As COVID-19 continues to challenge the world to get through this pandemic, the traditional celebrity culture has seen a change to it like never before. The movie premieres, catwalk shows and live concerts have all been cancelled meaning the celebrity life of being captured at every luxurious moment has been ground to a holt. Gossip magazines are usually thriving on content about where the hottest celebrities are hanging out or who is dating who, however due to the global pandemic magazines are finding it difficult to put a story together. With many countries facing lock down restrictions, only zoom and Instagram live streams are putting us in touch with our favorite celebs.
For even the most established gossip magazines, finding a story besides what celebs are wearing to the grocery store is a difficult one. In reality, celebrities are living in sweatpants or taking part in a social distancing walk to ensure they are keeping healthy in lockdown.
In a more positive note, some gossip news has been highlighted during the lockdown period. Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik announced their incredibly exciting pregnancy news, which had fans feeling overjoyed for the couple.
It is evident that celebrities are finding it hard to come to terms with the new way of life as they are not receiving the attention they normally would. Press are no longer shining the spotlight in the Hollywood direction as all attention remains on the ongoing research for COVID-19. For once in a long time, celebrities are not taking the centre stage. Therefore, celebrities are taking to social media platforms to regain this attention. One way they have reached out, is by using services such as Instagram Live to stream live concerts to their fans or acting out famous scenes to give fans a glimpse of what they are missing. This act of positivity has generated optimistic comments from many fans as these moments brighten their day. However, these live videos are revealing celebrity’s homes to the real world which has shocked many. As Fast Company reports Natalie Portman has been showing off her “$6.5 million home” when filming. Evidently, this has resulted in people realising the real differences between citizens like her to the average person.
Fast Company Reports Cait Raft, comedian, podcaster and TV writer expresses “[When quarantine began], I was pretty confident that celebrity news would continue, but that it would change. It was already changing.”.
Celebrities have been launched into this world of lockdown where the power to withhold their image and reputation is solely in their hands. As the celebrity industry is virtually shut down, traditional gossip has come to a standstill and magazines are looking for social media comment drama to fill the pages. Celebs now have the responsibility of talking to their followers in a genuine way, being down to earth and letting followers know what precautions they are taking for COVID-19. But some celebrities will struggle with this, as the assistant of a complete PR team may be distanced away. Aquiles Este comments on this “I would say, as a whole, they seem very disconnected. Some of them really don’t know what to do with their identity during this situation”.
The pressure has been maximised for celebrities, as a simple social media slip up can ruin their reputation, which has happened in the industry before. For example, Vanessa Hudgen’s has taken to Instagram in this global pandemic to express her frustration with lockdown restrictions. Meanwhile, Kylie Jenner’s life hasn’t been paused as she purchases her new $36 million house adding to her housing collection. This put’s into perspective the differences in life that can be amplified when many countries are in lockdown. They are still the 1% of the population that don’t live like others, but they are still real people. Even though celebrities are not living their standard paparazzi life, a considerable amount are living as normal even if the world is seeing unemployment rates rising, many graduates having no jobs to start their careers and some people not even being able to undertake any type of work.
The celebrity culture has changed due to COVID-19, despite Kylie Jenner’s purchase and Vanessa Hudgen’s rant, celebrities are becoming one of us in some way or another. A few years ago, many would say the celebrity world was exclusive and unachievable to the average person but as celebrities reveal their true personality to fans, social media once again holds the power. It gives budding actors, stylists or models a new way into their career. Before quarantine, it was rare fans would see behind closed doors of a celebrity. But balance is key for celebrities, some fans will only generate negative opinions in the mansions they see whilst celebs attempt to live like the average person. Equally fans do not want to see celebs dressed in full glamour for quarantine life.
COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the similarities and amplified the differences in our lives and a celebrity. The normal celebrity culture will definitely stay on pause for the foreseeable future. One positive aspect to note, is that it has forced celebrities to stop their busy lives and reflect on the world around them.