11 Ways Awards Season is Different For Millennials Than It Was For Generations Past
I'm fascinated by celebrity lives and the entertainment industry. It's not just my job; it's what I'm doing when I'm off the clock, too — and I know I'm far from the only person who finds joy this way. But the world wasn't always like this. On many occasions, my mom has reminded me that when she was a teenager, meeting Davy Jones and the cast of The Brady Bunch just wasn't an option. Celebrities weren't nearly as accessible. And for that reason, award season is now totally different for millennials.
It might be hard to remember, but there was a time where celebrities were basically untouchable. They were just those people who starred in your favorite TV show or movie, and the general public's relationship with them ended there. Now, we're inundated by their emotions, opinions, and pictures of what they ate for breakfast or what their mom got them for Christmas. Celebrities are so much more human. We feel like we know them on such a personal level without ever meeting them. And despite the fact that I've had to unfollow several members of the Kardashian family because their Instagram posts were just too much, I'd rather have too much information than none at all.
There's no way to escape it, millennials — award season is forever changed by the celebrity culture we've grown up in.
Nominations Are Now an Event, Too
Mostly because we can't wait to see our faves react when they get nominated... or not. Just about everyone hits Twitter to express their excitement and gratitude, and I hit the shower to practice my future Emmys acceptance speech (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, obviously) with a bottle of shampoo. It always starts off the same way: "I couldn't have done it without my mentor and best friend, Tina Fey."
The Show Starts Long Before the First Celeb Hits the Red Carpet
There are usually plenty of selfies to be found on Instagram of the nominees getting ready, even if they save their outfit reveals for the live show.
We Get Instant Reactions to Wins and Losses
And if we're lucky, those instant reactions come with sweet, juicy drama.
We Understand Their Inside Jokes
Like why Seth Meyers would introduce Amy Poehler as Beyonce at last year's Emmys, or even when a host makes a distasteful joke about how many guys Taylor Swift has dated. The fact that celebrities are so open with us now means we understand their friendships, their enemies, and the complexities of their personalities... and I love it.
And We Understand Their Conflict
In the olden days, seeing a celebrity and their ex-boyfriend are sitting near each other in the audience might not raise eyebrows because their relationship probably wasn't publicized the way relationships are now, with everyone's emotions being broadcast 24/7. Now, we see Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber within 100 feet of each other and know there's potential trouble brewing, or we'd freak out if Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston were to share the same stage.
We Have an Immediate Outlet to React to the Show
Something crazy happens during the red carpet? Tweet it. Hate a joke in the host's monologue? Tweet it. Disappointed that the Emmys have turned into the Modern Family awards, again? Tweet it. Chances are good that your opinion will gain traction from others watching the show — or, in the case of anything E! is broadcasting, your tweet might even end up running across the bottom of the screen. As fans, our opinions matter in such a crazy huge way.
We Can Interact With the Stars
We can hit Twitter or Instagram or Facebook and congratulate them, or chide them for something they said or did. And if they're bored enough — or if the award show in question is a particularly boozy one — you might even get a response.
The Mani Cam
There is no time period in our planet's history where anyone — and I mean anyone — would have been interested in seeing celebrities walk their fingers on a tiny red carpet so we could see their manicures up close except for this one. I'm not even all that into it now, except for when Zooey Deschanel shows up with cool nail art.
The Paparazzi Are Everywhere
Everyone has camera phones, so there is way more coverage of every event than ever before — with dozens of perspectives on everything big that happens. We don't have to rely on the photographers on the red carpet anymore. We are the photographers on the red carpet.
Slip Ups Are Permanent
Will John Travolta ever live down the Adele Dazeem incident of '14? Probably not, but if it had happened 20 years ago, it might've already been forgotten by now, and he has social media and DVRs to thank for that.
We Are Far More Judgmental
Millennials are a generation of super consumers. We see way more movies, watch way more TV (thanks, Netflix), and are far more pop culturally aware. If the best movie doesn't win Best Movie at the Oscars, more of us have seen the nominees than not and can form an opinion about it, and that's awesome. There's a bad side, too, though — if someone shows up in a dress that just isn't working, people are quick to say so, usually in as mean a way as possible.
Things are changing, and award season will be even more different for the next generation, too. And I can't wait.
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