Friday 7 November 2014

Dolly On ... Modern Day Celebrity

Forever celebrities have been those perfect, unattainable figures that you will never meet, never be friends with, and never capture looking less than a million dollars. However, with the rise of Twitter, and YouTube, the way we see celebrities, and the celebrities themselves have changed, and it’s messing with my mind. We all know I’m emotionally unstable (before writing this I wrote 1000 words that ended with me ‘wanting to cut off my face’), and this new style of celebrity is killing me from the inside out. Allow me to explain …

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. AKA the fall of the Great Wall of Celebrity. Since Twitter moved into the mainstream and celebrities started jumping on board to seem more ‘real’, the wall between normal people and famous people was seemingly demolished. We now knew that Hayley Williams was watching Dexter at the same time as we were, or that Rihanna was smoking a joint as we were scrolling through Tumblr, just as Harry Styles was eating a banana. We were in on these people’s lives, and over time it started to feel like we were friends. I could go on Misha Collins’ Twitter, hear another hilarious tale of him doing something embarrassing, and think ‘OMFG! I do that too! We’re basically the same person’. We started spending a lot more ‘time’ with the people we admired, feeling like we were getting to know them personally. Everything was fantastic. It was a win-win. Celebrities could show their fans that they were ‘just like us’ and fans could form even deeper, more personal bonds with their heroes, leading them to buy more albums and T-Shirts. Fantastic right?

No! It’s all a lie. We will NEVER be like them. We will NEVER be friends with them. They will NEVER know who we are. It is this revelation that puts us in an even worse spot that we were before. Granted, I was sad back in the day when I thought Busted would never be my boyfriends, but not as sad as I am now. I’ve got to know these people online and I KNOW that we would be friends if we met in real life. We have SO much in common! If only I was famous too and could show them how cool I am. (If you haven't had this revelation yet, don't worry, it's coming.)

This phenomenon is ten times worse with YouTubers, because they were never unreachable in the first place! They started off in the realm of ‘I’m just like you’ (celebrities have always been at least a step above us normal people). We’ve grown up with these people on YouTube, they feel like friends, but they may as well be fictional characters. We’re never going to meet them. They’re never going to be our friends or our husbands. They’re never going to like us. It’s really hard to think of it like this when you know they’re just sitting in a room, however far away from you, filming themselves talking to you. The fact they are just normal people, and there is an actual possibility that we could’ve been friends is just an added heartbreak.

Let’s be honest, I’m writing this mostly for myself, as I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos recently, from Zoella to DanandPhil and Crabstickz, and it’s made me really depressed. I know I have an addictive personality (self-diagnosed of course), but it just seems so much worse when there’s the added imaginary possibility that I could actually be friends with these people. At least when I’m binge watching Supernatural and feel sick to my stomach being away from it for too long, I know they’re not real. I’m never going to meet and marry Dean Winchester (as much as I want to).

One last point I’d like to make about YouTube is the vicious cycle of having no friends. I have no friends, so I watch videos on YouTube of cool people who talk about how they have no friends. By watching these videos I don’t end up going out and meeting new people who could become friends, but I feel OK about this because the people I watch on YouTube have no friends either. Why do I need friends? Danisnotonfire says he has none. But, let’s be honest, they do, and even if they don’t, they’re getting paid to tell you they don’t. There’s only one person losing out in this relationship and it’s you (me). The worst thing is that you then you come to rely on them as friends and then they go and disappear for months on end (Crabstickz).

Phew, that was miserable. Sorry guys, but as you can tell I’m having a pretty rough time at the moment, and I need to take it out on someone. YouTubers seemed an easy target.

To read the rest of the Dolly On ... series, click here!

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