My Fangirl Story is a regular feature in which members of our team share our fangirl origin stories. Our journeys have similarities and differences, but they all result in us becoming the people we are today. Kris kicked off the first post on this topic last month with My Fangirl Story: Han Solo, My First Crush. Read on for the first chapter in my tale…
Being a fangirl isn’t about loving just one thing. It’s about loving so many things – usually too many. Becoming the fangirl I am today was a multi-step process, and I’m going to try to start at the beginning to share with you My Fangirl Story. It all began with the Backstreet Boys.
You probably know that I’m a big One Direction fan – how could you not, if you read this blog? But what you might not know is that One Direction wasn’t my first boy band. For that you have to go all the way back to when I was 9 or 10 years old. The Backstreet Boys’ self-titled album was the first CD I ever owned… and from the moment I received it I was hooked.
They were my very first fandom, followed closely by the Spice Girls and *NSYNC at around the same time. I dove headfirst into the world of the Backstreet Boys. I learned everything I could about each of the members (except, let’s be real… I only actually cared about Nick and Brian). Gathering all of this information was much more difficult in the days before the internet. I pored over teenybopper magazines and my friends and I gathered at school to discuss all the tidbits we had collected.
I learned the lyrics to every single Backstreet Boys song – a first for me – and sang them every chance I got. A few friends and I even put together a BSB routine for our school’s air band competition. I was Nick, and he was my favourite (no shame!). I felt every single feeling that you are supposed to feel when you’re loving a boy band, according to Kris’s post What is the Definition of a Boy Band?. This obsession lasted for a few years before I started to move past it.
As I grew older, I became interested in other types of music. But whenever the Backstreet Boys released a new album, I would happily check it out and sink into the beautiful nostalgia of loving a boy band. When they took a break and faded into obscurity, they also faded out of my life. Even though they weren’t at the forefront of pop culture and my mind any more, they were still there as my first fandom love. Still today I am hit with that boy band feeling each time a BSB song comes on, and I’m happily able to sing every word.
The Backstreet Boys were important to me because they introduced me to the world of being a fangirl: obsessing over celebrities and songs, learning everything you possibly can about them, feeling special just because you are listening to their music, and dreaming of one day seeing them perform live.
All of this culminated a few years ago when I attended their concert in Edmonton during their Unbreakable tour. They played the old classics and many of the new songs, and each member performed a song from their respective solo projects too. I remember crying at the concert because I finally – finally – was in the same room as the band that had shaped my pre-teen years. I was a fan of the Backstreet Boys unapologetically, and that is how I have loved everything since.
Were you into the Backstreet Boys too? What was your first fandom? Tune in often for more installments in each of our fangirl stories!
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