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29 November 2012 @ 04:57 pm
Letters to 1D Mgmt and Louis Tomlinson  

Dear Famous People,

There are things you need to know when you are attractive human and you are either on the path to fame or actually famous. And your management team has a responsibility to at the very least communicate these things to you, and if they are remotely competent, they will do more than send you an email or two - they will make sure you understand and obey.

Anyone managing human talent, and particularly talent that is marketed to young people, needs to understand some very basic principles of human behavior and the internet.

First on the human behavior front: if you’re famous, people are going to have fantasies about you. They may imagine dating/having sex with you themselves, or with your friends, or with other people who you are not likely to date/have sex with (see incest fandoms.) When they put your posters on their wall, buy t-shirts with your face or ‘Mrs. You’ printed on it, they are really expressing some desire to date/have sex with you.

These people comprise a SUBSET of the total number of people who will enjoy your product. Lots of people will watch your movies or TV shows, listen to your music, etc. Not all of them will fantasize about your romantic/sex life. But ALL of the ones who put posters on their wall will. If you are a famous person and there are DOLLS made in your likeness, you can assume that there are lots of people who will be fantasizing about you romantically/physically. Similarly, some people who don’t buy the dolls or posters will also fantasize about you.

While that may feel weird to you, famous person, it can be a good thing. This subset of people will be your heavy consumers. They will buy wayyyy more of your stuff than the general population. There is nothing you are doing to cause this. You are not the first famous person to elicit this obsessiveness in your fanbase and you will not be the last. No matter what you do or don’t do, it will happen.

Second, on the human behavior front: some people will hate you simply for existing. They will be critical and mean, jealous of your success, or fans of another artist who they perceive as ‘competitive’ to you. This is shitty, but quite common, even for non-famous people. Bullying exists. It exists for everyone, and it’s always not okay. As a famous person, you will receive a disproportionate share of bullying simply because more people know who you are. There’s no other reason.

Third, and on the internet front: the internet is an accelerant for obsessive fans and bullies. The internet and social media make it really easy for either subset of your fan base to chat to each other, egg each other on, play around with their obsession about you. Things you say and do, pictures or videos that are taken of you will all spread through that community like wildfire. Under the cover of near-anonymity people will say things that they wouldn’t normally say to your face, both positive and negative.

The people who fantasize about your romantic/sexual life are shippers. The people who think and say horrible things about you are bullies. Some shippers are bullies. Some bullies are shippers. But the bullying is the objectionable part. People fantasizing about you romantically/sexually only becomes problematic if their behavior results in bullying, which can happen to you or your actual friends/partners/family.

You will feel uncomfortable being bullied, and you will feel uncomfortable being romantically/sexually objectified, although perhaps not equally. Your management team can/should help you deal with both.

They should present several plans to meet your needs, depending on your preference and emotional fortitude, as follows:

Plan A - don’t pay attention to or read any of it. Your management team is paid to know what people think of you, and they’ll keep you posted if it’s anything you need to know.

Now, Plan A is not likely to work, because one thing that is common about performers is that you actively crave the love of total strangers. That’s what makes you want to perform, and we understand that.

[I’m not saying there are no examples of creative/talented people who created just for the love of it, and didn’t care what anyone thought. Paul Gauguin, for example, fucked off to Tahiti around the time where it was more well-known for syphilis/leprosy/malaria than being a honeymoon destination, painted every flat surface he could find, caught syphilis/leprosy/malaria and then told his native Tahitian wife to burn all of his paintings when he died. What Paul Gauguin did NOT do is audition to be on the biggest talent search reality program in the UK. So]

Plan B - read as much as you like, but don’t publicly acknowledge any of it. The more you acknowledge, the more will appear.

[The fourth wall is important to uphold on both sides. Yes, fans should not shove fannish things in artists’ faces. But relying on fans to police their own behavior is like relying on kids to look both ways before crossing the street. They absolutely should, but if they don’t, you don’t get to run them over and kill them.]

Plan C - if you are choosing to interact with your fans/bullies, take ownership for your behavior. Stop, think, take a deep breath before you say anything. Don’t tweet anything that you’ll feel compelled to delete. Understand that your interactions with fans/bullies is very risky for you - the more famous you become, the less upside and the greater risk there is for you to do something stupid. Please be careful. If you’re ever upset and/or feel strongly about something you want to say or do publicly, please consult your management team. They can’t control what you say or do, but they can help you understand the implications if you haven’t thought them through already. You are making them millions, they will be available any time of day or night to check in with, if you need them.

At least one of these plans should work for each of you. At at the very least, remember you have each other. Nobody is more likely to understand exactly what you’re going through than the person sitting next to you, so check in with each other before doing anything rash.

Thanks ever so,

Mediaville


And given all of that,

Dear Louis Tomlinson,

You are aces at taking ownership of your tweets to bullies - you doesn’t delete or backpedal and I very much appreciate that. What you is less good at, however, is taking accountability for the shipper side of things.

I can. Not. Understand how you remain incredulous that people think you and Harry Styles are in or have been in a non-platonic relationship. You being surprised that people genuinely think there is or was something romantic going between you and Harry is like Angeline Jolie being surprised that people think she’s maternal, or Miley Cyrus being surprised that people think she likes dogs.

