Imagine being a fangirl* living in a dreamworld and discovering some of my writing, or perhaps someone else's writing on a blogsite like Anti Kpop-Fangirl or Asian Junkie, or maybe just stumbling across some other factlet out there that doesn't please your fangirly predilections. You're driven by a sense of righteous indignation - "this can't be happening to your fave!" your friends say, so damned if you're not going to go straight to the comments section to stick up for your precious bias. Once you arrive, you start checking out the content and something very unexpected happens - some of what you're seeing actually makes sense. Cogs inside your mind start turning - uh oh. How is your fragile fangirl psyche going to cope with these new revelations? Could medical intervention be the only solution?
Sadly it's not that simple. The stripping away of fangirl delusion is a loss, and losing a psychological crutch can (depending on severity) be just as painful as any other type of loss, and involves grief. It's said by psychologists that grieving happens over seven stages, and helping to understand these seven stages may assist recovering fangirls to expedite the healing process. Let's look at each stage in turn so we can better understand the impact and emotional fallout from finding out that Seungri spunks on Japanese's girls' tits or whatever the problem is with hormonal fangirls this week.
1. DENIAL and DISBELIEFWhen confronted with facts that you may not be ready for as a fan, disbelief cushions the initial impact, allowing you to absorb the new revelations gradually rather than all at once. See the following comments from when a (legitimate) rough demo of EXO's "Wolf" was leaked:
A layer of doubt softens the blow while your brain absorbs the shock and adjusts to the new information. These people could have experienced serious psychological fallout from EXO's atrocious "Wolf" without the layer of protection that denial provided.
2. PAIN and ANGUISHOnce the initial shock wears off, pain sinks in as the truth hits home. Here's a comment on the video "Quit Playing" by U-KISS, which cast the boys in a much more sexualised light than their fandom was used to:
The pain experienced here is palpable. Sorry honey, but your precious angels have money to make so they're doing what's necessary. Diablo 3's new expansion pack won't pay for itself, you know.
3. ANGERFrustration at inability to change the situation at hand may cause you to lash out in anger. See the following response to an Anti K-pop Fangirl article that used new information to cast Taeyeon's cleavage in a disturbing new light:
Sones didn't like the Taeyeon cleavage, and powerless to change the situation, they directed their frustrations outward at the perceived "enemy" - the bloggers and GIF posters highlighting the issue. Their rage blinded them to the fact that those making inquiry into Taeyeon's "pearly volume" were not idle haters casting dispersions on their bias, but scientific truth-seekers attempting to save humanity from the cleavage portal of darkness.
4. BARGAINING WITH A HIGHER POWEREnterprising fangirls may try to bargain with those that they perceive to be in control of the situation for a way out. From the same post as step 3:
Sones tried to start a cyber campaign against deity-like HQ GIF provider fiddle.se to remove the Taeyeon cleavage but even if it were successful it wouldn't have helped change the truth. Information, like Taeyeon's boobies, wants to be free.
5. GUILT and FRUSTRATIONWithout an effective outlet, anger turns inward, firstly in the form of guilt. People coming to terms with a delusion being shattered may ask themselves "Was there anything I could have done? Is it somehow my fault?"
Yes it probably is, for being such a fucking deludu in the first place (you dumb whore). However it's never too late to get onto the path to redemption and rational thinking. Let's hope this random netizen makes it through all the grief stages!
6. DEPRESSIONAnger eventually completely settles into depression. Fangirls may become listless, lose interest in their favourite idols and usual fangirly activities, and succumb to lethargy while crying and ripping up Baekhyun posters. Someone asked me this today:
Like 95% of the questions that come through my ask.fm it's not even an actual fucking question, but whatever. Actually I like to think I've enhanced her life, she's already jumped straight through to stage 6! Sure it sucks to be her right now but it's all uphill from here, baby! Just don't lose patience because depression can be the longest stage of the process, depending on the extremity of the loss.
If on the other hand it's someone you personally know who is affected with irrational fangirl stupid disease, knowing is forewarning, and being forewarned is being forearmed. Now that you know about these seven stages, it won't be long before you can act and respond to crazy fangirls appropriately!
* Or a fanboy. I could have written "fangirl/fanboy" instead of just "fangirl" every time I used it in this post, but being politically correct is just too much fucking typing and it looks messy. Every fanboy is a fangirl in spirit anyway.