An Exploration of My Old Instagram Usernames
How the world of fandoms changed my social media experience.
The legacy of being a fangirl is embarrassing and nostalgic at the same time.
My first fandom was the Percy Jackson fandom, and from the age of 12 to 18 I racked up a fair few fandoms for both YA fantasy and dystopian books, and tv shows.
I lived during the era of prime-time fangirlism. I mean the SuperWhoLock Tumblr era and the era that fandom people wore the "normal people scare me" t-shirts, and I loved it.
I couldn't get enough, and if you were to ask me now which fandoms I'm in/was in, we'd be here a very long time. From Teen Wolf to Divergent, I fell in love with characters and their fantasy worlds very very quickly, because as a 14 year old who had a lot of spare time and felt like she didn't have many friends, I found comfort in the escapism to other worlds.
This escapism only lead to me literally inhaling anything related to the fandoms. Merch, spin-off shows and phone wallpapers were all in my arsenal to becoming the biggest fangirl ever. And then I discovered the fandom side of Instagram...
This account came to life when I was 15, and I created photo edits for a range of fandoms. Percy Jackson, The 100, The Hunger Games and Teen Wolf were just the tip of the fandom iceberg. I thought I was the goddess of technology making those edits, when in reality they were probably embarrassing and terrible. But, I gained followers and created friends from those edits, so I was happy.
If you google that username today chances are you won't find any edits, but you will find my Wattpad account. My "Thomas Brodie-Sangster Imagines" has over 250K views, and my other stories are both close to 100K. I created those stories around the same time as I created the edits, and I left them online just to see if there are still people today fangirling over the same things I did. And there are, because I get emails every time someone comments on my writing, and I'm glad there are still 14 year olds geeking over Thomas Brodie-Sangster just like I did.
By the time I was 16/17 I upgraded my username. I focused less on my book fandoms and redirected my edits towards tv shows and films. The username itself was a mashup of two last names of characters from Teen Wolf. Scott McCall + Stiles Stilinski = mccallinski. Don't judge me.
I had also upgraded my edits and started out video editing. I spent a lot of time scrolling through the 'gram watching everybody's talented edits and fully submerging myself into the world of edits. I thought they were so cool and creative and I wanted to be just like the people who created them.
The fandom of Teen Wolf took over my teenage years and I was fully obsessed. I had "lol ur not dylan o'brien" t-shirt, I had posters and Funko Pops and I had a burning desire to have Derek's Hale tattoo on my body.
Since first discovering the show when I was 14, I have rewatched it so many times. The first season alone is my comfort show and I love it. Even seven years later it is still one of my favourite shows and although the fandom has died down, I still keep up to date on what films Dylan O'brien is, and I still completely fangirl over it. (I'm looking at you @notokaymovie for reigniting my love for that man!!)
I got to 18 and you know that feeling when you want to be perceived as cool but you don't want to get rid of the things that you believe make you who you are? That's what happened when I transitioned from mccallinski to stilinchester.
Once again the username was a mashup of two last names, this time one from Teen Wolf and one from Supernatural. Stilinski + Winchester = stilinchester. Again, don't judge me.
This time I stayed away from the edits and started merging my fangirl life with my normal life. I'd post pictures from these tv shows, and post pictures from my own life. It was a way of showing the people who followed me for fandom content that I was a cool person IRL, and it was a way of telling my IRL friends that I loved Teen Wolf and Supernatural, like a lot.
What I can take away from this exploration is that I cannot believe that I was once so submerged in the world of fandoms. Like I said, looking back on it now, it's both embarrassing and nostalgic. Those fantasy worlds provided me comfort and happiness in some of my hardest times and I'll always be grateful for those worlds.
Even today, as I write this, I'm sat wearing an old Supernatural merch tee. I guess it's true after all, you can take the girl out of the fandom, but not the fandom out of the girl!
HONOURABLE MENTIONS THAT DIDN'T LAST LONG:
@wincofield (Winchester from Supernatural and Schofield from Prison Break)
@mccargents (McCall and Argent from Teen Wolf)
"when in doubt, blame Greenberg" (Teen Wolf reference)
"I'm Teen Wolf and Supernatural trash tbh"
"I write fanfic, not bios" (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HOW EMBARRASSING IS THAT)
If you enjoyed this article then please make sure to leave it a little heart to show your love, subscribe, and even leave me a tip if you're feeling nice!
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram on my nice, normal, non-fandom username @leighooper.
If you want to start your own Vocal journey and share your favourite fandom head HERE!
Thanks so much for reading, see you soon!