Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The one where I talk about being a fangirl nerd

And where I share cool concert pictures.

As much as I love The Big Bang Theory, Penny said something in a recent episode that really irked me. When Leonard accompanies his friends to a Star Trek convention for the weekend, she has nothing but negative things to say about it. They're grown men with stable jobs, Penny says. Why would waste their time on something for children? As if anything that's meant for children is automatically bad.

My dad pointed out that Penny didn't really think this, and that she was just angry that Leonard left her by herself all weekend. After all, she probably works a lot of weekends (and other hours that are different from his), so their time together is already limited. But the sad thing is that there are lots of people out there who genuinely believe things like this. Any time something is targeted to children (or even tweens or teens), they automatically dismiss it as tripe without giving it so much as a second thought.

I've blogged in the past about why I think people do this: Children and teens are more emotional than adults, and our society looks down on outward, bold expressions of emotion. And any adult who advocates something for children, who are emotional to a fault sometimes, must have emotional problems themselves. Or so they say.

If one of these aforementioned people looked through my iPod, they'd probably have a heart attack. My most and recently played lists include One Direction (who, interestingly, have a song title "Heart Attack"), the Jonas Brothers, Backstreet Boys, and a whole plethora of other artists that have previously been associated with children. The Backstreet Boys are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, and most of their fans are adults now. But people still associate them with the tween image that they started out with. And they always will because, for some reason, they either can't or won't see them as they really are now.


The transition from teen to adult artist is difficult for this reason. Fans of a band want the band to be taken seriously because they want to be taken seriously as individuals. The Jonas Brothers fandom is going through this right now, and it's only going to get worse over the next few weeks. Yesterday, the boys announced the name of their new single -- Pom Poms. No that's not a typo or a joke. Their first single in nearly four years, with an obvious attempt over the past few months to target an older audience, and their first single conjures up images of cheerleaders and was even shot on a high school football field.

Okay, so this isn't actually a high school field. But it's still awesome. (source)

At this point, the fans are split. Some are worried that the boys won't be taken seriously by adults if they're still singing about high school. Others (like me) insist that some people will never take them seriously no matter what and that it's useless to stress over, especially when we haven't even heard the song yet. But you know what? Getting upset at someone who expresses this fear is just as bad as writing the song title off as stupid or childish.

Transitioning in to the adult world is tough, even if you're not a famous boy band. The "real world" is so diverse that there will always be people who don't like you, no matter who you are. Fortunately, very few people who found out that I like the Jonas Brothers have reacted negatively. But if there is anyone out there who chooses to do so, nothing is going to change their minds. It doesn't matter that I graduated with honors from both high school and college -- clearly I'm stupid because of the music I like. It doesn't matter that I have a full-time job. It doesn't matter that I'm a writer who is working on getting published and has jumped through numerous hoops to get as far as I have (and I've barely even begun). The fact that I write for teens will probably only convince them further. Because there will always be people like this. Period.

And that's disheartening. It's disheartening to think that you can work your butt off for years and have a list of credentials sky high, only to be written off because of something so insignificant. And when I was younger, I was immensely worried about this. And I kind of still am, but to a much lesser degree. The fun part about growing up is that you stop caring so much about what people think about little things like what music or books you like. Because really, it's none of their business, so if they care so much...well, that's really more their problem than yours.

Oh, I also have a list comparing the Jonas Brothers fandom to the TV show Frasier.