Dangers of Accessibility

This is the article I once promise – In Love with a Celebrity – but I have changed the title to something a bit more suitable. Enjoy!

xx, Kristin

The sick feeling in your stomach. A fuzzy cloud in your brain, ears, mouth… unable to focus on the things around you, the things you need to be responsible for; work, walking, existing on the same plane of reasoning as the rest of the universe. Unsure if you can even trust yourself anymore, because of, ahem, heavier influences. Are your last couple moments of making decisions a desperate attempt to be closer to something, someone else? Are these the things you even want? Need? Desire? Yes or no, even this thought is too clouded to really find the answer. And as people continue to question your sanity, all you can do is smile and grow deeper into the infatuation. Ignoring common sense. What is this feeling that I describing? Falling in love with a celebrity.

We are in a new world, a world that is being twisted and manipulated into undeveloped edicate. Twitter and facebook are a new means of connecting and pretending you are friends with people you would never talk to in person. They allow you to not only get you in touch with your high school sweetheart so you can gloat on how far they sunk since losing you, but now, you can follow your favorite celebrities. While some of these celebrities cheat, and hire professional tweeters (a job I could do well, anyone hiring?), others take to their computers and cell phones and make an personal effort to reach out to their fans. Of course this is to their own risk, but they spend their days making them more attractive to the people that love them.

There, did you see that? What those stars and this new world did there?

They are coming to us. They are reaching out to you, on your computer with little messages and thoughts, questions and jokes. You are smitten. Who knew your celebrity crush had a real personality under all that showbiz – We are going to pretend there is no such thing as ‘PR’ – Who knew they were caring, funny and a real person. A real person, in a real world that we all live in and share together. – cue, inspirational music. Before social networking, a celebrity was a fanciful dream, a beauty on the movie screen of an untouchable level. But then this world happened and it was as if the stars all aligned – pun. They rained upon us – pun-pun – with their personalities and we were smitten. Little smitten-kittens looking for another bite of cat-nip, another little shred of their character. Hopelessly clicking refresh on our browsers, unable to accept that we are actually receiving actual messages from these actual stars. Your own personal celebrity crush.

But this reaction from the average world citizen should be of no surprise. People like access, the feeling of I’m special. And let’s face it, in this day in age, the I’m special lesson seems to be the only lesson in which students are excelling Which brings me to my next point, reality television series. Now, let’s focus on this word ‘access.’

Access. Accessible. Now excuse me while I toss in a few other words of the same meaning from my handy thesaurus: entrance, way in, entry, means of entry, approach, means of approach – I could go on, but time to get to the point. Anything that is accessible, is of interest. You have the ability to obtain it, it is not challenging, so why not just add it to your collection of stuff. For example following over 200 celebrities on twitter, half of which you briefly encountered on a ridiculous sci-fi – excuse me, syfy – movie. Those celebrities have given you a way in, the entry, a means of entry into their existence. They could be the white dwarf of the stary-stary night. You celebrity could be a dull dying star and you would still follow them because they are on television, they are pretty, and you can do it for free. Access.

Now, let’s reflect. We have fallen in love with a celebrity. We have started following them on twitter or friended them on facebook – maybe both. We discovered their ‘real’ personality, and our love grows – Especially when they reply to our desperate attempts of getting their @ttention. They have become accessible, like your neighbor in the next cubicle or the bag of chips your roommate just placed between the two of you on the couch. But, how did you first bump into this star. Where did they dance across your vision in a pearly light, screaming look at me, look at how pretty and fiery I am. Now it is a proven fact, that the discovery of this star and the level of your love can give you an idea of if you are about to plummet into a dangerous black hole of infatuation.

Readers, we have already established that being approachable can intensify that fictional relationship that you are building. If a star that was once seemingly in another galaxy with their beauty and pose on the red carpet, is tweeting about how they just had their wheaties for breakfast while you are holding your own bowl of wheaties – marketing genius? – you feel though you could be a celebrity too. Then of course you reply to their tweet with – I love wheaties too! But the thing to remember here is, that that night they will still be walking down the red carpet in their million dollar dress, and diamond studded heels. They are still on a different level than us, there is still a safety net between you and them before falling into their devouring black hole. So, who is in the most danger? Who is on the brink of being crushed into a thousand molecules as they are lost in this world of accessibility and connection.

