fandoms, allow me to share my favorite things about this subculture:
Mass-media gives a voice to the ones who can’t speak up for themselves. The stereotypical protagonists make way for flawed, complex, and diverse characters. They tell the story of the discriminated, different, and nonetheless beautiful people who had been shut away until recently. Their message is that your experiences don’t define your worth, they are just a part of your story arc.
Besides, finding characters you can empathize with validates your experience and empowers you. For example, the Marvel superhero Black Panther is a role model for many people of color. Unfortunately, Chadwick Boseman, the actor who brought him to the screen, has past away recently. Nonetheless, his fans will keep his memory alive.
It sparks creativity
Inspiration comes back when you least expect it. Many artists start creating again after a long block because they have an idea based on the book or movie they enjoy. Usually, somebody comes up with an idea, somebody else draws it, then others do their versions. They are so many talented people in every fandom! Their cosplays are on point and the fanart is a joy to the eyes. It’s risky to admit, but the fanfiction is sometimes better than the original story. Being part of a fandom can be a fulfilling journey back to finding one’s creativity.
It brings people together
Common interests spawn debates, discussions and, if you are lucky enough, friendships. Fans worldwide unite to talk about their favorite characters and to share theories about certain scenes. Everybody can partake or simply read other’s insights. The sense of inclusiveness is the reason why many choose to still hang around in chat groups even if they have moved on from a particular fandom.
I think a person’s fandoms are like a business card in some circumstances. Even if you talk to a stranger who likes a certain book, movie, or game, you already know what they stand for. Moreover, you never ran out of things to talk about with a fellow fan!
For all those reasons and many more, being part of a fandom can be an enjoyable experience. Socialize with like-minded people and let your enthusiasm shine through! Life, in all its forms, is worth living to its fullest – that means daydreaming about dragons too!