Let’s paint a picture. You’re feeling really down and you needed time with your friends and a pizza desperately. You’re out at your favourite restaurant, about to stuff your mouth and spill your heart out to your girls, when a complete stranger puts their phone in your face, Snapchat at the ready and asks “Can I take a picture with you?”.
- Smile, put your pizza down and smile for the selfie
- Ask the person politely who they are and decline the photo
- Push their phone out my face and tell them to fuck off because you’re about to eat pizza and cry with your girls
To add to this scenario, imagine this person has been filming and taking pictures of you eat for the ENTIRE time and you hadn’t even realised so now, no matter how you react, they’ve gotten a piece of you anyway.
I know most of you are laughing whilst choosing number 3- how can someone invade your privacy like that, especially when you were feeling really shitty before anyway? How can somebody have their front facing camera at the ready, in your face- they don’t even know you like that. These are questions you would ask if you were in this situation but, for some reason, when it comes to celebrities and recognisable people, a majority of people expect number 1, regardless of what’s going on; I want to talk about the ‘celebrity entitlement complex’.
At one time or another, we have all seen a video of a celebrity minding their own business when a fan goes to ask for a photo, and on the occasional time that celebrity declines the photo, the caption of the video usually reads “OMG AND I THOUGHT SHE WAS NICE!!! I USED TO LOVE YOU BUT YOU ARE SO FAKE AND MEAN”; why do we expect celebrities to be on call 24/7 for photo ops with their fans but pick number 2 or 3 when it was the pizza scenario from earlier? Look at the example below where athlete Steph Curry is with his family and child when he is approached by a fan. Not only was he carrying his daughter, but it also seems as though he genuinely didn’t see the fan, yet he was blasted on social media.
That awkward moment when Stephen Curry refuses to acknowledge your niece is a person who is speaking to him. She’s just a kid man pic.twitter.com/hvo6zV8nLP
— Sonia Hawks (@sonia_hawkss) June 19, 2017
With the help of social media, it is now more easy than ever to gain access to your “faves” and feel like you have a personal connection with them. You can find like minded people who care about your chosen celeb/ QUEEN just as much as you do, and collectively find ways to gain attention and appreciation from them as well as try and prove how much it is reciprocated, maybe by having a photo with them. Some celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, interact heavily with their stans, replying, laughing at their jokes, filming them outside their hotels and even going as far as giving them money for school fees. The internet links fans and their faves together in such a unique way, it is easy to forget that just because these individuals seem perfect to you, that they are still human.
When the images of Rihanna and possible new boo surfaced online, the hashtag “Rihanna has a man party” was trending world wide, with the images shared and memed more than a million times. We are all somewhat guilty of feeling partially involved in that “party,” whether it was simply laughing at a meme about stans fucking Spanish men to Wild Thoughts (later finding out he was actually Saudi) to going as far as finding out exactly who he was, his net worth and his previous dating history. What a lot of people didn’t stop to think about was the voyeuristic nature of these images, almost like someone was in the bushes lurking, waiting to snap Rihanna and her friend in their most vulnerable and intimate state. The internet didn’t care though, we felt excited for Rihanna as we had followed her relationships so closely with social media that we felt almost a part of it; no one stopped to think that maybe the pictures were blurry AF because they were taken from really far away because, maybe… she didn’t want them to be taken!
— Slim. (@obeysireli) June 27, 2017
— bebe (@religiouscaviar) June 27, 2017
In this day and age, it is easy to feel you know someone because of how close you have gotten to them on the internet, but this logic cannot be expected to be constantly upheld by a celebrity 24/7 in real life; it’s just not fair. No matter how much they love and appreciate your support, it doesn’t change the fact that they are human and have the right to not want to share a piece of themselves with you, especially when there are a million more people just like yourself who want a piece too. You may feel entitled to that picture with them or entitled to know their business, but they are still normal people at the end of the day and they are entitled to their personal space as much as we are.
Written by Leomie Anderson