Described (rather harshly) in Urban Dictionary as “a rabid breed of human female who is obsessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Have been known to glomp, grope, and tackle when encountering said obsessions.”
The concept of the modern fan girll tends to have negative connotations, in an era where boy band obsessions in young girls sprout fake social media accounts, bizarre rants on YouTube and all manner of art shared far and wide. Surely more extreme than when we were young, right?
But is today’s fan girl really so different from us? We had the same obsessions, just without the means to so rapidly (and thoroughly) obsess over our idols via the internet.
One woman challenging the perception of fan girls is filmmaker Jessica Leski, whose latest project is a feature documentary called I Used to Be Normal, which explores the phenomenon in Australia and internationally, and crosses the generations from Beatledom to 1D.
The project came about when Jessica, aged 31, quite unexpectedly found herself in love with One Direction. “I hadn’t liked a boy band before, even though I was at school during Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block and Hanson. So it took me over in way that was surprising to me.” Her favourite member? “It was Harry Styles”, she says, giggling.
So how do you know if you were actually a fan girl? If you relate to a few of these, then chances are you were. (And maybe deep down somewhere inside, still are…)