Pictured: Taylor Swift is often hassled by paparazzi. (Source: Paolo Villanueva via flickr.)

Celeb relationships and world affairs

How celebrity culture is changing the news we consume.

By Sarah Harris

In a recent interview with GQ, actor Tom Hiddleston confirmed that his relationship with singer Taylor Swift was in fact real and not a publicity stunt. He then went on to tell the magazine that the relationship had broken down due to constant pressure by the media. Their relationship was bought to attention shortly after Swifts long-term relationship with Calvin Harris ended. If you know anything about Taylor Swift you’ll be aware of how well known she is for her famous trail of celebrity ex’s including Joe Jonas and Harry Styles. It was recently suggested she was dating rap artist Drake who in the same month had been linked to J-Lo. Swift and Hiddleston’s relationship isn’t the first celebrity relationship to diminish due to media frenzy. This last year alone saw the divorce of Hollywood’s most beloved pair, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Within hours of the news, social media was crowded with the news and newspaper headlines everywhere were branding Pitt as an abusive father.

But is it fair that celebrities can’t have a normal relationship due to the constant harassment they receive from the paparazzi or is it just an unfortunate side effect of what are ultimately the many perks of fortune and fame? And does the fact that we live in such a celebrity-orientated society say something about us a whole? Personally, I don’t think it’s right that we invest so much time into the lives of other people. I recently came across the advert for the new ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s’ series which featured a glimpse of the moment Kim Kardashian had been told about her husband Kanye West’s hospitalisation. I know the Kardashian family has granted access to cameras during the most intimate moments of their lives but it must be difficult having your whole life broadcasted to millions.

I went to a small girls only school for 5 years of my life. It was the type of school where everyone knew everything about everyone and rumours flew around faster than the fresher’s flu. I know it’s not to the same extent as a celebrity relationship but this made being in a relationship incredibly difficult for loads of girls I knew, especially considering the catty nature and hormones flying around. I guess it’s not just celebrity relationships we’re obsessed with. For such a long time, the media industry has navigated how we perceive relationships. My Twitter and Facebook feeds are always bombarded with memes on ‘relationship goals.’ Just last week, Chrissy Teigan posted a snapchat video on her story showing her husband, John Legend helping her take off her jewellery because she was a little too drunk – the next day, twitter was full of teenagers who were clearly basing their relationships on what they saw in The Vampire Diaries and dubbing John’s actions as ‘goals.’ I mean sure, what he did was nice but I would be pretty shocked if the man I was married too wouldn’t help me take of my jewellery if I was in an intoxicated state.

I guess we’re so obsessed with celebrity relationships because it gives us something to hold on to and look up to. We all know the real relationships aren’t all sparks and glimmer like they seem to be in the celebrity world. Let’s take a look at 19 year old Kylie Jenner who’s social media accounts are full of pictures of her and her boyfriend Tyga and the extravagant gifts they’ve bought for one another. Sure, it would be nice to find yourself a partner who can afford to get you a new car for your birthday each year, but in reality, we’re more likely to end up with someone who’ll treat us to a Maccy D’s every once in a while – but hey, that doesn’t sound so bad to me. It is disappointing however, that our generation chooses to cling to pointless news that doesn’t affect them in any way when there are far more pressing and serious issues such as the war in the Middle East or the Refugee crisis which many people never engage with the same way they do with celebrity news. Maybe, clinging on to softer news makes the thought of a troubled world a little more distant but sometimes it is worth asking yourself whether you know more about the relationship between Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick than you do global issues, and which you should know more about.

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