The Intense Madness Of Your Pop-Culture Devotion


A few weeks ago, I asked our readers to send in pictures of themselves showing their obsessive devotion to everything from bands to books, and naturally, they delivered. Inside, a roundup of your fellow readers amazing and often hilarious contributions:

From commenter Spike49: I wish I could tell you these were actually “past” fashion, but I would be lying. These are of me, my sister and friend less than two years ago at the NKOTB concert in San Jose. The t-shirt I am wearing- I’m the jackass in the hot pink arm warmers- is an original from 6th grade that I never got rid of. My sister got her yellow one off ebay. My friend found a sheet set on ebay and had her designer friend make her a dress out of them. There were 4 others with us, and we all looked ridiculous. We honestly thought a ton of people would have done it up like we had, but we were very, very wrong. NOBODY else embraced the absurdity of it all, they were all totally dolled up like they were waiting for Joey to see them from across the arena and take them home (which let’s be honest, is the real absurd behavior). We are not an easily embarrassed bunch so we had a blast and everybody wanted to take our pictures. The real tragedy is that there are no pics of my denim jacket that I wore that night COVERED in NKOTB buttons, tiny ones, giant ones, the works.”

From commenter cosmictuesday: “This photo was my submission to the Mad Men photo contest last summer. I didn’t win, but I was in the top ten for a coupla days before the winners were announced.”

From commenter Bye June: “My friends and I were about 14 when these were taken. We went to Warped Tour mostly for Good Charlotte, and spent a good part of our day waiting around for/stalking the band. It paid off and here’s the proof. It doesn’t look terribly superfan-ish, I don’t think, but when Joel threw a water bottle out into the crowd, we all dove for it. My friend caught it and it sat on her shelf for a couple of years before being thrown out with the recyclables. Oh, and identities have been hidden to protect the innocent/mildly embarrassed.”

From reader Nicola: “I have had a few major obsessions in the past and have the photos to prove it, for years in High School I was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, I read over 30 books on her, saw all the films even “A Ticket to Tomahawk” where she had the illustrious part of “Chorus Girl #4” I had books, bags, and pictures, dear God so many pictures decorating my walls.”

From reader Tazzy: “This is a nice little fan tattoo that spans across the back between the shoulder blades. It represents the love of Avenged Sevenfold. The roman numerals inside the bat wings actually spell out A7X. My daughter designed it.”

From commenter Bunnya69: “I am a HUGE Linkin Park fan and in 2007 I got to see them for the very first time. As a bonus I got to meet them, where I asked lead singer Chester Bennington to sign my arm below the LP logo that I had tattooed a few months earlier. He did and for the rest of the concert I covered it over with a wrist band I had. The next day I had it permanently inked where I can always look upon it and remember what an awesome time I had.”

From reader Helen: “I take a yearly trip to the University of Georgia in Athens with my dad to catch a game. I didn’t attend the school, although my dad did, but I’m a huge fan of their football team. In this photo I’m wearing at least 4 pieces of UGA themed clothing, have a pass for the press box, and am sitting on the back of a bulldog sculpture. I have pics like this going back years.”

From reader Patricia: “This photograph documents a night in November 2009, when a group of college girls went on a date with Robert Pattinson. A Robert Pattinson life-sized and made out of cardboard. For the opening weekend of the second Twilight movie, my friends and I met up and put body glitter all over faces (so we can sparkle like vampires!) and headed off to the movie theatre, where we got so many picture requests with Robert Pattinson. I’m on the far left here with four of my friends, joined with two preteen Twihards, one very inappropriate little boy, and of course, the one and only Robert Pattinson. Cut to earlier this summer, when Jezebel did a story about the girl brought a Robert Pattinson life-sized cutout as her prom date. I showed it to my friends, and we all agreed that our was much, much better. I mean, we bought him his own ticket, and all.”

