This is a post that I’ve gone back and forth about writing for a while now. For those of you who don’t know what the term shipping means: Shipping, initially derived from the word relationship, is the desire by fans for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters, to be in a relationship, romantic or otherwise. 80% of my life consists of shipping, and the crazy thing is wanting 2 people to be in a relationship (and any shipper can tell you this) will give you anxiety like no other.
There are so many different types of ships; Crack Ships (characters from different worlds, or the same worlds that would never be together), OTP (One True Pair), Canon (confirmed by the series), and they’re all ridiculous. I’ve been a shipper ever since I was a child but I never knew it. The minute shipping became a thing it immediately took over my life because I was so aware of what I was doing.
Shipping Fictional Characters
My first ship was Jack and Janet from Three’s Company. This was probably the unhealthiest ship to jump on board because a) Jack and Janet aren’t canon and b) there is a 2% fan base for Three’s Company worldwide. My whole life I thought I loved the show Three’s Company itself and then I realized, no. I’m only watching this show waiting for Jack and Janet to get together. And they never do. But I have no regrets.
As I got older I started shipping more than just fictional characters, but celebrities. It was the peak of Twitter (2009 I think?) and Nick Jonas and Miley Cyrus were Niley. They made their relationship super public over Twitter and I became obsessed. And then heartbroken when she got together with Liam Hemsworth (I still will never understand). I don’t even know what’s unhealthier; shipping fictional characters or revolving your life around real couples whom you will never meet and don’t know. They’re both bad.
Then my shipper problems evolved and I started to ship a combination of the above: shipping a fictional couple so hard you want them to be a couple in real-life. I would say the biggest example of this is Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue. These actors play Emma and Hook on Once Upon A Time and their ship name (yes, every couple has a ship name) is Captain Swan. When you become obsessed with a TV or Film couple so much the storyline isn’t enough. Oh no, you want more. You want more photos of them, more videos, anything you can get related to these two. When you’ve read all of the fanfictions and watched all of the fan videos on Youtube you start going to the actors’ social media page.
This is the downward spiral. You see Jen tweet Colin and then he replies. A few weeks later they post a friendly picture together and BAM. You want these two to start banging and get married even if one of them is already married with a child. Messed up isn’t it? It’s the sad truth.
Shipping Real-Life Couples
I’ve witnessed internet wars and cyber bullying (as well of been the victim of it) because of shipping and I want to clear something up, and I’m going to use Jen and Colin as an example:
Shipping is completely natural. The freaking goal of the writers of shows is to have viewers ship. There are no right or wrong ships. Ship whoever the hell you want; you want to ship a background character with another background character? Go ahead have fun with it. But when I see people on Twitter call out other people on who their shipping because they either think it’s wrong or they hate the ship – Turn off your phone and do some yoga. Seriously!
There will be some people who I kid you not, get other people to start cyber bullying some poor 14 year old girl at home, making her feel like shit because why? Because they think people shouldn’t want Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue to be together. ARE YOU THEIR PUBLICIST? Are you his wife? Are you their children? Are you their parents? Are you their friends? Do you know them? Are you the fucking maid who comes into their house and wipes the shit off their toilet? So then why do you care if people want them to be together?
These people on Twitter who create cute little edited photos of them together literally have NO IMPACT on Jen and Colin getting together. So why are you so threatened? I’m really curious to know WHY it matters who ships who? The same goes with people who are obsessed with fictional characters and begin to harass the writers and actors when a character is written off. Unless we’re talking about Young and The Restless there is no character that will last 50 years. Actors and characters come and go. Deal with it.
And if you want to stop watching a show because of where the storyline is going. See ya! Hop on board another show that has a happy ending for everyone, good luck finding that.
I highly doubt these range of emotions are new, it’s only because of social media this is becoming a thing. If I was alive in the 80s and saw Joyce DeWitt and John Ritter posting pictures together on Instagram and Tweeting one another then hell yeah I would ship them. But nobody ever got to see that because there wasn’t social media back then. Social Media is so dangerous in the shipping world (in general too, but that’s another story). We’d rather live vicariously through our ships then go out and find a partner or focus on our significant others. Just me? Oops. Sorry Jake.
That’s my rant. I’m sure I’m going to receive a lot of hate for this (have we learned nothing?) but whatever. And if anyone’s wondering who MY OTP’s are here ya go, hopefully we have some in common:
- Jack and Janet Three’s Company
- Tony and Angela Who’s The Boss
- Hook and Emma Once Upon A Time
- Clark and Lana Smallville
- Nick and Jess New Girl
- Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis (killing two birds with one stone here cause I also love Jackie and Kelso) That 70s Show
- Ross and Rachel Friends
- Jesse and Becky Full House
- Zack and Kelly Saved By The Bell
- Cory and Topanga Boy Meets World