Now Valentine’s day is over, can we seriously talk about celebrity couples?
High School Musical became a bad movie because we gave more attention to Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens than to the story itself.
It’s been a while I’ve been trying to write about how I feel about privacy. All kinds of privacy, actually. But here, I wanna talk about celebrity privacy, couples privacy, celebrity couples privacy.
In 2006 I was 13 years old. Here in Brazil, High School Musical came out just the day before the end of winter break. So, the following day, when I got back in school, it had become a major hit. Everybody was talking about it. It wasn’t much longer I felt in love with Zac Efron. But I was a different kind of fan.
Even though I used to spend a very long time ploting about how we would get married, I didn’t really want to marry him. It was more a metaphor for being succesful when I grew up. What I really wanted was for him to marry Vanessa Hudgens. They were the cutest couple!
When the Hawaii photos came online I freaked out. As, I believe, a lot people did. That moment was live-changing for their own personal lives, there is no doubt in that. But, what many people don’t mention is how that was decisive for the whole movie franchise.
High School Musical, the first movie, is my favorite one. And that is because it tells the story of high-schoolers trying to fit in, trying to figure out who they are, who they are gonna be as adults. That was the kind of kid I was. I liked what everybody didn’t like, I didn’t have many friends, so I related a lot with the story.
By the time High School Musical became the story of a couple — and that moment was when “Zanessa” decided to go to Hawaii — the movies could never be more interesting than the paparazzi pictures, than the press tours, than the appearences in talk shows on TV.
Those Hawaii pictures doomed them. All the attention turned to Zac and Vanessa as teenagers/young adults, not as actors in a movie. Take Camp Rock, The Descendants, whatever Disney Chanel Movie came out after High School Musical for an instant. None of them made quite a success as High School Musical did.
Along with this, back there, we were seeing the begining of a digital era, we were being introduced to social media and that played a big part on this show. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were one of the very ships we ever experienced. Then, Brangelina came. But Zanessa was a game-changer to Disney Chanel because of internet. Everything spread out so, so very quickly.
Nowadays, I don’t get impressed anymore that Vanessa had her nude pics out. Now, looking from the not so outside, but with a critical perspective, it even seems to me that all was staged. Specially after Justin Bieber and Selena Gomes went vacationing in the same destination Zac and Vanessa did. Does Disney give tickets to Hawaii to every single teen couple they get?
So the second and third movies started being produced and ended up turning the plot completly to Zac and Vanessa. Instead of telling a cool story about theater, arts and friendship, it became another lame story about a couple trying to survive the instability of growing up. So our expectations on their relationship became each day higher and higher.
Until the day they actually broke up, a bizillion stories about it had been reported. I remember when it actually happened, a friend in school came to me: “Have you heard Zanessa broke up?” And I, as a good fan, completly denied everything and told her not to believe in gossip news. Well, that day when I came home I ran into the computer only to be devasted by the so true gossip news. It wasn’t until a couples years later I accepted the fact they were over probably never to come back.
Today I tell this story with some kind of humor. The story of how I was a silly teenager. But — thinking deeper — not really silly for having a fandom, silly for not being able to see spectacle.
This is also the story of why I wanted to be a PR. It was observing Zanessa — and later Zac alone — that I realized how important it is for a celebrity to have their privacy. It is only in this way that they can build their careers for their own talent and hard work. I mean, if they wish to be artists.
Artists are often judged by who they are as people not by the quality of their work. So, if you are a sweet person, it is highly unlikely somebody will cast you to be the villain. And then I leave the thought: isn’t part of an actor’s job to pretend to be somebody their not? So why aren’t we letting them do their jobs?
We, as an audience, have the duty to support our artists. Mostly, to give them privacy when they need. So, what are we gonna do for now on?
By the way, the whole “let’s see Zac Efron shirtless show” also began in High School Musical. I bet nobody at this point, not even Zac himself, could predict he would never be able to let go of that scene. Today, all the media buzz around him is also aroud his body.