With the spotlight pointed in a much different direction during the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrities and entertainers are looking for new and different ways to connect with their fans and keep their names in the public conversation. One of the most popular ways has been through trying new things on social media. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, crafting, gardening, exercising, or any number of other hobbies, celebs are gaining attention by showing fans their “regular” side.
One recent example is Portia de Rossi, who has been teaching herself how to cook, capturing the process in a series of fun and connective Instagram posts. She has made some strides and made some mistakes, sharing the miscues, cuts, and burns with her audience – and she has also revealed some facts that many couples can identify with. Mainly that her wife, Ellen Degeneres, and her may not share some of the same tastes.
Actress Hillary Swank tried her hand at learning to crochet, knitting a new hat and sharing it with all her fans, and actress Marlee Matlin took to raiding her closet to see what still fit, including trying on her wedding gown to the amusement of her fans. Rosie O’Donnell gave fans a tour of her garage and art studio, while other celebs brought their fans virtually into bedrooms and bathrooms.
While this kind of slice-of-life content is popular, some celebrities are going for simpler or downright weird ways to beat their quarantine boredom. Madonna sang into a hairbrush, something that millions of her adoring fans certainly did when the “Material Girl” was at her peak. Meanwhile, singer Justin Bieber donned a onesie and jumped around his living room, playing the kids’ game, “the floor is lava.” Nine million fans shared in the goofy break from quarantine blahs and boredom. Pop star Pink tried cutting her own hair, and that went about as well as it would for the rest of us.
So, what’s the end result for these celebrities who have invited their fans even further into their private world? By engaging in a natural, no-frills, no-pretense way, many public figures are finding new and better ways to connect with fans. On some level, the appetite for the “inside scoop” on celebrities has always been limitless. Fans want to know as much as they can about the people who create the art they love.
And the message often being presented, “We’re all in this together,” is another way to connect on an emotional level. Of course, this could be a double-edged sword. The plain fact is, celebrities on the level of Bieber and Madonna are not “just like the rest of us,” and their methods of self-isolation and resources during quarantine can bring that fact into sharp focus. While many fans won’t care, others are liable to look at that and think, “they’re not really like us at all.”
This is where communication and connection can make all the difference. Instead of offering a glimpse of luxury to be envied, public figures should create conversation and authentic connection, so fans focus on the person and not their environment or possessions.