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Your favorite celebrity is not your best friend

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Isa Peters
From 2000s magazines to present-day tweets: celebrity worship is always in style.

The 2000s was the decade of tabloid journalism and celebrity worship. If you were a D-list celebrity or higher in the 2000s, chances are your face could be on the cover of Star magazine: the infamous tabloid magazine that smeared every celebrity’s name and title. “Meltdown: Britney explodes with rage after ex blocks her from seeing kids…and threatens to step up custody battle.” “25 new diet secrets: How A-Listers slim down fast!” And of course, you cannot forget, “Lindsay wasted again! Relapse! She’s back drinking vodka and Red Bull.” 

Even though tabloid journalism arguably was one of the most defining cultural moments of the 2000s, it quickly lost its charm after the late 2000s amongst the younger generations. Celebrity worship, on the other hand, always stayed in style. The most obvious examples are K-pop fans and Twitter Stans. It is not uncommon to go onto any social media platform and see this new type of fan relationship: the ‘this celebrity/influencer is my best friend and I will defend them like a best friend’ relationship. This is no better than the 2000s, but at least the younger generation has opted to humanize these celebrities. 

This phenomenon has most of its roots in the 2016-2019 creator groups that were popular on YouTube, some examples being Team 10 or the Sister Squad. The fans became part of the group, almost like they were friends with these creators. The lines were blurred between what is a fan and what is a friend. It seemed harmless enough to vlog every exciting aspect of your life and show it to your adoring fans since that is what humans have always done. We have always loved to know what the Royal Family is up to because it is so exciting to see people live a more lavish lifestyle than us.

This all blew out of proportion, though, when the Dolan Twins father passed away and fans decided that they were also a part of the family and should come to the funeral to cheer them up. The hashtags “#SeanDolanMeetUpParty” and “#SeanDolanFuneralParty” started trending rapidly. A Seventeen article even stated that fans made fake invitations for the wake and funeral. Ethan Dolan did take to Twitter to address this stating “If you are a fan of Grayson and I, we love you and appreciate you so much. The best way you could support us during this tough time is to NOT show up at our father’s wake or funeral. thank you guys and please please please respect my wish.”

But the 2016-2019 era of YouTube was more for rich people and showing how cool and exciting their lives were, of course, they would have adoring and very concerning fans. That has always happened with that level of wealth and fame. But with the rise of more “realistic” influencers like Brittany Broski, once again, the waters are tested on how close you can get to your fans. Brittany Broski is a YouTuber comedian who rose to fame from her reaction to kombucha and has been a beloved aspect of YouTube ever since. The one thing everyone loves about her is how close she is to her fans. She has her “Broski Nation” and is the self-appointed leader/dictator of this comedic relationship with her fans. It is relatively harmless and shows how you can balance a close relationship with your fans. 

When it comes to bigger celebrities like Billie Eilish, it is harder to control your fans. Billie Eilish has a history of telling her fans to calm down and not take things so far since they do not know her. It is so popular with music stans to get insanely defensive over their favorite artists, specifically, Nicki Minaj’s fans also known as the Barbs. Recently on Twitter one-sided drama has broken out between Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion because Megan Thee Stallion mentioned “Megan’s Law” and Nicki Minaj thought it was about her. So of course the reasonable reaction to this as fans would be to dox and harass those who defend Megan Thee Stallion. According to the Houston Chronicle, fans went so far that the cemetery where Megan Thee Stallion’s mom was laid to rest has to have heightened security for fear of fans destroying her gravesite.

These celebrities are not our friends. It seems obvious, but every person has been caught once defending a person who could care less about them. Not even in a rude way, they just do not know who you are. It is one thing to admire their work and them as a person, that is fine. It is natural to defend those you admire and love, but if your admiration reaches points where law enforcement needs to be involved, it is time to take a break from social media. 

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About the Contributor
Isa is a sophomore, a Perspectives reporter, and on the Black and Gold podcast. She is excited for her first year on the Journalism team! When she’s in the podcast room you can see all the ideas flowing out of her head and simply just enjoying being with friends. She is a passionate artist, music lover (specifically K-pop), and avid movie critic on Letterboxd. When not in the podcast room she’s on the sidelines cheering with the Varsity Dance Team or in her room reading about Jo March’s adventures.

Comments (3)

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  • B

    BWFeb 7, 2024 at 9:51 am

    I really enjoyed reading your article! Good points & evidence, nice job!

    Reply
  • M

    Meena (Ramyashree Sivaramakrishnan)Feb 6, 2024 at 5:30 pm

    I can connect with this news as I am a huge K-pop fan!

    Reply
  • M

    MiaFeb 5, 2024 at 1:05 pm

    Wow loved this article! great to see they let Isa out of her cage for once!

    Reply