Now before you bluster about the unfairness of it all, consider this: no rational person thinks you and Harry have messed around because they wish you had. Nor because you have a lovely butt that would be wasted if nobody was fucking it, or because you have a high voice or because there are slowmo gifs of you and Harry eyefucking because NONE OF THOSE THINGS give a rational person reason to believe that you are romantically involved.

The kinds of things that DO give a rational person that impression are as follows:

When one of you is filmed answering the explicit question: ‘Are you dating ___?’ by saying, ‘Yes.
When a random interviewer asks Harry who his first real crush was, and he says your name.
When YOU ask the boys if they remember their first crush, and Harry looks at you and says, ‘You’
When Harry is photographed wearing a t-shirt that says he loves you.
When your mother tweets that you are returning to your husband, after you and Harry have been away from each other.
When you promise, on national television, to take him on a romantic getaway.
When your mother gives an interview saying that your extreme closeness with Harry is absolutely real, and that you wanted to spend Christmas together because you missed him.
When your mother tweets that you sneak into bed with Harry sometimes.
When his mother tweets fan pictures of you embracing at a concert.
When your mother tweets his mother with your hashtag smushname.
When your mom favorites the most popular shipper vid of you and Harry on YouTube. There is no way to possibly interpret this vid as platonic, btw.
When you propose to one another, in public, with roses.
When you are filmed licking his nose, or giving each other lovebites.
When you tattoo him.
When you and Harry flirt shamelessly with each other over twitter about how you’re turning each other on, snuggling in bed together, etc.
Honestly I can’t even be fucked to track down all of the ridiculous thing you, Harry, and your mothers have done to give the world the impression that there is something romantic going on between you.

Look. I’m not saying that you don’t have a perfectly lovely, heterosexual and committed relationship with your girlfriend. I’m just saying that it is hard for me to understand your total SHOCK at people thinking there is or was something going on between you and Harry. It’s absolutely fine and your right to shoot down that rumor, but I think it would be far more effective if you took some accountability while doing so.

For example, when questioned about ‘Larry Stylinson’ by press, you should consider saying something like, “Yeah, Harry is like a brother to me, and I love him, and we joked around a bit about the nature of our relationship, but that’s all it was: a joke. We’re great friends, but that’s all.” Just own up to it a bit, yeah?

Thanks very much,

Mediaville

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
mediaville: louis: peeks at youmediaville on November 30th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
Ugh I really, honestly ADORE Louis, but his reaction to the shipping stuff makes me want to slap him sometimes.

PS congratulations on reading all the way to the end. That was a tl:dr post if I ever made one!


Edited at 2012-11-30 11:23 pm (UTC)
rebe: big rob has his eye on yousmithereen on November 30th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. It seems to me like 1D is basically doing "stage gay" stuff like bandom used to do (except with less actual mouth kissing? and not just on stage?) And that's fine, but when you deliberately play it up like that, you really shouldn't be surprised if some people take you seriously or get the "wrong idea."

P.S. Can you also write one to Zayn? About how not to be a dick on twitter to dudes in bands that aren't even competition for you at all so WHY ARE YOU SO MAD?
mediaville: that's gaymediaville on November 30th, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
This is why I prefer Harry's "doesn't bother me" reaction. It's not because he's more gay-friendly or less-homophobic or single and not defending a girlfriend, it's because he knows HE STARTED IT.

Re: Zayn/The Wanted - I am working on a looooong fic that supposes a reason for this ridiculous feud. I can't actually believe he's mad. I keep waiting for them to be like, HAHAHA Max is Zayn's COUSIN and we've all been playing a huge joke on you. FOOLED YOU.
rebe: joe!tpsmithereen on December 1st, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
Is the reason because Zayn is secretly in love with him?! Or because they had a bitter breakup?!?!?!? TELL ME MORE!!!! I'm actually a little bit into Max from The Wanted now. I watched a couple videos after the twitter incident because I had this impulse to make him my new fandom out of spite. And I still basically know nothing about him, but from the little bit I've seen he seems like an appealing combination of slutty and dorky. And obviously the fact that he's proclaimed his love for Camp Rock without shame draws me to him. Haha.
cataestivalblue on December 1st, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
perfectly expressed
mediaville: harry: kissing louismediaville on December 4th, 2012 09:50 am (UTC)
Augh it was just something I had to get off my chest. <3
women's laserssarcasticpixie on December 4th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
I keep thinking that if we were all famous singers and, like, people thought Bekah & I were doing it, I wouldn't get MAD, I'd laugh HYSTERICALLY.

But I'm not an 18year-old boy SO.
mediaville: joe: YOU are a winnermediaville on December 4th, 2012 09:44 am (UTC)
Lbr, if you and Bekah were famous singers, you probably WOULD be doing it. And it would ALSO be hilarious.
Danielleontokkey on December 8th, 2012 07:24 am (UTC)
It seemed more like he was bothered by the people who claimed to ship Larry harassing his girlfriend, mother, sister, etc. I can't blame him. How else can he defend his loved ones who he feels are being threatened?
mediaville: louis: peeks at youmediaville on December 8th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hope you didn't misunderstand me: I don't fault Louis ONE BIT for telling off people who were/are bullying him and his loved ones. The bullying sucks, and I love that he tells people off and doesn't delete his tweets. A+. Perfect 10. Should do again.

I just find it odd when he expresses confusion over why people ship him/Harry, usually in interviews. And I actually think he would be more effective at dispelling that notion if he took some accountability (or gave Harry some accountability) for playing it up in the first place, you know?