Emma en Jan Vertonghen - Fans

About fans, winners, and everything inbetween: a call for taking selfies with Vivianne Miedema

Today I would like to talk about a theory that I’ve come across quite often both in my day-to-day life, as well as in popular media. It’s the theory that divides the world in two groups of people: the Winners, and the Fans.

A true fangirl

Until a few years ago, I was a true fangirl. For those of you that do not know what this means, I’ll explain. A fangirl (often but not exclusively female), is someone whose life is partly focused on a famous person (or multiple famous people). The classic fangirl has accounts on several social media dedicated to this celebrity, spends her allowance on posters/cds/concert tickets, and like a true Jehova’s Witness, tries to convince family and friends of how amazing their celebrity of choice is. 50-years-of-frenzied-fans-6From the fans of the Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC ‘back in the old days’ (the 90’s), to the many, many girls that anno 2016 send out dozens of tweets each day about One Direction, Five Seconds of Summer of their favourite YouTuber. Basically, The Fan.

Exactly on the opposite side of that, according to the popular theory, is The Winner (male/female). This Winner is not a fangirl, but the object of adoration of the earlier mentioned girls. The Winner works to achieve their goals every single day, sees global stars as their equal (because at the end of the day, we’re all just people, right?) and will never, absolutely never, be seen in public displaying the behaviour typically associated with The Fan. For example, The Winner would never take a selfie with Vivianne Miedema after a game of the Dutch women’s national team, because he/she is afraid that act is perceived as being ‘not cool’.

For most of my life, I was The Fan. From Leontien van Moorsel, a Dutch cyclist, to the cast of Glee, to the members of the American women’s national soccer team, time and time again I found someone to look up to. And while having an idol is a good thing, I think there’s something substantially wrong with dividing the world into Winners and Fans. It is very possible to strive after the best in your own life, and at the same time think someone else is amazing.

Fans and Winners, unite!

That’s why I’d like to call for a cross-pollination between Fans and Winners, so hopefully, we can one day drop these labels altogether. Professional soccer players, don’t feel too cool for school and take that selfie with your idol. Succesful businessmen and -women, put your pride aside and send that praiseful tweet to someone whose book you absolutely loved. And fangirl, give yourself a little credit. There’s nothing wrong with having a Tumblr-page full of photos of One Direction, but realise that you can achieve great things in life too.

kelleyoharaSo, dear reader, if the American women’s national soccer team is in The Netherlands again sometime in the future, and you see me taking selfies with one of the players, know that I’m not ashamed of anything. I’m neither a Winner nor a Fan, but simply a 22-year old soccer player with a secret crush on Kelley O’Hara. And unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about that…

Thanks for reading, talk soon! 🙂

Emma - Signature

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