After the streaming of the much hyped Band Aid 30 charity video on Sunday nights X Factor, was Twitter awash with sympathetic words about what a great cause it is and how much money should be raised? No. The Twittersphere threw their hands up because Zoella, Alfie and brother Joe were there swaying along in the lineup.
Hence calls from the UK public who aren’t “in the YouTube know” protesting “who are these people? Do they even sing?” the Daily Mail running a whole article on the inclusion and calls from other bloggers/vloggers wondering why the hell they would be including in such an epic production with not a hint of jealousy, of course (I jest, even I got a twinge of jealousy at Zoe being in such close proximity to Ed). Including YouTubers may seem to some almost as bizarre as Kim Kardashian joining the line up and standing there with no musical background or professional singing experience (we’ll ignore that one song she released) and trying to validate her inclusion in such a popular collective of singers for a charity single.
Surely the inclusion of Zoella and co shows just how time has changed and how rife celebrity culture is and how celebrity sells. How many of Zoe’s 6.5 million strong following will buy the single JUST BECAUSE Zoe may mouth a line during the single, combine that with the global One Direction following, Ed Sheeran fans, Bono fans and those who just want to make a difference and may never even listen to the single and you’re seeing the pounds making Ebola beating prizes.
This celebrity culture debate comes off the back(side) of Kim Kardashian breaking the internet with her Paper cover picture – granted she didn’t break the internet (my TalkTalk hub ticked along nicely) but my timeline was flooded with pictures and opinions on the shoot – whether it be positive or negative, it got people talking about her. Which is why I don’t understand people, especially bloggers, who have nothing but disdain for Kim Kardashian and co. You may not agree with how she goes about grabbing headlines or how she conducts herself, but Kim and her entire family have essentially made a living off of being themselves, whether they have talent or not. Love them or hate them or smear Kim’s ass with Marmite, the majority of the families fortune has been made from being born into the Kardashian name with the Jenner sisters very much following suite.
If you want to bring it a little closer to home, look at the likes of Katie Price who has made a small empire of product endorsements off the back of her “reality” shows.
I’ve often thought there’s a link between these reality stars and the blogging/YouTube community. I doubt we’re all going to strip to our oiled up booty and pour champagne into a booty balancing glass but we’re all more or less carrying out a reality show TV show via blogger, WordPress, a YouTube channel or Twitter. We are relying on ourselves to sell our blogs as a brand. We are the face of our brand, we offer insights into our lives, we photograph ourselves, we collaborate with brands, exchange money/produce for promotion – so aside from the oiled up booty and getting our nipples out, what are we doing that is different from what the Kardashians are doing? They’re just doing it on a bigger scale whilst earning big $$ and making headlines.
A handful of us bloggers/vloggers are beginning to grab these headlines and enter into this celebrity bubble lifestyle (granted at the minute it’s a select few, but evolution of the blogger may see this become more common place). The likes of Tanya Burr and the Pixiwoo sisters are getting papped at red carpets and even “10 Reasons Why” star Emily Hartridge is Daily Mail “famous”.
If I could be Kim Kardashian level famous for just “being myself” I would do it. If I could be picked up by an agent wanting to shower me with money, endorsements and appearances for documenting my life and divulging my shoddy love life (oh wait, I already did that) then I’d put my best foot forward and welcome it. I don’t even think I’d mind taking part in a reality TV show should my life actually be worth watching on TV or be worthy of “vlogging”. I’m sure the majority of us would.
I don’t view making a brand out of being yourself and being paid just to turn up to a party as “talentless”. All I do is write about makeup, clothes and men who I’ve dated – to some that would be seem as vacuous and talentless. But to others, myself and my blog are worth something – you only have too look at my inbox to see that.
Much like those who have dissed Zoella in the past and those who have cried out about the Band Aid single, if an agent or Sir Bob Geldof were to call you (or your agent, darling) and ask whether you would possibly take time out of photographing your shoes, sticking your lipsticks to a whiteboard with Blu Tak or frantically chasing the light to hot foot it to London and stand beside Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Bono and the like…. would you say no? I’d probably recommend Bob some kind of nourish hair mask and a Tangle Teezer, but I’d still jump at the opportunity.
Like I say, it simply shows a change in celebrity culture.