There’s a growing sentiment that celebrities, with their vast following and gigantic platforms, sometimes lose touch with the “ordinary” folk.
Recently, a clip of Megan Rapinoe, the football icon, surfaced which furthered this narrative.
Twitter user Oli London shared a seven-second video from the 2019 EPSY awards in Los Angeles that has since been viewed over 2.7 million times.
The clip showed Megan Rapinoe autographing a football for a young boy. There was no eye contact, no acknowledgment, just a simple act of signing.
Rapinoe, dressed sharply in a black tuxedo jacket, turns away from the boy to engage in conversation with another guest, before handing back the autographed football without a mere glance or word.
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— ABC (@ABCNetwork) July 11, 2019
One could say that this act contradicts the very nature of fan-celebrity interactions. After all, isn’t acknowledgment at the heart of such moments?
The fact that a child was involved has only exacerbated the criticism.
As one viewer put it: ‘That’s just so sad. That kid really looked up to her, to ask for an autograph. She’s a classic narcissist. I feel bad for the kid.’
The incident raises a poignant question: in the age of social media, influencers, and instant fame, is the human connection getting lost?
For the longest time, celebrities have been placed on pedestals. They’re larger-than-life figures who are emulated, revered, and sometimes, even worshipped.
But when they disregard the very fans who, arguably, play a significant role in their stardom, it paints a grim picture of the imbalance that exists.
Piers Morgan, with a following of 8.5 million on Twitter, didn’t mince words, terming it as “diabolical arrogance”.
While his past confrontations with sports personalities like tennis star Nick Kyrgios may color the perception of some, it doesn’t negate the fact that there’s a growing chasm between celebrities and ordinary individuals.
As another Twitter user pointed out, it took “literally 10 seconds of her day” for Rapinoe to offer a smile or even a few words. It’s these fleeting moments that leave a lasting impression.
The often-used phrase, “Never meet your heroes,” seems to underscore a sad reality where expectations of a simple acknowledgment are thwarted by indifference.
This isn’t an isolated incident of celebrity disconnect either. Recent events surrounding Rapinoe only compound this perception. Following a missed penalty during a match against Sweden, she was seen laughing while returning to her position.
Though she later explained it as disbelief at her rare miss, it’s these moments that shape public opinion. With a five-year track record of not missing a penalty, the smirk came off as being in poor taste, especially at such a crucial juncture of the game.
Moreover, Megyn Kelly’s remarks, asserting that Rapinoe had “poisoned” the US women’s national team, only fueled the fire.
The host criticized Rapinoe’s influence and the team’s attitude towards the national anthem, terming their behavior as “shameful”.
The juxtaposition of these incidents portrays a pattern of celebrities being in their bubble, insulated from the feelings and sentiments of the average individual.
While the pressures and expectations from stars are undoubtedly high, moments of genuine connection are what the public craves.
In an era of cancel culture, where every move is scrutinized and magnified, it’s essential for celebrities to remain grounded.
After all, fans aren’t just seeking autographs; they’re looking for memories that last a lifetime.
In the world of the digital age, it’s the human touch that remains irreplaceable.
If celebrities can’t bridge the gap, they risk alienating the very base that brought them stardom in the first place.