By: Alex Evans
I abhor the popular practice of airing out a celebrity’s every move. Nonetheless, I do admit that this practice makes my parasocial relationship fantasies absolutely flourish. First introduced to me by Eliza McLamb and Julia Hava on social commentary podcast “Binchtopia,” a parasocial relationship refers to the one-sided relationship that fans create with social media stars and A-listers alike. Fans devote time and energy into crafting images of that person beyond their online presence. Oftentimes, this leads to the illusion of that famous person being a friend, acquaintance, or even lover in fans’ minds.
It is easy to make fun of myself for participating in this, so shoutout to my best friend Emma Chamberlain, my unhinged wine aunt Meryl Streep, and my cool older sister Phoebe Bridgers.
As an avid Emma Chamberlain content consumer throughout middle school, I transitioned into the parasocial realm after experiencing an intense dream during my freshman year. In said dream, Emma Chamberlain and I road tripped from Los Angeles to San Francisco for a photo shoot, which we planned extensively. As a former San Mateo resident and high school student, it made so much sense that we would get along and that we were really deep-down friends.
Of course, I was enthralled by the connection I made and felt the need to Twitter DM Chamberlain through her podcast account. Although a shameful attempt with no response or mention on said podcast, the saga continued, as I truly believed that we would be besties if not for the tens of millions of followers separating us. After all, she did cheer with my cousin, so we are technically separated by only one degree.
My next parasocial connection came via the multimillion dollar franchise “Mamma Mia.” Meryl Streep is the wine aunt of my dreams. Regardless of my inability to determine what Streep is like beyond her acting personas, I still can imagine her as an aunt of mine sitting at the end of the Thanksgiving table, playing Scrabble with a glass of chardonnay in hand. Something about the almost stringiness and curly blonde of her hair really just brings it altogether for me.
Finally, the goddess angel herself, musician Phoebe Bridgers. When I stumbled into an obsession with her during quarantine, I quickly enveloped myself in the same media Bridgers consumes. Her muse, Elliot Smith, quickly became one of my top artists. I stalked her through the Instagram @celebbookrecs to uncover her fav reads. The list goes on. I aspire to have the talent and beauty she possesses, despite my failure to remember basic guitar chords. I would gladly give up my position of oldest sibling if that meant sacrificing it to her; as she once said, “anything she wants me to do, I will do.”
From these long shot scenarios, I am only reiterating the pure stupidity of parasocial relationships. As long as they are not with anyone in the Glee cast, I’m not too concerned.