The Expenses of “Fangirling”

By Samantha Reilly

Everyone knows “that girl.” The girl who writes lyrics in her notes, whose closet is full of concert tees and whose walls are covered in the results of a Google image search–or two, or 30. She’s the one who shrieks at just the sound of a name: the fangirl.

Such fangirls invest so much in their celebrity crushes and TV obsessions, both emotionally and economically.

Sophomore Patricia Kolbe poses with her assorted fangirl memorabilia, including concert tickets, photos and album covers. Photo by Samantha Reilly.

Sophomore Patricia Kolbe poses with her assorted fangirl memorabilia, including concert tickets, photos and album covers. Photo by Samantha Reilly.

Sophomore psychology major Patricia Kolbe has been to four One Direction concerts, and paid close to $100 for each ticket. She once travelled as far as Tampa, Fla., from her home in Baltimore to see the band perform. Aside from the money spent on gas and tickets, she has spent even more to maintain her status as a first-rate fangirl.

Kolbe, who owns two One Direction concert t-shirts, said she used to buy a shirt from every concert, until she looked at the prices.

“This year when I went to Nationals Park the shirts were like $50,” Kolbe said. “I used to have my parents pay for it, but I don’t have enough for that, being a college student.”

One Direction concert tickets sell for prices ranging from $50 to $150, not counting the far more expensive VIP and fan packages. The “platinum package” tickets for Maroon 5 recently went on sale for over $600 each. To put it in perspective, that’s over 60 Chipotle steak burritos (with guac, of course).

Freshman economics major Nisha Desai faced a similar problem. Her growing obsession with Bollywood films, she said, has driven her to see more than 100 films on screen, pushing her well past the $200 mark in fangirl investments.

Freshman Nisha Desai poses next to her poster from the Bollywood film, “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” (“This Youth is Crazy”). Photo by Samantha Reilly.

Freshman Nisha Desai poses next to her poster from the Bollywood film, “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” (“This Youth is Crazy”). Photo by Samantha Reilly.

The entertainment industry undoubtedly thrives off of these spend-happy fangirls, but it’s a two-way street. Fangirling is as much an emotional investment as it is an economic one.

“You’ve got to be [a fan] to the point where it damages your emotions, like you can’t function without it,” Kolbe said.

Freshman psychology major Gurleen Virk said she looks at fangirling as a means of family bonding. She began watching the popular British TV show “Sherlock” with her family two years ago and has had a growing obsession with it ever since.

“I love ‘Sherlock,’” Virk said. “I don’t know how to adequately express how much I love that show.”

Freshman math major Erin Stock is a self-proclaimed “Tveitertot” and follows the Broadway star and TV actor Aaron Tveit with persistent affection and dedication.

“I know everything about him because he’s the perfect person,” said Stock cuddling up next to a picture of Tveit on her iPhone.

Fangirling can be fulfilling for some girls, who thrive on Tumblr posts and song lyrics, even if it does come at an immense cost.

Freshman Erin Stock cuddles next to her obsession, Aaron Tveitet. Photo by Samantha Reilly.

Freshman Erin Stock cuddles next to her obsession, Aaron Tveitet. Photo by Samantha Reilly.

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One response to “The Expenses of “Fangirling”

  1. Pingback: The Expenses of Fangirling | Samantha Reilly·

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