Take a moment and answer these three simple questions: Does all of the prior information pertain to you so well that as you are reading your head is nodding up and down and you can’t help but smile with understanding? At this moment in time is your celebrity infatuation somewhere around your person? Perhaps the background on your computer, a poster, magazine, on your television, youtube clips, blog, twitter account, their music, or any other means of entry into their life. AND, finally, is your or was your celebrity crush ever on a reality television series?

I am assuming, that you will have said yes to at least one of these questions. That’s right, I know your secret. However, no matter what combination of nods or shakes of the head you may have built up, if you said yes to question number three you are already a step further into the rabbity-black hole of your demise. So, let me help you with your math of what level of danger you could find yourself. You are in love with a celebrity, step one, you have a piece of their paraphernalia arounds you at this moment in time – even if it is only that picture in your wallet – step two, everything that is in the essay is pertaining to you on an outstanding level, step three…

Ladies and gents, you have fallen in, you are doomed and there is no tardis – nerd – to save you.

What in the holy name of Batman is more accessible than reality television? How could they expect anyone to walk away from these shows and not be surprised at the goosebumps rising on their arms and that sick feeling in your stomach. As they sing into the camera, belting their melodies and ballads of love, they are singing to you after all. They need your votes, your love. They are trying to seduced you, and while yes they are in fact using you for their own personal gain, you still can’t help but begin the tumble into that uncharted black hole. They put themselves on your television, so vulnerable. Not to mention that the longer they stick around, the longer you keep them going the easier it is to get every needed piece of information needed to create your fictional relationship. How tall are they? Do they love their mom? Are they attractive, even when having an ugly moment like crying? What is their future career after their success with the show? – We wouldn’t love them if they were losers, would we now?

Pictures, clips on youtube, seasons available on amazon and itunes – if you’re lucky and don’t choose to fall for an international star on a little known show – wallpapers made by other avid fans – that have no chance of winning said-stars heart compared to you of course – schedules of appearances to meet those avid fans, record deals to the talented – and maybe not so talented – just because they were loved. And how could you not fall in love? They were average citizens like you once. They just had big talents and needed a place to show them off, be recognized. Tell me friend, what about any of that is not admirable. They stepped up, took a chance, they were brave and are now working towards their goals. Not just sitting on the sidelines saying, I could’ve done that. No sir, they did that, they are doing that and they, in anyway shape or form, are going to be rewarded for it.

But that’s the problem for us. The citizens who haven’t stood up. We are those who are sitting in front of our television screen, drooling. Drooling over the people, drooling over the dream, maybe both. We can compare those contestants to the people in our lives. Say stuff like, “If I knew him in real life we would be best friends,” or, “If he was in my life I would have been all over that.” Maybe they once worked at the same restaurant chain as you, the same store. It is so easy to imagine that fictitious relationship, because they once had a similar existence. They did not inherit the fame, they worked for it. Perhaps like your dad has worked for it, or how you are now working for that level of achievement. There is nothing more attractive that level motivation. Especially when it’s rewarded by fame. The concept is irresistible. Instant fame, instant fans and instant popularity with people you hardly knew.

Have you fallen yet? Are you fighting the truth in your love for this star? They are accessible, they are admirable, they are small town heroes and big town dreams. We wait, watching as they struggle to make it to the top, become that center star, the sun. We explode with happiness when they succeed, we cry when they don’t. These celebrities are people we can relate to, we want to see them win so that somewhere we find that fighting feeling of victory in ourselves. Watch them fight and you feel your own fight. While that person singing into the camera does not know you, there is still a connection made through the lens. You see yourself in their place, and that is the danger of accessibility. They become attractive to us on so many complex levels that you cannot even begin to fathom why their triumph is your own. You only know you are happy for it. You only know you want it.

Don’t deny it, you are slipping away into that black hole. You tell yourself they are on the other side, something about the grass being greener. They friended you back on facebook, there is still a chance they are that small town kid who wouldn’t pass you over. There is still that chance right? I’m not here to say no, just remind you that you did find them in the midst of their fame.

So, here is my advice. Do as they did, if you want to be a singer find the way. If you want to be an actor, find the way. Author, Doctor, Stunt person, Stage member of Broadway, find the way. When you find the way you will be surround by those accessible, admirable, motived, successful people that are attractive to you. You will find what you were looking for, but you have to do what your celebrities did. Take a look at the world form the other side of the lens, the other side of the black hole. Maybe someday, you’ll be replying to your fans tweets while eating #wheaties.

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