Guest Blog: Dan Madsen Touts "Year of the Fangirl"
By Dan Madsen - March 01, 2013
As many of you may know, I founded the Official Star Trek Fan Club back in 1980 and launched the Star Trek Communicator magazine as well. I published over 150 issues of the official magazine over the course of 30 + years and am proud of the work that was done by my excellent editor, Larry Nemecek, and our wonderful staff of writers, designers and production personnel.
One of the things I began to notice years ago while running The Official Fan Club was the rising number of female Star Trek fans. Star Trek has always appealed to everyone, regardless of sex or age, but year after year, the number of female Trekkers has just been growing and growing. I’m sure this was due, in part, to the ongoing TV series and films and the strong female characters they introduced but the fangirl audience grew by leaps and bounds… as it did with sci-fi in general! Today, almost 50% of sci-fi fans are women and their voices are now being heard.
Over three years ago, I was asked to come onboard a new venture with actress Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on the television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Ashley, a real sci-fi fan, was frustrated that she could not find Star Wars shirts made for her. She grew tired of buying the oversized men’s tees. So, she decided to start her own company called Her Universe so SHE could make the kind of apparel she was looking for. Since starting with a license for Star Wars, Her Universe has grown significantly to include apparel for Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who and, of course, Star Trek! I couldn’t be more proud of working with Ashley and Her Universe – she has really made a difference for female fans and those fangirls tell her that every day.
But Ashley wanted to do more than create a sci-fi apparel line for fangirls she wanted to build a community for them as well. She and Her Universe have sponsored and produced special female-oriented panels at San Diego Comic Con, Creation’s Official Las Vegas Star Trek convention as well as others. Now, she has taken the community idea a step further with the launch of a year-long campaign called the “Year of the Fangirl.” What is it? Well, it’s Ashley’s way of highlighting and recognizing this important segment of the sci-fi community by spotlighting a different fangirl every day on Heruniverse.com. Through submissions by fans nominating a fangirl they know (or themselves if THEY are a fangirl), and a team of five fangirl contributors handpicked by Ashley, searching across the world for inpidual stories of everyday female fans, each day on the Her Universe website we’ll spotlight a different fangirl showing their persity, dreams and interests.
Ashley is welcoming fans to submit their choice for a "Fangirl of the Day" on the Her Universe website. Fangirls of any age can be nominated and profiled; however, fangirls under the age of 13 must be nominated by their parent or guardian. The fangirl form can be found on the Her Universe website (www.heruniverse.com) with questions to be filled out about the female fan to be profiled. Once completed, fans can submit the form on the site, and attach a photo (optional). Each day, Ashley and the fangirl volunteers, will spotlight a "fangirl of the day" on the Her Universe website and its social media platforms.
If you’re a fangirl, I encourage you to submit yourself or someone you know who is a fangirl for this very special year-long campaign and see them recognized as the “fangirl of the day” on Heruniverse.com. There is no limit to how many different fangirls you can submit – if you know 100 submit them all! And anyone, male or female, can nominate a fangirl. There is no age limit – from 10 to 110 we welcome their fangirl story. Whether you or your friend or family member’s passion is Star Trek, Star Wars, comics, cosplay, anime, video games or everything sci-fi/fantasy/pop-culture, we want to hear about you and them! I’m looking forward to seeing how many stories of female Star Trek fans we can find!
Dan Madsen is the former founder, president and publisher of the Official Star Trek Fan Club and Official Star Trek Communicator Magazine. He now works with actress Ashley Eckstein on Her Universe, which produces fashionable, female-focused apparel for Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and other Sci-Fi properties.
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