My sister was a huge One Direction fan. She had posters all on her walls and had various branded merch from them. She had a fanpage on Tumblr too I think.
I would hear her gushing about Harry, Zayn, Nial, Louie, and Liam, and it made me feel weird. Those dudes didn't care about her. They might, but they weren't aware of her singular existence. I understand that it's pretty much a norm to have a celebrity crush or fantasies as a tween. But I always wondered if she saw them what would she actually do? Act like she knew them? Because she didn't. That would alienate them further and keep them from being “friends.” But maybe she wanted an idol.
But maybe she wanted friends more. Friends telling her she was pretty and at the same time, allowing her to be her goofy, fun little self. Generally, people want that. And that's why some baby-faced boys made kids squeal “What Makes You Beautiful,” they fit that image and they and/or their agents catered to it.
I have artists I'm deep fans of. I have artists and authors who've kept me from dying, and I'm thankful for that. I'd like to think they're authentic because the experiences I've had by consuming their content are authentic to me. But they are not an active part of that experience. They're a catalyst sure. But at the end of the day, I'm projecting my own personal meaning onto their work.
Honestly, I would probably freak out a little bit to see one of my favorite artists in person. And a part of me would want to take a selfie or something with them. But they don't owe that to me. They don't owe that to anyone.
At that wonderful summer school I went to, one of my teachers told us, “Someone can say they love you, but you'll never know if they really love you.” That fucked me up when I first heard it.
Now I'm a huge believer in the saying: “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.” I do think a degree of expectation or assumption is required to live in this reality. To just know that particular actions communicate dedication like love and so forth. That's how we develop relationships and understand others. But there never seems to be a clear line. And that's what makes assuming go round, I suppose.
This video by Renegade Cut had me thinking about all this.
I'm still thinking about this video and will continue thinking about it for a while. So this is all very rambly as I'm processing that still.
But yeah, parasocial relationships...