As far as celebrity crushes go, my affection is like a pie. I’m very picky about what type I want and there is a limited amount. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Throughout my life I have had three major celebrity crushes.
1. My first and longest lasting: New Kids On The Block, specifically, Donnie Wahlberg.
2. River Phoenix: because he was so darn good looking and talented. I cried for days when he died.
3. Robert Pattinson. Needs no explanation. He’s Robert freaking Pattinson!
Having a crush on someone famous is a totally normal thing. (right?) And we all know how pop-culture, now more than any other time in history, influences the masses. So I thought I would take some time to openly, if not somewhat embarrassingly, reflect on what my celebrity crushes have taught me.
WHAT I LEARNED
You should NEVER use them.
They might kill you.
For me, this message began with New Kids mania and was reinforced by the untimely death of my first ever celebrity crush, the one and only River Phoenix.
You should never judge someone for their “Twilight.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love the books. LOVE them. But the movies? Eh…maybe not as good as they could have been? I still waited impatiently for them to come out and now own all of them on DVD, but I never would have understood them if it weren’t for the books.
Mr. Pattinson won my heart when I saw an interview of him on Youtube. First of all, I had no idea he was English. That told me he was a much better actor than was shown to be in the Twilight films. Then, he was asked, “What celebrity would you most like to kiss…?” After thinking about it, Rob responded with a silly grin. “Ricky Gervais….Because I can’t think of anyone else.”
Then when I saw his film Remember Me, I was hooked. My heart melted for Tyler Hawkins.
Probably the most useful thing a celebrity ever taught me, came from Donnie Wahlberg.
Donnie taught me that Racism is still a real issue.
That probably sounds stupid to most of you. But I was never a very observant, as a kid, and most of my formative years were spent in a bubble. Until I got to High School, I thought racism was something that died out in the sixties or seventies. I never saw or heard it in my everyday life. I knew there were people that didn’t like one of my melanin-rich family members, but I never equated that to what I thought racism was.
About the age of fourteen, I started listening to New Kids. And Donnie talked about how racism was not an inherited trait, it was taught. And that got me thinking….
Honestly, I had never given a persons race a second-thought. To me, people have always been people before a color or gender. Race was never a topic of conversation, never taken into consideration in my childhood home. I don’t remember either of my parents or any of their friends–from all over the spectrum–ever saying anything regarding a persons heritage, derogatory or otherwise.
I felt the sting of it when I read an article on the New Kids in People Magazine. Donnie was quoted making a reference to the his fans as, “…fiesty little white girls…from the suburbs.”
Crazily, that offhand comment hurt my feelings. I know it wasn’t intended to–I know it was nothing. But I resembled that remark and no one had ever called me “white.” Though, my entire life I was surrounded by it in my blended family, I didn’t know that people actually referred to other people by color. It made me feel less than, like I was no more than a color (or lack thereof).
The first time I saw it happen and made the connection, I was a naive sophomore in High School. It happened to a friend of mine. I’ll call him Diego. Diego was sweet and tall and cute, and he also happened to be gay and Indian. He had an aura about him, a genuine appreciation for friendship, and I gravitated towards him. I truly wanted to get to know him from the second I saw him sitting alone in the back of my math class. I liked Diego so much, that one day, I was talking to another friend about him and mentioned that I wanted to invite to go to lunch with us. And I don’t remember exactly what this other friend said (due to my innate ability to block out the stuff I don’t like) but I remember that I was appalled.
The next day, I ate lunch with Diego. The day after that, I went to my school’s library and checked out the biographies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, and Oprah Winfrey. My eyes were opened.
Have any of you learned anything from your celebrity crush? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!