I have a confession to make…
I, a grown woman, have crushes on celebrities just like I did when I was twelve years old.
Okay, maybe not entirely like I did when I was twelve. I don’t hang their posters over my bed. I don’t doodle their last name with my first one all over my notebooks when I’m supposed to be doing math homework. I do, however, follow both Gilles Marini and Sam Heughan online. I am a member of the Heuhligans and the night I met Gilles ranks as one of the best of my life because celebrity crushes are fun and keep me young at heart.
But I think a great many of us fans are taking things to new and dangerous extremes and I hope you’ll give what I’m about to say some serious thought.
Your favorite celebrity — movie star, rock star, TV star or athlete, whoever it is — owes you NOTHING beyond an entertaining performance.
Social media can be a wonderful thing… Back when I was a teenager, the only way of reaching the object of my crush was to send a fan letter to a manager. Today, I have direct access to any celebrity I want via Twitter, Facebook, websites, and so on. I’ve spoken to Gilles online and in person and he’s a gracious, courteous, and intelligent gentleman. I’ve tried speaking to Sam online, but to date, I have received no replies and that is absolutely fine. I want to be clear on this point, HE OWES ME NOTHING. Sam is not required to wish me a happy birthday (though if he would like to, it’s November 12th!) and Gilles is not required to Like or Favorite or Retweet that blog post I wrote about him last year.
In the past month, both Gilles and Sam have experienced a storm of hate aimed at them via Twitter — Gilles for expressing his political opinions and Sam for — well, I honestly don’t know, except it has something to do with his friendship with William Shatner. I watched both gentlemen’s twitter feeds fill with people trying to inject themselves into conversations that have nothing to do with them — and then get pissed off when frustration or disagreement is expressed.
Look, I totally get it… we love our crushes, we think they’re here just for us, but let’s be real — you and I are simply a faceless, nameless follower in a profile that reaches thousands — if not millions — of fans — while the object of our crush is just one person.
Try to imagine yourself in Sam’s or your favorite celebrity’s place. You were a starving actor for years and finally land your big break on a hit show. Overnight, you’re the object of lust for women beween the ages of 15 and 80. You have to change your entire physical appearance for this show. You work out for hours every day. You learn a new language for authenticity. You learn horseback riding, fight scenes, how to put on a kilt. You suffer through HOURS in the make-up chair alone, then suffer through more hours shooting in all kinds of weather. You deliver one outstanding performance after another.
But it’s not enough.
You’re asked to give hundreds of interviews where the same questions are asked repeatedly and you answer them with a smile. Fans stop you while you’re trying to jog, or buy a cup of coffee.
And it’s still not enough.
You’re expected to be PERFECT. You have to be all things to all people. When a television icon befriends you on Twitter and because he has pissed off a number of people for things he’d said, you are suddenly criticized for staying friends with him. Suddenly, hundreds of tweets from people you don’t know and have never met fill your timeline faster than you can even read, suggesting you’re a bully because you did not defend THEIR honor.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Come on, fans! Let’s be smart about this, okay? When the cameras stop rolling, these folks are off-duty. It’s not your job to condemn, criticize, disagree with or chastise them for what they post on their own social media feeds. Unless my celebrity crushes are specifically insulting me, I don’t see how their online conversations are any of my business.
If you don’t like it, then stop following them online. Easy peasy. Because I promise you, if you don’t — at some point, these people we admire so much are going to shut down their accounts and then we’ll all suffer.