By Megan Bianco
Even before the days of the coronavirus, social distancing and curbside service, people had been predicting and lamenting how the concept of the traditional “movie star” was on the verge of being obsolete. Since the creation of the Internet and social media, the superstardom of past icons such as Judy Garland, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe and Paul Newman—where it was all about mystique and having a relative barrier from the fans off camera to live up to their screen image—has been slowly waning. With social media forums including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we can now see stars such as Chris Pratt, Florence Pugh, Ansel Elgort and Ana de Armas personally post and respond to fans about their everyday lives from close proximity in real time. There then becomes a disconnect in which the general public gradually stops viewing the celebrity as a star and more like themselves. Even so, there have been instances in which this works to the actor’s or music artist’s or model’s advantages. “Instagram models” are now a phenomenon, and there allegedly are even instances in which actors’ social media followers influence their appeal for casting.
Now, with concerts, music tours, film/TV productions, press tours, premieres and award ceremonies on hold indefinitely, time has proven celebrities really are just like us and are going stir-crazy in lockdown and post-lockdown. Not only are celebrities continuing to pose for paparazzi on the streets and posting on their social media more than ever before, they’re even going on expensive, tone-deaf vacations in the middle of a pandemic, while ordinary people are either ill with the virus or recently unemployed or both. It’s just not a good look and comes off obtuse, even if it is a desperate attempt to remain relevant while out of work.