Celebrities – they’re just like us: whipping out their smartphones and snapping self-portraits (selfies) at every opportunity. But can instant – and constant -- access to images of our idols kill the mystery that keeps us coming back?
The pictures are never great quality, and they usually aren’t the type you’d pose for at Sears Portrait Studio. Clothed, semi-clothed, drunk. Seductive, rowdy, excited. Making that silly duck face by pushing your lips together and out, trying to look alluring, failing utterly. Documenting, for history, Instagram and Facebook, your chance encounter with a famous person.
For Irish celebrities like One Direction heartthrob Niall Horan, the lure of the selfie is irresistible. His millions of fans snap up every scrap of information they can get. They analyze every blurry photo, debating the state of the highlights in his hair, agonizing over a new acne breakout. And is he growing a beard or did he forget to shave? And they can SO save the pictures as wallpaper on their phone.
And all that attention translates into sales of 1D MP3's, 1D perfume, 1D posters, 1D t-shirts, 3D 1D holograms (probably). But while over-exposure to Horan’s hunky self might come with a price (readers under 18 years of age, that’s your cue to scream NOOOOO!), it’s also true that boy bands have a notoriously short shelf life (yes, you can scream again).
Other celebrities with Irish connections can also fall into the trap. Rapper Macklemore teases fans with selfies showing him in all his shirtless, ginger-haired glory. It’s cute to see Bradley Cooper and sassy Scot Gerard Butler show off identical tailoring, and Chelsea and Hillary Clinton getting the giggles, but we could probably live without seeing Paul Rudd sniff Conan O’Brien’s face.
Even the big guns are getting into the act now, with the Commander-in-Chief snapping a selfie in the West Wing. And even more astonishing, the Big Boss, Bruce Springsteen, smiling for his own camera.