From reader Hannah: “We put on all our Argentina gear that we’d purchased that day on the street (note my necklace made from a one peso moneda) and were wandering around like complete clowns. At least one of us is actually Argentine. Too bad we were eliminated :(”

From commenter AnnVeal: “Once upon a time there was a Jezebel commenter named Ann Veal. Ann Veal loved Avatar: The Last Airbender a little much. So when she heard there was a live-action movie, she rejoiced. She could practically taste the awesome. (It tasted like chocolate frosting and Sokka).”

“She followed movie news avidly. She wasn’t happy with the mixed-up race casting, and she struggled with her movie-related joy, but fangirly love for her favorite show won out. She planned a massive premiere party that involved eleven hand-painted tee shirts, a cake with the four nation symbols, a Mongolian stir fry so large it took up a Dutch oven and a 10″ saute pan, and a marathon viewing of season one prior to the film. Seventeen people crammed in her 631-sq-ft apartment. She donned her Toph Bei Fong headband and rejoiced greatly. She and her Avatar-loving comrades caravaned to the movie theater, where they proceeded to take up 1 1/3 rows, talk loudly and obnoxiously about what they hoped wouldn’t get cut, and took pictures in their glow in the dark tee shirts.”

“And then the movie started. And it was awful. Horrifyingly awful. Ann Veal was mortified. And she made a face somewhat akin to this for the next few days, while rocking back and forth in a corner and asking if there was “a very sacred place where I can meditate.” So don’t see the Last Airbender. It will only end in tears. The end.”

From commenter Dauphine: “Examining a Gallifreyan fobwatch with a sonic screwdriver, while unintentionally cosplaying Amy Pond with American Apparel hoodie because it is so cold in my house.”

From commenter Dauphine: “My army of Daleks – Steve the cookie jar Dalek, several normal toy-sized Daleks and four eensy Daleks sitting on the toaster. They’re communicating with the pre-Cylon brethren.”

From commenter Dauphine: “Swag from the Harry Potter exhibit – ticket, Voldemort wand, Bellatrix Lestrange postcard filched from a friend, and a Voldemort Chocolate Frog card also from the same friend.”

From commenter Dauphine: “Self and said friend in Hagrid’s Hut, sitting in his big chair because there was more than enough room for both of us.”

From commenter Dachelle: “I am a huge fan of The Libertines and associated bands (Babyshambles, Dirty Pretty Things, Yeti, Peter Doherty and Carl Barat’s solo careers). I discovered them sadly after they’d already broken up, though I am hopefully making a trip to the U.K. next month to see them reunite and play at Reading. I made my first trip ever to see a band to see Carl Barat and Gary Powell’s post-Libs band Dirty Pretty Things in Chicago in 2006. In 2008, I went to the U.K. to see Peter’s solo show at the Royal Albert Hall in April, which was cancelled because he was in prison (sigh). I went back in July for the rescheduled Albert Hall show. I also saw John Hassall’s post-Libs band Yeti while I was there. In October 2008 I went to the U.K. to see the farewell tour of Dirty Pretty Things. In January 2009 I went to Seattle to see Carl’s first solo tour opening for Glasvegas. In March 2009 I went to the U.K. to see Peter’s solo tour (and immediately after flying back from that I went to SXSW). And then in December 2009 I went to the U.K. for the Babyshambles tour, where I finally met Peter and sort of cried all over him and he gave me a hug and it was lovely and wonderful and he talked about me and the Christmas presents I gave him and the band from the stage in Nottingham. I also got to see Dirty Pretty Things reunite for a one-off gig at a club night Carl was hosting. I’ve met Carl a number of times now and he’s been absolutely lovely every time. I also had the pleasure of meeting Gary and John, and of meeting Drew and Adam from Babyshambles. I have pictures with all of them except Peter, because I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, but the hug was infinitely better than a picture anyway.”

