Feminism, Fangirls and the Fandom

feminism fangirls fandom

I am a really big advocate of all things fandom. I love to be a fan, and I love to talk to other fans, and I love fanfic. In short: I love being excited about things! I didn’t always know what fandom was – for me now, being active in the fandom is not just liking something, but liking something and connecting with other people about it. (Probably over the internet, but not necessarily.)

Fandom has not just been about discovering the community. It’s more than the actual fandoms themselves: although I’m pretty new to everything, it’s essentially been my doorway into learning more about feminism and diversity and current issues. It’s really interesting to look at the demographics of the fandom in comparison to that of the characters in fanworks.

Personally, I feel as though the fandom – through the way I experience it – is largely women. But I often see articles saying talking about being a girl geek as though we’re in a minority? Maybe this used to be more true; I’m not sure. (And sadly I don’t have a TARDIS.) Is a fangirl different to a fan or a geek or a nerd? I don’t feel like it should be, but in my mind it’s more closely linked with someone…kind of like Cath Avery. And also maybe like me. I thought this was just my brain, but it seems like it’s true that the creators of fanworks (I’m kind of using this to talk about fanfic, art, edits, podfic, all that kind of thing) are mostly female.

The gender disparity is really, really wide when it comes to fanwork creation. It’s quite unusual for me to see a fanartist, writer, or blogger who isn’t female. I mean, It’s difficult for me to talk about fandom as an entire entity because at it is essentially ‘I like something and I participate on the internet about it’, and I am definitely not capable of collecting statistics for the entire internet. But as someone young and new in the fandom, the concept of ‘fan’ as a male role bemuses me because coming into the fandom in recent years I’ve never experienced it that way.

Do I think we shouldn’t call ourselves fangirls? For a while, I thought that it was kind of a negative term, but it can better to change those views than the actual word itself. Although some fans might get on your nerves, that’s not everyone! I find that in most part people who call fangirls stupid etc. don’t tend to be part of the fandom. I’m happy to call myself a fangirl. However, even within the fandom I think there’s negativity towards people who are quite fierce in their shipping. (Also: I keep trying to find a place to put this stat, but I haven’t found it yet. Apparently most slash shippers are LGBTQ+, which admittedly was not something I had thought. It feels like there’s an idea they’re mostly straight?)

Even as I say that the creators of the fandom are predominantly women, the subjects of their works are usually men. It’s a really strange relationship. Probably because it’s strange how mainstream media is populated by white men… I mean, fic is even more overwhelmingly male than actual published fiction. Fic is still remixing something already there, and what’s already there tends to be men.

I have a lot of strong feelings about fanfiction. I would happily give a fully PowerPoint-ed presentation explaining why it is an excellent thing. There’s this idea that it’s all terrible and terribly written, and whilst there are some maybe less good examples, they’re not the only fics out there. There are also trashy books, in case you hadn’t noticed. (I like some fics more than books. I admit it.) And one of the things that I enjoy the most about fic is the diversity, because I kind of end up wanting everyone to be queer and that can definitely happen in fic.

The spectrum of diversity and representation in fandom is really varied. In canon queer elements tend to stay in subtext a lot; even though there’s starting to be more representation of LGBTQ+ characters and same-sex relationships in mainstream media, it’s still not…that much. Whereas most fanfiction on AO3 features a non-straight couple.

RETURNING TO MY POINT. I love fanfiction because people write pieces that are both diverse and well-written. You can find awesome fics about queer characters that both a) don’t erase their queerness or struggles and b) have excellent plots and writing. can we have this in books as well pls Or you can even write it yourself! But, I mean, whilst fic can have a really diverse cast in relation to sexualities, there are less fics with characters who are any gender other than male. If you go into the Archive of Our Own tags and plug the numbers into a calculator, the ratio of f/f to m/m is about 2:15. Which is a lot. There was a great conversation on Twitter about LGBTQ+ characters in YA fiction and the media — about the fetishization of m/n/, and the lack of f/f — which is also very true for fanfiction. And here is another post about queer girls as a cautionary tale in literature, including some stuff about the fandom. Fic isn’t without its problems.

