These days, you can see broadcasts of celebrities’ daily lives through platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. At any moment in time, we can glimpse what they eat for breakfast, what they use to wash their faces, or what their bedrooms look like at the click of a button.
When we see them as frequently as we do, we reach a point where we subconsciously blur the line between fantasy and reality. We forget they’re doing their job and putting on a well-liked persona to appeal to the masses. Whatever the rich and famous show us on social media is exactly what they want us to see. None of it is coincidental; their careers depend on it.
I always thought I would keep it cool if I met a celebrity. I knew not to be obnoxious. I wouldn’t try to take a photo of them while they talked. I would definitely never take a picture of a person without their knowledge while they slept in my bed.
In my early twenties, I had a short-lived fling with a famous actor. I had admired him for years in his role as the sweet, sensitive boyfriend on one of my favourite TV shows. I watched his comedy shows frequently. None of my girlfriends ever thought he was funny, but I didn’t care.
One night, he announced he was doing a surprise show in my city and I immediately jumped at the chance to see him live. “Really, you guys are going to make me go alone?” I asked my friends. They all insisted on staying home, saying, “I don’t think he’s that funny. Besides, maybe you’ll meet him if you go alone.”
I posted something online about needing new friends. He saw it, and we began messaging back and forth. As my friends correctly predicted, I actually ended up meeting him and a few of his friends after the show. I joined him at a pool party the next day, and from there, it seemed we got along pretty well.
Over the next year, I travelled with him to a few different cities while he did some shows. As a fan of his, it was exhilarating to me. But his celebrity status had affixed cartoon heart eyes onto my face, painting him as the person I wished he was, like the character he played on TV, and not the real person in front of me, who was anything but that. TV and social media had blurred my line of fantasy and reality.