As an fan of the online web series The Guild and past “gamer girl”, I could not wait to read You are Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day. I was excited to get to know her on a more personal level, and boy did she get personal. This book reflects on the author’s unusual but amazing childhood, her struggle as an actress, her passion for her projects and her bravery in facing the world of internet “trolling”.
You may recognize her from the web series The Guild or her TV Roles such as Charlie Bradbury on Supernatural.
The book is fore-worded by none other than geek world mega director and writer, Joss Whedon, which speaks to her character as a person. (geek squeal)
There are also hilarious pictures from her childhood, teenage years, bad outfits, fan’s dressed like her character and even a photo of all tons of things her fan’s have made for her that she apparently has an entire storage unit full of!
She was a home schooled girl with a very non-traditional upbringing, which gave her a unique perspective on the world. Being allowed to focus on anything her heart desired such as playing violin for 8 hours a day or playing with Legos for “brain exercises”, she was able to focus on being herself and not being put into a box. As a perfectionist and contestant “teacher’s pet” it was always getting her into trouble with other children. She even details a time where she played Scout from To Kill a Mocking bird at 7 years old and the fight she got into for feeding a fellow child actor his lines. “There’s a part where Jackson’s character says, “Run, Scout, run!” and he pushes me to get away… kid pushed me SO HARD that I flew eight feet across the stage, tripped and hit my head.” (words from the book) Her descriptions of her anxiety and awkwardness are so relate-able to those of us who are home-bodies that would rather sit in front of a computer/book/gaming console than actually interact with human beings face to face. Her stories about starting college at 16 read like the after-school special I wish existed.
I have such a strong admiration for this woman, and her struggle to find her own niche in an industry founded on women being perfect. She was often type cast as the “quirky girl” or the “crazy cat lady”. I have empathy for her struggle to be leading lady. (why does “model” beauty so often equal lead rolls, I have seen so many beautiful actresses that are about as capable of acting in a lead role as a drunken squirrel) She even goes into her feelings on plastic surgery related to finding an acting job. “…I was a unique and precious unicorn and FINE exactly the way I was! Also, I couldn’t afford a nose job. I would just have to work hard to make up for the ugly face.” (words from the book)
Felicia is frequently labeled a “Gamer Girl”, having been an avid player of video and online games her entire life. She is sometimes attacked online for being a gamer and for not being a "true gamer" whatever that means. Trolls these days just can’t decide what not to like you for so they dislike you for everything. I’m a firm believer in “person is who they say they are”, if we are willing to call Sean Combs, Puff Daddy then P. Diddy and whatever else he comes up with maybe D Puffy Puff, then we can let people use whatever self descriptions they like, and not judge them for it. If you want to be a unicorn, be a freaking unicorn, glitter, rainbows and all if it makes you happy. Felicia is on board with that.
One of her primary gaming addictions was World of Warcraft, I myself played this game for years. From personal experience I related to her addiction issues, her struggle with choosing a fake world to hide herself in where everyone’s character looks perfect, is strong, is needed and belongs. (having cool outfits and magical powers is also awesome, just saying)
She talks about how internet has become a place to connect with people across the world who share your interests, and it has also become a place where people type the most horrendous things to each other. The sad thing is that most people would never say things to a person’s face, they hide behind a phone/computer screen and judge others and try to break them down. This happened to Felicia, she was also Doxxed. Meaning the terrifying times where your personal information is posted online, address, SSN, etc and more specifically done to cause you harm or to encourage others to cause you harm. She tried to stand up against website posters that, from her story, promoted the sharing of personal information for the purposes of intimidation and hurtful intent to women. This was a terrifying experience for her, and sadly it happens to women on the internet every single day. She stood up for what she believed in anyway. Bravo Felicia Bravo.