I love the fandom. I am ever-grateful to it. It would be nice if fanfiction and books could help each other out over a nice cup of tea — the only way to do it, darling — and then I can find even more things to be excited about than before.

Makeup is not Beauty

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I’ve recently been listening to some of my friends say: “I hate people who wear mascara. Makeup isn’t what makes you beautiful.” And I was just thinking that, well, I agree. Makeup does not make you beautiful. I will now direct you to a post on Schmirfle Blogs.  Come back here when you have read it. You may also want to see what I already have said on this topic here.

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I hope that if you are reading this then you have followed my instructions. If not, then follow them. They’re important. If you have, then congratulations. Let’s get onto the point.

Although makeup does not make you beautiful, that isn’t the only reason people wear it. Makeup isn’t just to make you ‘pretty’ or ‘confident’ or whatever. It’s just makeup. It’s like drawing, or painting or sketching. Except on your face, and you wear it around. Although makeup can be vain, it can also be creative and fun. Makeup isn’t just for people obsessed with what they look like, and don’t judge people by it.

It’s just makeup.

Things I’ve learnt from Horror movies

Hey, it’s Anna again! First of all, I must apologize for my weirdness in my introductory post. I also apologize for the weirdness in this post, too.

I don’t usually watch horror movies, for the simple reason I get terrified extremely easily, but also because I notice they seem to always have a recurring theme. (I’ve learnt some very important life lessons from films, so pay attention…)

    • People in scary films, are, in fact, idiots. It honestly doesn’t matter if they are super clever or intelligent in the actual film, because if anyone enters a spooky deserted mansion, they will automatically switch to being utter nutcases. Like this-
    • The characters are guaranteed to call out, “Hello? Anyone there?” or something stupid like that. Seriously, the murderer isn’t going to pop out of a closet, wave while brandishing an ax, and say, “Oh, yeah, hi there! Just waiting to kill you in a random closet! Go on, get back to screaming hysterically! Have a nice day…”
    • Some moron will have a handy idea, and suggests everyone should split up. This is a bad idea.I don’t even need to explain this.
    • Hiding under the table/blanket/bed will not make you immune to being murdered, I’m afraid to say. Apologies if I just crushed your hopes.

I’ve been ill all week, so that’s all I can write for the moment. Bye, Anna! x Paint.the.Sky (my blog)

A Short Note on What Will be Forthcoming from my Blog

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll probably have noticed that I don’t blog about much in particular. I generally compile and regurgitate what other people have said about beauty. I occasionally come out with something original.

I’ve been feeling a bit like my blog is slowing down at the moment. So, from now on, I’m going to be trying to tell you something different from what everyone else is saying – what I’m saying. I want to tell you something different and I want to tell you what’s going on inside my head, because no one else but me can tell you that. I will be posting about beauty as well, but I’ll try and make it more interesting. I hope you guys are going to stick with me!

Apple xx

The Pointlessness (or not) of Stories

Don’t get me wrong; I love writing stories. You probably didn’t know but I actually really like stories. Reading them as well as writing them.

But sometimes, I just get a feeling that it’s all a bit pointless. This was brought to my attention recently by an article in the newspaper about an author who wrote about his life, which was fairly normal. First, though, before I get to that, here is an excellent quote, from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which is an excellent book:

Author’s Note  image

This is not so much an author’s note as an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago: This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.

Neither novels or their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.
I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Although I agree with this (and dissecting books sentence by sentence in English ruins them completely and forever) it’s also not quite true. There are things you can learn from stories – one of them being the power of words, and another one being that words are useless.

Books are places to escape in. You get into the world, but then you have to leave it. It breaks a little bit of me each time I have to stop reading an amazing book. And I have to accept that it’s just not real.  When I write, I always try to think of something to break this pattern, to make the story real and not just a story, but I can’t without ruining the plot. So I guess I’ll just keep on going like that, until I either become a good enough writer to convey this or someone invents something amazing.

Still, the question is always there, in the back of my head: do the words I’m writing mean anything, or are they just part of a story?

Words And a Pen

Is Makeup Vain?

Considering that I blog most of the time about ‘beauty’ (of the face/skin/makeup kind) I thought I’d share my thoughts on something that has been crossing my mind recently…

Is makeup, the thing I blog about, vain?