From commenter ilikeautumn: “The year the second movie came out, I fell in love and spent months laboriously putting together a Liz Sherman from Hellboy Halloween costume. Against the serious objections of everyone I knew, I got the asymmetrical haircut from the movie and dyed my hair black. (I’m blonde. It was purple-gray-green for months afterward.) I carried two lighters and flicked them on for a joke all night; people kept asking me if I was supposed to be a “fire vampire.”

“I ran into a random man who had worn a red boxing glove and glued the bottoms of two Solo cups to his forehead to go as Hellboy. I drunkenly insisted that we take a picture together and demanded that everyone call him ‘Hellboy’ like it was his real name. It was super nerdy and I don’t regret a second of it.”

From reader Mara: “Some friends and I went to the celebration for the last Harry Potter book in Harvard Square. This picture appeared in a local paper, me in a Slytherin uniform, another friend, partially blocked out, as a Hufflepuff student, and another friend in her wonderful Dumbledore costume.”

From commenter GingerGal: “Meet my piggy bank Harry, The Hog Who Lived (To Save Me Money) (Also know as The Chosen Swine)! My dear little piggy bank here comes with scar and wand (for conjuring up more money to stash inside his belly). But he serves a bigger purpose than just defeating Dark Lords -he’s holds the funds to my future trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I couldn’t save money for such a monumental trip in just any old piggy bank -I had to have a Harry themed bank. Thus, Harry Hogtrotter was born. $78.54 saved up in bartending tips so far! (And of course I’ll be bringing him with me to Harry Potter world once we get the money! The photo ops will be glorious.)”

From reader vikkitikkitavi: “I was 15 in 1976, and too old to be a Bay City Rollers fan. My sister, 13, was crazy about them. Crazy. I think this picture came about because I had done something particularly shitty to my sister, and so to make it up to her, I dressed us both up as BCR fans. I even made the scarf she’s wearing. Then we went over to my girlfriend’s house, as she had a camera and could document our outfits for posterity, which I am certainly glad now that I did. For the record, my girlfriend thought I had sunk pretty low to do this. We were Elton John fans.”

From reader Jesi: “Me and my kitty with my Professor McGonagall hat. He later peed in it and ripped up the pretty feather. I guess he doesn’t like playing Harry Potter with me.”

From commenter AnnVeal: “My friends and I got all dressed up for the midnight premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. I’m the blonde on the far left holding a wooden spoon. Why a spoon? Because we had decided we were the crewmates of the Floundering Mermaid, and I had been christened ship’s cook. The brown shirt I’m wearing is actually a bandana, folded into the shape of a triangle and safety-pinned to an old strapless bra. And yes, I thought it was sexy (in a piratey sort of way). Several other crew members are not shown, including my then boyfriend (and now husband). He didn’t have a costume, so he wore a Hawaiian shirt instead and claimed he was a tourist that we had kidnapped.”

From commenter Haguenite: “Here’s my submission for the Fan edition of Past Fashion: me and my roommates watching one of The Netherlands’ games during the 2006 world cup in one of the most pubby streets in our college town.”

From reader April: “I’m a Canadian-I hail from the land of hockey. I knew nothing of this sport Americans call “football”. Until! Until I started dating a man from Wisconsin. I tolerated this confusing and boring game for several years, at which time we married and I joined him in America’s Dairyland. And then it started-I quickly became immersed in the game, caught up in the fervour, and became a living and breathing Packer Backer. So when I was presented with the chance to see my beloveds live and at Lambeau Field, I jumped at the chance, even though the game was at the end of December. In Green Bay. In the winter. Cold. Brr. What you can see in this picture: Packers hat, a pompom, and a green hoodie, which I assure you is a Packers hoodie. What you can’t see: A Packers t-shirt and two different Packers jerseys underneath a snowmobile suit that I borrowed from my mother-in-law. I may have looked like the Michelin man for all the clothes I was wearing and I may have lost feelings in my toes by the end of the game, but it was so worth it. I no longer have the husband or the US address, but my fandom holds strong.”

