Don't Let Haters 'Harsh your Squee'
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I know this can sometimes be a hard task.
If you love something and you're not hurting anyone else by loving it, then go ahead and enjoy it, is what I say.
There are so many ways haters try to put off fans of things:
The Ageist Approach
- The non-fan : you're far too old for something so juvenile, when are you going to grow out of it?
- The young fan: ewww, it's icky that you like something that's supposed to be for young people.
- The older fan: you're far too young to understand what you're talking about.
- Young to young: that's something for old people, you're boring.
I don't care if you're 50 and love One Direction. Good for you! If listening to their music and following their lives makes you happy - you go for it. Or you're 75 and think My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoy it for everything you are worth.
There is no such thing as too old. As long as you aren't exposing minors to things minors should not be exposed to - see how to do it right in the Harry Potter fandom and how to do it wrong with many of the Bronies (male My Little Pony fans) - then enjoy your fandom to the full.
If you are fifteen and love quilting or calligraphy or Shakespeare or even reading, but your friends think it's old fashioned and stupid, don't worry about them. Love what you love.
The Sexist Approach
- Gaming is for men and women are shit at it.
- Fanfiction is only written by women and men can't write it.
Gamergate comes to mind for the first one and I have seen men shunned in fanfiction spaces because they are simply male. This isn't right. If someone is playing by the rules in the fandom, for example, putting warnings on their fiction when they are required and such things, then they should be welcome.
The Simple - Your Choices are Terrible Approach
- Because you're a fan, you must be an imbecile - what you like is terrible.
- Because you're a fan, you must be an imbecile - what you like is silly.
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As for thinking what someone else likes is terrible - you have a perfect right to believe that, however, you had no right to spoil their fun if they aren't hurting anyone with it.
There are so many ways haters can try to take away your enjoyment and I urge every fan to refuse to let it happen. Sometimes you're a fandom of one, but don't be discouraged, there will be someone else out there who likes it too. Sometimes you're in a huge fandom, but your favourite character is the guy who appears in every third episode and sits at the back of the room. Don't worry, love 'guy at the back of the room' and let the world know why you love him.
Write your fanfiction, make your quilts, watch your really bad sci-fi, read the unfashionable book, play the highbrow board game, watch the cartoon - whatever it is you enjoy doing, have fun with it.
Too many things in life can bring you down - love what you love and be proud! Take every opportunity to be happy that you can and ignore the haters.
Have you ever been told your stupid or silly for loving something? What did you do about it?
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