If you look up the single word ‘vain’ up on Google, then you’ll get this:

having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth.’

Well, to get this straight, I don’t think that about myself. Still, makeup is in effect a thing that only changes what people see on the outside. Isn’t that a bit stupid? And old fashioned?

Basically, yes.

Then why do I blog about it?

Although there is a part of makeup that is like art and you can express your emotions, I don’t have the experience or money to do that kind if stuff. All in all, I share tips for cheap and easy makeup.

I don’t really feel like I should  have good reasons. We’re not supposed to judge books by their covers and take appearances to seriously etc. etc, which I definitely agree with, but somehow, against everything, I enjoy writing about beauty.

That is my reason for blogging about beauty: I love it. What about you? What do you think? Is that reason enough?

If you have any opinions about this topic then I’d love it if you commented below (I’m sometimes too scared so don’t be) or emailed me at j.applesmail@gmail.com

I’ll be seeing you all again soon,

Apple xx

Fashion vs Beauty

Which do I prefer? Fashion, or beauty? Hmm. This post will consist of pros, cons, ramblings and such (as usual). And, one twelfth of the way to Christmas is almost complete. It is totally normal to start counting down to Christmas in January, by the way!

Why Fashion is Awesomer than Beauty:

Clothes (and shoes, accessories etc.) last a lot longer than any potions or makeup, unless you grow fast.
Clothes (and all the rest) don’t run out.
Clothes can be mixed, matched and revamped a lot easier than makeup.
Fashion is two thirds of the look. Beauty is only a third, and confidence is the extra quarter. Of course, your character is way more important, but I’m not going to dissect characteristics into fractions.
You can buy vintage clothes, but never vintage make up.
You can wear a party dress without makeup to a party, but wearing party makeup with normal clothes can be an everyday look.

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Reasons why Beauty is Awesomer than Fashion:

It’s on the whole cheaper. I would spend £20 on a jumper, but not on eyeshadow.
It’s easier to ‘express yourself’.
You change clothes every day, but you don’t change faces as often.
You can pamper yourselves with face masks and stuff, but you can’t really do that with fashion.
You can recreate a look you’ve read about by buying the same products; it’s harder to buy the same clothes as that girl in the photo. They might even not sell them any more.

And what do I think? It’s hard. I think I like writing and thinking about beauty more than fashion, but clothes are more important. Not that I’m particularly knowledgable about fashion. But, it’s a close call – it’s so annoying when someone says they can’t decide, though, so I didn’t want to leave you hanging.

I hope your January is going well!

Apple xx

Opinions on the mascara & the internet

I just thought that I’ve done quite a lot of makeup reviews and tutorials so today I’m going to talk a bit about my opinions on mascara & the internet. Ok, so mascara is makeup but I’m talking about my opinion on it. Just for the purpose of this, ok? Hehehe.

What do I think about mascara?

Ok, so, there are quite a lot of girls at school who wear tons of mascara and no other makeup. I do not understand it. Sure, mascara is pretty cool and it can look really nice, but not when you wear that much.

Myself, I’d rather wear foundation/tinted moisturiser and have nice skin but have normal lashes than have super long, spidery lashes but horrible skin. All that mascara just looks horrible. I’m sorry. I just need to rant about this.

And what about the internet? Is it a good or bad thing?

I used the internet probably earlier than I should have, discovering the forums on an adoptable website at about 11. I found that being able to be whoever I wanted, in a place where there were people like me was really nice. I didn’t give away any personally details and it was all fine, still is.

Being able to be however you want on the internet is also a bad thing. I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories where a teenager has met up with this person they met online and they turned out to be a creepy old man. These are very serious, but also very rare. If you’re sensible, then it’s pretty unlikely anything bad would happen.

I find the internet is an amazing thing: it can connect you up with people around the world, help you to become a stronger and happier person than you were before. It does have its flaws, like cyber-bullying and anonymity, but hopefully you can tell an adult or responsible person about this and get it sorted out.

So, basically, I think the internet is a good thing!

Tell me a bit about your opinion below and stay tuned for more stuff from me!

Apple xx