This was affectionately written by a BSB fan notorious for her screams -- so please don't be insulted. ^_^ If you're a male fan or a male screamer, I didn't mean to leave you out, but I can only write about my experience. If you think I've missed a kind of scream, let me know and tell me what you think! Or just tell me about a special "scream experience" you've had -- especially if you've had a Ripped Scream. R&R & enjoy!

"The Physics of Screaming"
by Kimura

A scream is a loud, usually high pitched, sometimes long shriek, yell or shout from a person. This person is often female. This essay is mainly concerned with the screaming of females when in proximity to male celebrities e.g. the Backstreet Boys.

Where and when?
A scream usually occurs in a large crowd when a female tries to be heard over everyone else. Screaming can also occur at amusement parks, near small rodents, or other excited females. Again, this essay is concerned with screaming in large crowds and at concerts.

Why do girls scream? Well, it's not the easiest question to answer. There are many different reasons, depending on the situation. When referring to male celebrities, the reason is very simple. If a male celebrity is near a female fan, or sees her, in a crowd, she has approximately five seconds to tell him everything she wants him to know. She would like to sit down for a couple hours and tell him how much he means to her, how he's influenced her life, how much she appreciates his work, etc. However, with only five seconds to use, all of these words usually blurt out as one -- or a series of -- screams.

The Different Types of Screams performed by Female Fans of Male Celebrities

The Excited Yelp
This is usually performed in anticipation of the arrival of male celebrities. A female fan suddenly realizes that a male celebrity encounter is close at hand. Sometimes the excitement cannot be contained and small little yelps escape. This can be likened to a small puppy that can't wait to take a walk.

The Delighted/Surprised Squeal
Don't be fooled by the name! This is a full-fledged scream. This occurs when a male celebrity does something wonderfully unexpected. This includes removing clothing, blowing a kiss, winking, doing a really cool dance move, or doing something that may be classified as "cute." The sound of the Delighted Squeal can sometimes be confused with the Excited Yelp because it is usually short in length.

Overjoyed Scream
This scream is often preceded by half of a sentence. A female fan is attempting to gush to her companion about how wonderful her male celebrity is, but the excitement takes over mid-sentence. The words are lost as a scream erupts instead. This can sometimes be irritating to the person listening to the fragmented sentence. Example:
Female fan: Omigod! He's so hot! He's so awesome! Just look at the way he -- AAAHH!
The Overjoyed Scream is not always preceded by a sentence. It is produced by the fact that the female fan's wildest dreams are coming true before her eyes. The emotional impact of this creates the scream. This sometimes also involves the pulling of hair.

The Aroused Response
One can infer from the name that this scream is a response to sexual stimuli. The male celebrity purposely does something "sexy" and the female fan(s) respond with this scream. Quite often this includes jumping up and down and holding one's head -- as if in fear that it might fall off if she jumps hard enough. This scream has a rough, edgy sound, and is of a medium length.

The Scared/Startled Shriek
This scream does not occur often in the setting discussed in this essay. This particular scream comes in two varieties: genuine fear and simulated fear. Occasionally, a male celebrity may slip, fall, or trip causing his female fans to shriek in concern for his safety. Alternatively, there may be a loud bang, shout, or firework that is designed to startle the audience, but does not actually put the male celebrity in danger. This shriek is of a medium pitch and very short length.

Hysterical Scream
This scream can very often be confused with other screams by its sound alone. However, it has a very different cause. A hysterical scream occurs when the female fan is suddenly completely overwhelmed by her situation. She is happy, sad, excited, joyous, and aroused all at the same time. The overload of emotions causes this fairly common scream. This is one of the longer types of screams and can be performed at any pitch. Like the Overjoyed Scream, the female fan may also pull at her hair.

The Sad Scream/the Desperate Plea
This is not one that male celebrities enjoy hearing. When it is time for a male celebrity to leave, his female fans beg him to stay through this scream. The female fan is devastated that her time with her male celebrity has come to an end and seeks to lengthen it by screaming more. The scream has an edge to it because female fans are sometimes in tears or at least genuinely upset that her male celebrity is leaving. If an observer is listening carefully, the change in the tone of the screams of an audience can be perceived. This scream can also occur if a female fan tries to get a male celebrity's attention and fails. It is unwise to attempt to comfort a female fan performing this scream -- especially if you are male. Do not be concerned; the emotional trauma does pass.

The Ripped Scream
This scream is the most unusual of all because it is involuntary. It is named the Ripped Scream because male celebrities "rip" these screams from their fans. The male celebrity does something unexpected; this includes waving to a certain part of the audience, singing the fan's favorite song, blowing a kiss, etc. This normally lengthy scream is performed at top volume (not necessarily top pitch). The scream is halfway completed before the fan is even aware she is screaming. The Ripped Scream may come from the mouth of a female fan, but she is not the one who initiated it; this unusual scream is a very primal response to her surroundings.
Author's note: I just thought I would add in here how my Ripped Scream came about. I was at a BSB concert (duh) and my friend was with me who was not a fan. They started the music to "More Than That" -- which is my favorite song off of Black & Blue. So, my friend leans over to ask me what song it is. I lean over to her ear to tell her, but as soon as I realize what song it was, I screamed . . . right into her ear. I felt so bad afterwards. Obviously, I was not trying to deafen her!

The Howl of Satisfaction
This scream, which can sometimes sound very much like a howl, is performed after the male celebrity does something the female fan has been waiting for or anticipating. This is the female fan's gratitude. Because she wishes the moment would last forever -- or because the said moment was so perfect -- this is the longest of any of the screams. Occasionally, it can be followed or preceded by laughter. This is closely related to the Overjoyed Scream.

A scream is very often the only gift a female fan can give her male celebrity when she is not within reach of him. It is the only way to make herself heard. In a crowd, it is the only method of communication aside from holding a sign (which irritates people behind her). Therefore, although it is primal, high-pitched, and irritating to people not participating, screaming is very important for female fans. So the next time, your ears are suddenly blown by the female next to you responding to a male celebrity, think about the physics behind it and wonder if you would be guilty of screaming if your favorite celebrity came your way.