From commenter GoldenEel: “This is me with Thom Yorke when I was fourteen years old. I was OBSESSED with Radiohead when their first album came out, and was lucky enough to meet the band twice – once on their first tour, and again when they came around later that same year (when this picture was taken). Thom actually remembered me and my friends from the first time we had met, and acknowledged us from the stage. The thing that really cracks me up about the picture is it reminds me of how I would never, ever buy clothing that fit me. That has to be a men’s large t-shirt (Lollapalooza ’93!) that I am swimming in!”

From commenter lenamonster: “I have multiple photos of me dressing in Harry Potter gear at different occasions. In these photos, I wore my Gryffindor shirt tohe midnight show of the 4th movie, made a Weird Sisters top to wear to the midnight book release party for the 7th book *and* got some free face painting at the party, and was a Gryffindor student (with wizard robes, wand and all) this past Halloween.”

From commenter Elphaba Skywalker: “The first picture is of me dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween (circa 2000). I was an obsessed eight year old. I read the books so many times as a kid that my grandparents bought me a second set of books 1-6. This costume was constructed during the Dark Ages of HP fandom, before the movies and before Daniel Radcliffe’s face was plastered on everything. The only Harry Potter costume that my mom and I found at Party City was based off the cover art. I distinctly remember a yellow and red rugby style shirt. Instead, my mom MacGyvered me a costume consisting of black velour pants and shirt (to make Zapp Brannigan proud) , sparkly cape and wizard hat. Notice the black flip flops that everyone women alive in the early -00s owned. I never did like scar my mom gave me. I ended up being Harry Potter for four Halloweens and the make-up just got worst. One year, my mom gave me drag queen style eye liner. I don’t know why.”

“The second picture is of me as Padme Amidala for Halloween. I was eleven and had recently discovered the joys of Star Wars. One of my closest male friendships in elementary school was completely based off our shared love of Star Wars. After another disappointing trip to Party City, my mom bought me a hooded shirt and white pants at Old Navy. We covered up the pattern on the white shirt with duct tape and bought some fabric at Joanns for my shawl. (In my freshman year of high school, I cut the shawl up to use as bandages for our school’s production of “Les Miserables”.) I spent most of the night explaining to people that I was Princess Leia’s mother, not actually the Princess herself.”

From reader Gabriela: “I saw Return of the King 46 times when it was out in theaters. Here I am at the DVD launch dressed as the Witch King (furthest on the left) . I stayed up all night sculpting the tin-foil, I did not win the costume contest.”

From reader Huxley: “Or, uh, pretty recent fashion. Our Flaming Lips obsession is documented, in part, here.”

From reader Sara: “So I am really obsessed with gymnastics, even though I never got to do it (I am 5’10) and they are all like 10 years younger than me. I drove to Tulsa from Dallas to see the Olympians perform on their tour, and then I drove to a mall in Plano to meet Nastia Liukin. Both times I wore my OFFICIAL Beijing leotard that my mom bought me for my birthday, size Adult XL. Nastia was less than impressed with that and the Wheaties box with her pic on it…”

From commenter unmoldednicole: “I was kind of into Kurt Cobain.”

From reader Robyn: “This is a photo of my friends and me cos-playing the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” at the local Barnes & Noble. I’m the one dressed as Bellatrix and my girlfriends are Molly Weasley and a Dementor. I am not trying to mimic Helena Bonham Carter’s version of the character, however.”

From reader Rachel: “Not too past in my case. This is my Harry Potter costume from Halloween 2005. A big group of my friends all dressed up in HP outfits – we even had a guy with long blond hair to play Lucius. I don’t think they all want their pictures all over the internet however, and I’m crap at editing, so I’ll just send my picture.”

