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he doesn’t need my protection

08 Mar
[The ‘Yours in Armitage’ series is a collection of posts documenting my changing perceptions about my celebrity crush on Richard Armitage, using excerpts from past correspondence to help me come to terms with the uncertainties. I’m sharing this writing exercise in order to illustrate the highs and lows a fan can go through]

 

February 17, 2014- admittedly I am protective of Richard, it’s just in my nature and I don’t want to ignore that part of me. he doesn’t need my protection but *I* need to protect him.

Richard Armitage doesn’t need my protection. he doesn’t need me to defend him when others say negative things about him. he doesn’t need me to give background about why he may do or say the things that he does. he doesn’t need it but I need it. at least, I used to. I didn’t want people who didn’t ‘know’ him as well as I did to misunderstand, to judge him unfairly, whether that be in regards to his acting career or his off screen personality. I thought I was setting the record straight. after awhile I realized that the type of negative comments that seemed to be setting me off had to do with my own insecurities, things that I felt Richard and I had in common. makes sense. once I came to terms with that, it became easier to let those types of criticisms slide. but that knee-jerk feeling to defend didn’t go away completely, it was still there, I just chose not to act upon it. then came a slightly different realization: it wasn’t about him (not really), and it wasn’t about me (per se), it was really about fangirling.

for example, in the ‘protection’ scuffles I’ve sometimes found myself in when fangirling, there are generally two sides: those who want to protect the actor from objectification, and those who want to protect their right to objectify. side number one wants to justify their actions by stressing that it’s about the story, the acting, the social themes, etc. it’s not because of the attraction to the actor, it’s so much more than that. side number two wants to admire the natural physical form of the actor, drown in his charisma, revel in his virtual pheromones. when either side starts insulting the other, forcing them to conform, that’s when drama ensues. if I remove all the specifics of these incidents, I realize it’s about justifying the act of fangirling itself; defending why it should be acceptable to do the things that I do in regards to the ‘object of my affection’. what I’m really saying is: I’m not silly or adolescent for giving this such a big space in my life. I’m a grown up and this is a grown up thing. but no matter how I choose to justify it, it’s never going to be true until I believe it myself.

recently RA fandom friend, Guylty, made me a nifty zippered bag from custom designed fabric in exchange for a trade she and I had agreed upon. it was sitting on the coffee table yesterday evening when my husband randomly asked “what’s gnothi seauton mean?” I answered, “it’s Greek. it means know thy self“. he scrunched his brows together for a moment and then said, “oh. I thought it might be Irish, since your friend is from Ireland.” at this point I could have played it off, but why? he knows all about my Richard Armitage fascination, though he often scoffs at it. he knows the bag was made by a RA fandom friend. if I want to be taken seriously, like a grown up, then I need to quit acting like a child who was caught with her hand in the cookie jar. so I answered, “it’s from MI-5. Lucas North had it as a tattoo.” I see the scoff coming but before it does I explain, “they’re all fan symbols. the key is for Thorin, the scorpion for the Strike Back guy. they’re all related to characters.” husband’s head tilts to the side. I proudly continue,” she designed the fabric herself, and sent it away to be printed.” he gives the bag a closer look and then remarks “huh. that’s kind of cool.” yeah, it really is.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly

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15 Comments

Posted by on March 8, 2017 in other

 

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15 responses to “he doesn’t need my protection

  1. SueBC

    March 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Confident, unapologetic fangirling. I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Cill

    March 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I suppose I do the same thing, but most of my fandom clashes have not been about the right to objectify (if that’s what it is), but other matters. One of the most common is the right to defend RA, or at least present my version of events.

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    • Cill

      March 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      And by ‘defend’ I mean defend RA’s point of view, or at least his right to express it, in his political tweets, or defend his choice of roles, or charities, etc.

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      • KellyDS

        March 9, 2017 at 3:35 pm

        and in those instances, when people want him to just be quiet and look pretty, they’re trying to protect their version of him or keep peace within the fandom. that’s not fair to him. even when I don’t agree with him or prefer he’d not take a certain role, I still realize he has the right to do what he feels is best. disagreeing with him does not automatically mean he loses his free will. so many of us (myself included at one time or another) go on the defensive about these types of things, against him or in his name, when really it’s not about him at all :/

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        • Cill

          March 9, 2017 at 3:39 pm

          Yeah, that’s what I understood.
          I guess I was a little confused by the ‘objectify’ part. Is ‘shut up and look pretty’ what you meant by ‘objectify’?

