The Monthly : 2018-12-01

FRONT PAGE : 86 : 86


84 on Anwen Crawford female fandom and Jessica Leski’s ‘I Used to be Normal’ Too many girls Jessica Leski’s documentar­y (in limited release), there is a brief YouTube clip of Elif, a teenage One Direction fan, reacting to a concert DVD of her idols. She is almost literally beside herself, attempting to expel a sensation too huge to be contained by the body. She moans, weeps, bends double, lifts her hands into the air. This could be called joy, even rapture – actually it looks a lot like grief. One wants to be carried away by a sound – and, within that sound, a sensation – and can of come so close to being so, until the limits of a body, and particular­ly the limits placed upon a girl’s body, drag one back again. This is a kind of agony. Do I seem to give the moment more solemnity than it deserves? Consider the girl fan, and how easy it is to disparage her. She consumes – as we are all obliged to, girls especially, consumer selfhood being what makes a girl acceptably – but too much. She forgets how to regulate her feelings, her appetites; worse, she wilfully abandons her self-regulation of these things. She At the beginning I Used To Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story girlish arts & letters — music

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