From commenter emase: “i was a fan of all things anime and disney. this was my closet from ages 13 to 17 – i’m 19 now. the papers next to the disney calendar? lyrics to anime songs, in japanese. i liked to pretend i understood them. under the kingdom hearts poster, was a lovely lord of the rings poster. there was so little wall space that there were some parts of my room where 3+ posters would overlap. (the rest of my room had screencaps from anime shows that i would print out – i drained 5 color cartridges that i can think of.)”

From reader Emma: “Me and a cardboard cutout of the Tenth Doctor at NYC Comic-con in 2009. I’m pretty sure you can get geekier but I’m not sure exactly how one would go around doing that. On the plus side I met the author that turned me into a preteen feminist – Tamora Pierce so no shame in that day.”

From reader Chelsey: “Why was I ever 15? I don’t even know. I still own this shirt (out of some misplaced loyalty to the Bowie) and I can safely say that it is the least flattering article of clothing ever. At the time, I thought it was ~the height of fashion~ and wore it constantly with my faux leather jacket and my guitar earrings from Claire’s. oof. This was my MySpace picture for several months. ):”

From commenter Bluebirdred: “This is me, junior year of college, Halloween 1998. I was an X-Files freak simply because I was madly in love with David Duchovny. My biggest coup was that I almost successfully knocked over a liquor store in this costume because the proprietor thought I was FBI for real. He thought I was casing his store and dude was fah-reaked out. If you look carefully, I’m wearing handcuffs. I was cuffed to my friend Rollergirl. We made quite the pair.”

From reader Lynne: “Harry Potter forever!! This is Summer 2003(I was 12) the eve before the release of the 5th Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I am farthest to the left(obviously, considering I am the only one without an expertly rendered smiley face), and my friend, her friend, my friend’s mom, and her little brother were all decked out in our finest mock-Hogwarts robes to go to the book five release party at our local Barnes & Noble. Surprisingly, I am hardly embarrassed by this at all. I mean, Harry Potter is awesome!”

From commenter m.e. stijl: “I was pretty obsessed with everything Sailor Moon as a young teen. I have tons of stupid doodles and original manga, though I credit the series with giving me a reason to practice drawing. I wouldn’t be an artist today (at least not one with my style) if it weren’t for my deep interest in ass-kicking superheroes in sailor suits.”

From reader Maggie: “This was me dressed as Ginny Weasley at a midnight release party for the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince book. I was 22 at the time, and easily the oldest costumed person in the room. The scarf was one I made myself, and I wasn’t quite finished – thus the stringy end hanging down!”

From commenter hermoinesgranger: “Here I am holding the 2004 Red Sox World Series trophy when it toured every town and city in Massachusetts. It came to my high school, and there was no way I wasn’t getting a picture with it. I also got to hold that giant bastion of glory.”

From commenter Lollapulizer: “Halloween 2006, I went as Ginny Weasley, complete with spray-dyed hair. That red took forever to wash out.”

“I’m user Eldritch and here are pictures of my goth dorm room from college, around 2006 or 2007. Mainly a shrine to The Sisters of Mercy, AFI, Edward Gorey, the Nightmare Before Christmas… you get the idea. I kept all those pictures though, they’re in a bin under my bed.”

From reader J.A.: “I have been and will probably continue to be obsessed with royalty. Included in my collection are: 1. A book on Queen Victoria’s mediocre drawings 2. A book on the cultural impact of Elizabeth I. Not on Elizabeth herself, mind you, but her cultural impact. 3. “Royalty in Vogue”, a book full of pictures of royals dressing “fashionably”, which for them involves kilts and hats with birds on them. 4. “The Royal Book of Lists” which is full of random lists of royals with trivia and things like on what day of the week they were born. 5. Two books next to each other on the “Kings and Queens of England” on of which is great and the other of which sucks. I can’t remember which is which. 6. A children’s book of poems and pictures on British royalty. 7. A book on how the Romanovs were killed, in graphic detail 8. A book on the “Sex Lives of the Kings and Queens of England” also featuring graphic detail. I can’t actually read that one all the way through because it makes me uncomfortable. 9. One of those books I bought after I’d already read it in the library. I didn’t like it but bought it anyway because there was a cool photo in it.”

