Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It's not you, it's Harry Styles

Elvis kissing a fan in 1976 vs. country singer Carrie Underwood kissing a fan in 2012

Since Nicoline Petersen became a of fan of singer-songwriter Jacob Whitesides in 2015, no boy she’s dated has seemed ‘good enough’ in comparison to him. “I’m always thinking that they’re not Jacob,” says the 20-year-old from Denmark. “I just can’t help it.”
Who, among frequent entertainment consumers, has not longed to be kissed passionately in the rain or stopped from getting on a plane by a confession of love at the airport? Driven by the fantasy of books, television and movies, people have long held illusions of romance. Now that social media allows fans to engage them with unprecedented reciprocity, celebrities have become the benchmarks by which many evaluate their ideal spouse.

Attaching emotionally to a famous person, says psychiatrist and dating and relationship expert Jeremy Nicholson, does indeed make “regular” partners seem less appealing in contrast. Feelings of virtual intimacy have drastically intensified the one-sided celebrity-fan dynamic, making it easier than ever to form these unhealthy bonds. Most recently, livestreaming features have forged the falsest sense of proximity yet via a ‘fly on the wall’ effect. Forthcoming app updates – like Instagram Live soon letting content older than 24 hours be uploaded and Snapchat’s introduction of verified users – will only further enable such manufacturing of authenticity through filters, story ads and the curation of a branded reality.
“Like a photoshopped picture of a supermodel, we are falling for an unrealistic, edited, image when we fall for a celebrity,” argues Nicholson, resulting in a set of impossibly high standards the said famous person would likely fall short of too. Though they feel more attainable as actual people rather than fictional characters, he explains, there is no difference between wanting to date Harry Styles because you “know” him from following his career and longing to experience The Notebook love story. “When someone loses sight of the difference [between fantasy and reality,] they become jealous, over-invested and make unfair comparisons to real relationships with people in their lives.”
A normal and common ‘celebrity crush’ becomes problematic when one misunderstands the connection as romantic involvement, entering states of mental illness like celebrity worship syndrome or erotomania. It can get confusing when a celebrity routinely interacts with fans online or in-person, making their relationship – at least in part – actual over parasocial. In the case of Petersen, who has met Whitesides numerous times and is known to the musician by name, kissing him at a meet and greet in February was a turning point in her dating life. “He made me realize that I deserve the best [in a boyfriend,]” she says.

Though celebrities are human too, reasons Nicholson, they will always be nurturing a business affair. It is vital to remember we see them at their best moments, “not on an average Tuesday rolling out of bed for work.”
“If we live too much in fantasy, we miss the opportunity to find real, satisfying, loving partners.”

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Interviewing James Franco, Jim Carrey, Idris Elba, Brie Larson and more at TIFF 2017

Once again this year, I was lucky enough to attend the Toronto International Film Festival as RU Student Life's red carpet correspondent. At the premiers of The Disaster Artist, Unicorn Store, The Mountain Between Us, The Shape of Water, Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, Chappaquiddick and Woman Walks Ahead, I got to chat with James Franco, Paul Scheer, Brie Larson, Idris Elba, Beau Bridges, Jim Gaffigan, Ed Helms, Guillermo del Toro, Doug Jones and Jim Carrey among others. It being such a privilege, I wanted to share my experience and the interviews with you all.   

Attending The Disaster Artist premiere was a thrill. My friends and I have had long chats about Paul Scheer's "no secret to success" since. I was so nervous with James Franco and only wish I had more time to pick his brain about education, art and the rest. 

Brie Larson was so lovely and insightful at the premiere of her film
 Unicorn Store. My camerawoman Franci and I were taken aback by her grace and the way she looks you in the eyes when in conversation. We both agreed then and still think she'd be the best big sister ever.

Idris Elba is such a gentleman. So warm and charming! Even after its scheduled end, he stayed on The Mountain Between Us red carpet to give every remaining outlet an interview. Beau Bridges was full of wisdom, too, and adorable with his wife. 

Jim Gaffigan is damn funny. (Apparently, "smoking crack" got him kicked out of Ryerson. 😂) Also at the Chappaquiddick premiere, Ed Helms told me he was a C+ student in school and that his dream as a kid was to be a comedian  so happy that came true for him! 

Guillermo del Toro gave the most eloquent advice to aspiring artists at The Shape Of Water gala. To succeed, he told me, one needs "a strange combination of being tough and delicate." Doug Jones was also so sweet and super comforting and empathetic to the student struggle. 

Lastly, meeting Jim Carrey at the premiere of his documentary Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond was surreal and an honour. He told me he "doesn't exist" and I loved it. (FUN FACT: We actually lost this footage in a camera glitch and were heartbroken until a kind woman from Russian TV saved us by sharing hers. Thanks, Mila!)

Huge thank you to @RUStudentLife for sending me to the festival, and massive shout out to Franci Dimitrovska for being a great friend and badass camerawoman! 

Until next time,


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Chilling with The Vamps at Family's Big Ticket Concert

On August 27, 2017, The Vamps – A.K.A. James McVey, Connor Ball, Brad Simpson and Tristan Evans  came to Toronto to headline Family's Big Ticket Summer alongside Sabrina Carpenter. I was lucky enough to get to talk to the band backstage before the crowd went wild and they totally rocked the Budweiser Stage.

They were so fun, polite and genuine, and made me feel like their friend even though we had just met! During our interview, the boys looked back at some of their best past memories in a game of #ThrowbackThursday, drew random questions from the YSBnow Grab Bag and told me what they love about themselves. Watch now!


Though I didn't get to chat with Sabrina Carpenter, I did get to watch her incredible set during the show. Because I couldn't help myself, here's a video of her covering Dua Lipa's "New Rules" along with some of her onstage highlights. 

Until next time,


Friday, June 30, 2017

My iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards 2017 Experience

This month, I was fortunate enough to attend my second iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards in downtown Toronto. Covering for both YSBnow and RU Student Life, I had the pleasure of interviewing stars like Riverdale's Hayley Law and Asha Bromfield, Lilly Singh (A.KA. Superwoman) and Disney Channel goddess Dove Cameron.

Before the show, I ran into Lorde backstage.
Later in the pressroom, I fell in love with Darren Chris. Also, Dove Cameron's dress was a work of art.

As an interviewer, I always aspire to pose questions to talent they've likely never been asked before. Weird as it may seem, I ended up having some pretty lovely conversations with celebs about school, memes and self-love.

Dove Cameron, Nikki Bella and more told me what they love about themselves. Watch!

Lilly Singh talks about not feeling "good enough" here.

What's Tyler Oakley's favourite meme? Find out now!

Until next time,


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Visiting Bailee Madison On The Set Of "Good Witch"

I was so happy to be invited to the set of Good Witch to chat with Bailee Madison, the star of the Hallmark Channel series, last month. In between shooting her last scenes of the show's third season, we talked about Christmas, fashion, her career as a producer, girl power, building confidence + more!

If you aren't familiar with her or her work, Bailee is an absolute ray of human sunshine. I was so impressed and charmed by her eloquence and grace. 

Of our entire meeting, my favourite part was playing #TransformationTuesday with her. Watch now!

Click the links below to check out the other full interview segments!

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