[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,