From commenter Rah_power: “Last year, for the opening of Harry Potter and the Half Blood prince, me and the Harry Potter Club from high school (note: we had already graduated) dressed to the nines. I am always one for more obscure characters, so I went as Narcissa Malfoy (left) and my friend was Bellatrix Lestrange.”

From reader Shannon: “My twin sister and I had a 22nd Harry Potter Birthday Party. Here we are as Twin Harry’s! Everyone at the party came as a character. It was amazing!”

From commenter ManicPixieNightmare: “I attended the HP7 book release party as an Irish Quidditch fan, along with one of my friends (not pictured). We decided our costumes were too obscure and decided to write slogans on our faces. The first picture is me in the process of writing on my face with eyeliner using the tiny mirror built into my purse; the second picture is the end result. I think I came up with a fairly catchy slogan.”

From reader Claudia: “This is a picture of my sister and me at the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows midnight release party on July 21, 2007. We are all about DIY fandom, so I’m wearing a homemade Ravenclaw robe and a giddy smile, and my sister is wearing a loving tribute to Ronald Weasley that she sewed herself. The reason I’m holding onto the head of the Harry Potter cardboard cutout is that I accidentally bent it backwards mere seconds before, and it wouldn’t stand on its own. The store photographer was pissed.”

From reader Claire: “About the photo: Nine years ago, I really loved the band Kill Hannah. Really really really a lot. When a big show of theirs was coming up, I collected flyers for a couple of weeks, and then turned them into a dress and matching fan, using a whole lot of shipping tape. I didn’t take into account how stiff the dress would be. I couldn’t sit in it, so rather than wearing it on public transit to the show, I carried it in a trash bag and then had a friend tape me into it in the bathroom of the diner up the street. This is me with the singer of Kill Hannah. Note “whoa, wtf” facial expression.”

From commenter Cinnamonpants: “Not the best photo but back in the 90’s I was THE biggest Manson fangirl. I was 16 or 17 in this photo.”

From reader tbh: “I dressed as Tonks at the Barnes and Noble release party for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was sixteen. My then-boyfriend (we had actually been dating for two years to the day on the night of this release party) dressed as Remus Lupin, and my best friend dressed as Mad Eye Moody.”

From reader Stacey: “Below is a drawing I did of Oasis when I was a mega-Britpop fan back in the 90’s. I actually took this illustration with me to an Oasis gig at Hammerstein Ballroom in 1997. We queued up in line at noon (showtime 8pm) because it was general admission and I wanted to be in the front row. At one point during the day, I had heard the band was leaving the back entrance from sound check so I dashed around back and got Liam to sign my doodle (see the bottom of sketch). I asked him if he knew which one was him and he put an “X” above Noel’s head (I think it’s kind of obvious which one Liam is!). Anyway, when I got back to my place in the line, I was the envy of all the other little New York Anglophiles! Also, I still have the purple Sharpie Liam used to autograph this 🙂

From commenter immaculate.gaenor: “My friend and I love Tim Burton and I’m a massive Sondheim fan. For Halloween, she made a homemade Edward Scissorhands costume and I went as Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd. Our friend Joel is vamping out as Lestat, non-sparkly vampire.”

From commenter immaculate.gaenor: “My friend and I coordinated and went as ‘Tim Burton’s ladies’ for Halloween at work this past October. My dress was patches of discount fabric sewn to a nightgown; hers was curtains dyed blue.”

From commenter Ashleenotashley: “This is me being a (super crafty) Lady Gaga superfan. I made the costume entirely by hand, gluing approximately 4,000 1/2″ square mirror tiles to the bodice and skirt. The silver triangle is balsa wood, spray painted silver, wrapped in silver mesh netting, and attached with velcro. I practically had carpal tunnel at the end, but it was completely worth it!”

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