I know a girl who has red carpet selfies with Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Selena Gomez – to name just a few. She told me that when she lived in LA, she would scout out scheduled celeb appearances at red carpet events, then queue up half the day to catch a glimpse, get that Instagrammable shot.
I don’t think she was in LA any more than nine months, but she had so many celeb photos to show for it, I haven’t seen them all. Plus I’m pretty sure she was also working or studying during that time, at least in theory; it’s not like she didn’t have anything else to do with her life.
I laughed. I laughed because I was simultaneously impressed and mind-boggled at her commitment to doing this, and the fruit her commitment bore.
Her hobby was all the more fascinating to me because I am the total opposite.
Except for that one time we joined the teenaged crowds for the Australian Idol final, I’ve never been into red carpet appearances.
I almost actively avoid pursuing celebrities, even when we are in the same room. I shook hands with John Howard and Bryce Courtenay when I was 11. I have my picture taken with the lead singer of Evermore, but only because my sister wanted a photo so I jumped in.
It’s like I really don’t want to fangirl anyone, on principle. I’m a snob. But secretly, something inside me does think it’d be nice to enjoy and capture that moment on camera.
Not long ago, I went to an incredible concert by Gaby Moreno. She’s not very well known in Australia but she’s a Grammy winner, and I experienced this internal conflict about lining up to meet her. I didn’t do it.
I don’t just avoid Hollywood types and rock stars – I do it to normal human beings. Anyone who’s widely considered popular. Everyday celebrities.
At the beginning of the month, I was at IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering. I worked for IJM’s Bolivia field office from 2014-15 and am on the team at IJM’s Australia partner office as of late last year. Anyway, I was at the GPG as part of my annual leave rather than for business, and time and time again I walked past leaders that I’d met maybe briefly three years ago.
And I didn’t greet them. Everybody wants to talk to Gary. Everybody wants to talk to Sean. Everybody wants to talk to Jim. They won’t remember me, just one of many fellows on the field. So why bother approaching them.
Getting a selfie would be worse – that would definitely turn them into celebrities. I shudder at the thought.
At church, I very infrequently strike up a conversation with the pastors or other leaders, because of course they’re always chatting with someone and I assume that someone has actual pastoral things to talk about. All I want to do is say hi, how was your week?
I tend to do the same with attractive guys. It’s not because I’m intimidated by their Zoolanderesque”really, really good-looking”ness, I promise. In fact, it’s because overthinking makes me self-conscious about striking up a conversation – I don’t want them to think their attractiveness is the reason I want to talk to them.
So it seems I’m a snob with a weird inferiority complex and a secret desire for brushes with awesomeness (whether this is represented by fame, Blue Steel or other types of awesome).
This girl and her celebrity selfies – I still laugh at the thought, but I do admire her.
I need more of her perspective. I need to live like I actually believe God made us all equal, that no-one is too high up, too busy or too good-looking for me to approach.
I need more of that persistence. I need it not so much for having the balls (or whatever it is us females metaphorically have) to approach Awesome People for fun. Rather I need to be free of baseless reservations like this, and not let them get in the way of living purposefully in my everyday.
So maybe someday I’ll stop being a snob, go say hi to a celebrity and ask them for a selfie.