Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On Forgetting That Celebrities Are Human

One of my biggest pet peeves over the last year or so has become watching people who think it's okay to touch celebrities without their permission. This has largely become something I've noticed because of One Direction and watching it happen to the boys. There are so many fans who treat them like objects and do things they'd never do to "normal" people because they know it's wrong, yet because the boys are celebrities, they never seem to internalize that this behavior towards them is also wrong. This isn't just confined to One Direction either. I've become really aware of it recently, and it doesn't just end with inappropriately touching people without their permission. There are so many ways people tend of objectify celebrities that I don't think I could go into them all without being here forever.

I don't really have anything profound to say on the subject. I've just become so frustrated with it that I started to feel the need to express it somehow, and it led to this post. I think it all began to really bubble over recently when One Direction fans really started freaking out over Harry's hair. For anyone reading this who doesn't know, Harry Styles has been growing out his hair lately. It's gotten pretty long as of late, and fans are either really gung ho about this or really angered by it. Strangely angered by it when you think about the fact that the length of Harry's hair has nothing to do with them.

What's most interesting to me is the fact that most people (at least I think) would realize that demanding someone cut their hair wouldn't exactly be a polite thing to do. (Although, there are still people who do it and still people who talk condemningly about people's appearances they don't like.) Yet some fans almost seem like they need to gang up with each other and pressure Harry into cutting his hair.

Obviously, hair isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things (which makes it almost amusing to me that it seems to have become this huge thing in the One Direction fandom), but to me it's just become the latest example of people not seeming to recognize celebrities as actual people who have the right to do whatever they want. Another thing that happened recently was this blow up over Harry being "rude" to fans which jump started a discussion over whether or not he "owed" anything to the fans. In my opinion, it's good for a celebrity to be thankful for what they have, but I also think people need to remember that they're human. They're not a robot who can just spend 24 hours of their day signing autographs and taking pictures, which seems to be what a lot of fans want them to do when they're on tour. They have to rest and have time to themselves. Imagine if you had to work around the clock with people screaming at you and you got no breaks. That's basically what stopping for every single fan would turn into for them. I know it sucks, but sometimes they have to think about themselves. Everyone does. We're taught that selflessness is a good thing, but selfishness is necessary to a certain degree. Celebrities have to place themselves over fans sometimes and doing so doesn't automatically make them rude.

This is turning into a bit of a ramble with no real point, and I have a lot of things to get done at the moment, so I'll just wrap this up now. Basically, it just really frustrates me when fans of a celebrity seem more concerned with celebrities doing what they want instead of thinking about the celebrities themselves. That isn't just limited to One Direction, but since I'm in the One Direction fandom, those are the instances I'm exposed to the most. I think the entire idea of this has become really ingrained in our culture, so I'm not actually expecting anything to change (not any time soon at least), but I felt the need to get my frustration out a bit. Now, I'm off to go do some reading for class.

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