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          • KellyDS

            March 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm

            no, I just used the objectify example b/c it was easiest. when you start talking about ‘rights’ and what’s expected of him b/c he’s in the public eye, etc. it can get harder to keep it concise. by “shut up and look pretty” I was referring to those who think actors should stick to acting and not share other parts of themselves, lest it ruin the ‘image’.

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  3. Guylty

    March 9, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    This is a great topic, Kelly, because so many fandom kerfuffles have erupted over the whole “defend RA against criticism” or “defend criticism against RA fans” issue. I am with you on that one – I don’t think he needs anyone to stand up (or speak) for him, he is well able to defend his POV, his politics, his choices himself. At this stage, I do not bother defending him anyway – it is a thankless task, and controversial discussion of his choices usually sits better behind the scenes. The need to defend him occasionally resurfaces in me, but I tend to defend him in my mind, not on social media. Or possibly in face-to-face conversations. It’s easier to communicate face-to-face than via comment or tweet or e-mail.
    You are making a really interesting point – that the act of defending RA is more about defending one’s own fangirling than *him*. That’s definitely true when discussing RA with non-fans. I regularly feel defensive when RA comes up in conversation with my husband, for instance. And yet, I have given up hiding my interest in and (mostly) unreserved admiration for RA. As you say – we are grown up, this is our interest, and I do not want to belittle that interest by making it a secret. My approach: If I can’t admit to it in front of others, or if my fandom activities are an embarrassment to me, then surely that means that deep down I don’t approve of my own activities???
    In any case, nice to think that your hubs thought the home-made canvas print was cool. If anything, I hope he realises that we are having creative fun with our hobby, and that it is not just drooling over a sexy guy but a fun activity within a community of like-minded people who have much more in common than their supposedly shared obsession with RA…

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • KellyDS

      March 9, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      in my case I think my husband just likes to tease me. he doesn’t like the time fangirling takes away from things that I should be doing instead. that’s on me, and I’ve been trying to manage my time better. but when it comes down to it, I tell him about the different charity drives that regularly happen within the fandom and the different things that we discuss that have nothing to do with Richard, etc. so he knows. unfortunately he also knows about the drama and disagreements too. it’s a community, there’s give and take just like any other. he’s my best friend though and so I tell him all about these things, but just to bring up blogging about a celebrity/being part of a fandom in casual conversation with others? that’s much harder!
      like when your old bookclub members ask what books you’ve read lately and you’re embarrassed to tell them that you’ve only read one actual book a year for the past five years b/c all you read is fanfiction…

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • SueBC

        March 10, 2017 at 3:21 am

        I’m wondering how to have time to read actual books when I’m mainly spending my free time reading blogs! (or writing on mine:) )

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • KellyDS

          March 10, 2017 at 7:47 am

          reading and commenting on blogs does take up a good chunk of time, especially if you follow all the comments as well. and even if I write out a blog post the day before and have it all ready to just transfer over, it still takes more time than I anticipate. there always seems to be a formatting issue or I decide to change the wording once I read back through it, etc. at least on this blog I’m not hunting down all those gifs! it’s fun but it can be a real time suck.

          Liked by 1 person

           
      • Cill

        March 10, 2017 at 7:32 am

        I think that people who don’t fan don’t realize that for many who do, it’s a vital creative outlet. Women in particular seem to get flak for it.

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • KellyDS

          March 10, 2017 at 7:50 am

          yes. it’s perfectly acceptable to scrapbook photographs or craft for the holidays, etc. but creating around an actor or story is not 😦

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          • Servetus

            March 10, 2017 at 11:18 am

            This might interest you — I recommend reading the slides (faster): http://www.sachajudd.com/one-direction

            Liked by 1 person

             
          • KellyDS

            March 10, 2017 at 12:44 pm

            I loved this, so much!! I actually teared up reading it. I don’t know how many times I’ve encountered women online who claim they are ‘tech’ hindered, and I tell them “you know more than you think you do”. posting on forums, blogs, fanfic sites, youtube, etc. gives you a set of skills that you don’t realize you have/understand. I may not be able to tell you why something works or what it’s called but I know how to do it & can visualize using in ways that may not be the ‘norm’. nontraditional thinking and how chasing one curiosity can open you up to a world of undiscovered knowledge, are themes that definitely resonate with me 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

             
  4. Servetus

    March 10, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve run into a bit of this, insofar as I have skills that I can only demonstrate because of “fan” things I’ve done that I don’t necessarily want to share with an employer. A conundrum. But one thing one learns on the job market (as opposed to while coaching job seekers) is how rigid certain kinds of prejudices are.

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