From iCloud Hacks to Selfies at Funerals (it happened to Harry Styles) – When Did Celebrity Respect Become Non-Existent?

The line between respect and a downright lack of compassion for celebrities has been blurred for many years now, which – in our opinion – is many years too long.  It seems that our world has become more social media driven and in turn, we’ve become a generation that thrives off of instant gratification.  Celebrities have gone from people most admire to people most see as nothing more than objects that should be constantly willing, and able, to provide the masses with entertainment.

This poses a question, when did we lose sight of the hearts at the core of the celebrities that we claim to look up to?  When did we decide that as long as we’re happy and satisfied, the people we value as musicians, actors/actresses, or dream chasers that have shared their talent with us in a number of ways don’t deserve the general kindness and respect that we require in our own lives?  When did we lose our sense of compassion for not just people in our day to day lives, but the celebrities who live their lives under a glorified microscope and can’t even go to the grocery without being turned into a media spectacle?

When did we decide that kindness wasn’t important, and how do we go back?

We started thinking more deeply about this subject when Gemma Styles, Harry Styles’ sister wrote an article for The Debrief that spoke about an instance where Harry was asked for a selfie – at their grandmother’s funeral.

“My most frustrating personal experience of this was the ‘friend’/distant relative at my grandma’s funeral who was trying to bring in her granddaughter or niece or someone to have a picture with my brother. At a funeral. Our grandmother’s funeral. ‘Smh’ doesn’t really cover it.”

We are shaking our heads too, and then taking a look at our own lives and even if we aren’t touched by fame, there are still way too many circumstances where a lack of couth shows that this fast paced, self(ie) centered existence is causing some people to forget a basic set of manners which equate to human decency.

Gemma spoke more about the selfie and how it’s the equivalent of the modern day autograph – while it does capture an experience better (for some) than a signature would, it has also made people a bit more invasive, or perhaps, it’s made people feel a bit more deserving in some circumstances where they don’t quite have that right.

It’s not unheard of to hear of “stalkers” when it comes to celebrities, they’re in every fandom, in every city, in every country – some fan bases have a larger quantity, some have more invasive groups, but what it all boils down to is that stalking behavior is almost praise in sub-fandom groups and there’s never a time, place, or circumstance where that behavior should be hailed.

There are actually television shows about people who are handled by the law for stalking, but people act as if it’s okay as long as a celebrity is the object of their bad behavior and not a neighbor – like it almost makes it better somehow.

We tried to make sense of it, but…it just…it doesn’t work. 

The behavior doesn’t stop there, because it’s not bad enough to subject celebrities to a total lack of privacy in person; it happens online too.  There have been iCloud hacks to personal e-mail leaks and everything in between.  It seems that the line has not only been crossed – but annihilated entirely and there’s no going back.

Celebrities aren’t given many moments of privacy, not many days, hours, or situations are theirs to keep.  When a celebrity goes on a date, a vacation, or has a private conversation with a friend – they anticipate that at least some of those things will remain theirs.  With hackers, not even moments, photos, or conversations are personal anymore.

We were all taught, when we were young, to treat others how you want to be treated; with the way the world works these days it seems that 95% of the population wouldn’t mind being absolutely overwhelmed at every moment of every day and never having a thing belong solely to them again.  If the actions of a generation stand behind that saying then it seems that we’d all be okay with our own lives being picked apart and put out into the open for every one to have a part of.

We don’t know about you, but we like our privacy, and we think that celebrities are owed their own too. 

When a celebrity shares their passion, talent, and dream with the world – they are doing it because it’s what they love, because they have something to say, and because they have something they want to give to others.  This doesn’t mean they’re play things, posable objects for fans to mold, photograph, and box into what they think the celebrity should be.  The part of their lives that we’re given access to are small in comparison to who they truly are, and that’s the way it should be.

If you’re asked over and over to do something, you sort of want to do it less; but if you’re given room to breathe and some compassion – you almost want to do more for the people around you.  Celebrities are no different.

The next time you see your favorite out and about; shoot them a smile and a wave and if the situation allows, thank them for inspiring you – in most cases you can assess a situation to determine whether more than that is appropriate.  The next time you see leaked photos online or personal conversations; think about how you’d feel if it were your photos or conversations online before you take the next step.

And if you’re lucky enough to get to talk to, meet, or enjoy a bit of time with someone you look up to; keep the private matters private – while it may seem incredible to talk about that time spent with someone who saved you, or tweet about how lucky you are to have been able to spend time with someone so special; it’s even more special to reflect on those moments respectfully and keep most of them to yourself.

Just because you see Harry Styles at a funeral doesn’t mean you should ask him for a photo.  Just because someone gives you Lauren Jauregui’s phone number doesn’t mean you should text it.  Just because you see Louis Tomlinson at a club doesn’t mean you have to say he took you back to his hotel when he actually just smiled and snapped a quick shot with you.  Just because you were on a plane with a member of a well known boy band doesn’t mean you should create a romance and sell it to tabloids to try discredit their heart and sell your own narrative.

Respect people, be kind, and remember that you get what you give – the world would be more beautiful if we all gave more love and compassion

Written by Ashley

Writer, coffee drinker, mother.