Celebrity culture has a habit of entangling our lives and exposing society’s inherent obsession with fame and fortune. Fans often channel this fascination through writing or reading fanfiction, following their favourite celebrities’ daily routines on social media platforms or—in extreme cases—utilising plastic surgery so as to physically embody their idol.
‘Celebrity Worship Syndrome’ is a parasocial relationship wherein a normal admiration for a celebrity becomes a far darker obsessive fascination and preoccupation. This worship often manifests itself in inappropriate acts such as stalking, harassment or even in-person confrontation.
In what could only be described as a slightly tamer extension of the syndrome, some obsessive fans (and one or two celebrities themselves) have shifted their focus to the unpredictable world of traded goods—seeking out platforms in order to sell and purchase outlandish celebrity memorabilia.
American e-commerce company eBay—the most commonly used site for such purposes—is an online marketplace often known as the land in which all lost things go. However, in these cases, netizens dig through the clutter in search of something more specific than a Y2K mini skirt.
A user who goes by the handle @rev1on, recently listed an alleged bag of “Billie Eilish’s air” on an e-marketplace. In the listing, the user claimed that they had obtained the American singer-songwriter’s air at her recent concert in Singapore on 21 August 2022.
According to VT, @rev1on boasted, “I stood at the very front and managed to get her air in the plastic when she screamed her lungs out during the concert! For those who missed [it], you can buy this!! Very rare air!!”
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Now, I know what you’re thinking. First off, the listed item is almost certainly just a bag of plain air. Secondly, how much is @rev10n charging for this so-called memorabilia? Well, it turns out that a bag of prime A-lister air could be all yours for a meagre 15,000 Singapore dollars (approximately $10,000).
Sadly for potential buyers, the item has since been removed from the online marketplace—slashing the dreams of all those wanting to sniff the air of America’s favourite ‘Bad guy’.
James Blunt’s online antics can be recognised through his signature tweets, in turn helping the singer-songwriter build a shameless brand of self-depreciation that provides necessary respite from the narcissism of internet culture. The self-proclaimed “King of Twitter” has continually blessed our feeds with smart-mouthed replies and quips at his own discography.
One of my favourites came at the beginning of 2022. In January, musicians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young removed their music from Spotify in protest of podcaster Joe Rogan and his controversial opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic. James Blunt, feeling the need to insert himself into the conversation, tweeted: “If @spotify doesn’t immediately remove @joerogan, I will release new music onto the platform. #youwerebeautiful.”
However, long before his days on Twitter, James Blunt fell victim to the lure of eBay—as so many of us do—and in a frantic, addictive state, auctioned off everything he could set his sights on… including his own sister.
According to The Guardian, Blunt—amid waiting for his first album Back to Bedlam to be released in 2004—posted a listing on the marketplace in hopes of getting his sister ferried to a funeral in Southern Ireland after all public transport options had failed.
The ‘You’re Beautiful’ singer titled the listing: “Damsel in distress seeks knight in shining armour! Desperate to get to a funeral in Southern Ireland, please help!” And sure enough, a mystery man won the bid and promptly flew Blunt’s sister to Ireland in his private helicopter.
She then went on to marry her eBay rescuer, thereby making this by far the most wholesome of online celebrity auction wars.
Marily Monroe, aka everyone’s 20th century ‘it girl’, has a formidable cultural legacy. If anyone were to walk over a windy pavement grate while wearing a dress or skirt, their minds would probably reel back to Monroe and how her iconic look helped to shape a moment in history.
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While many fans would love to get their hands on a Monroe momento—such as the emblematic dress Kim Kardashian sported on the Met Gala red carpet—the actress’ X-rays may not automatically come to mind.
According to the BBC, a set of three X-rays taken of the star’s chest during a 1954 hospital visit was sold at an auction for $45,000. The scans were merchandised off in 2010 at a movie memorabilia auction at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, US.
Next in a series now titled “The weird obsession netizens have with celebrities’ breath” are Tinseltown legends Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. In 2005, Brangelina broke the internet with their viral romance and sent Bennifer (Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston) fans around the world into a lovesick frenzy.
Capitalising on the new couple’s grip on mainstream media, one eBay seller decided to auction off the Hollywood equivalent to gold dust: the duo’s combined air particles.
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As reported by Digital Spy, the seller’s statement claimed: “Be the first to own this jar of celebrity air, which may contain air molecules that came in direct contact with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt!”
While the online merchant’s starting price of $9.99 was suspiciously low, it didn’t seem to deter bidders and soon enough, the auction price was pushed up to a whopping $75,100. The listing also provided images of the so-called “air” being scooped up into a jar at the Mr and Mrs Smith movie premier. We can’t imagine this being the most accurate method nor how the eBay aficionado managed to grab a VIP pass to the premiere itself.
Although it’s unsure whether the jar was ever sold at prime price, the seller signed off their statement with: “We are not guaranteeing this air sample contains air molecules that came in contact with any celebrity epidermal layer or respiratory system, but the sample was captured in proximity of the celebrities and air molecules that did come in direct contact.”
While Jolie and Pitt may not have anticipated the messy divorce that would eventually go on to grip their future, their combined biological essence will surely live on in the form of outlandish eBay bids.
On 9 March 2000, Justin Timberlake finished a morning interview at the studio of New York-based radio station Z-100, leaving his half-eaten breakfast behind. A DJ at the station then decided to put the maple syrup-covered French toast on eBay to see who would take the bait.
Lo and behold, die hard NSYNC superfan Kathy Summers, 19 years old at the time, clutched the prize and succeeded in taking home Timberlake’s discarded snack. The Wisconsin-based student shelled out an impressive—or insane, your pick—$1,025 for her dream man’s breakfast leftovers.
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As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Summers told the radio station that she planned on freeze-drying the toast, sealing it and then displaying it on her dresser. And in case anyone was interested as to why the American singer neglected the other half of his meal, the enthusiast herself offered an explanation by stating: “The slices look a little bit burnt on the side.” Apologies to the chef.
The term ‘manifestation’ is used to refer to various pseudoscientific self-help techniques intended to bring about a personal goal, primarily by focusing one’s thoughts on the desired outcome. Based on the law of attraction of New Thought spirituality, manifestation blew up online around 2020—from March to mid-July of that year, Google searches for the term jumped by over 600 per cent as TikTok and YouTube became inundated with subliminal affirmation videos.
And it’s not only TikTokers and YouTubers who seem to practice this method either. In 2010, Demi Lovato tweeted, “One day, I’m gonna sing the national anthem at a Super Bowl.” Fast forward ten years and the singer achieved her dream, just like she had initially predicted (or manifested). In a similar vein, Megan Thee Stallion shared on the platform a message that read “I need a team [because] I promise this rap shit gone take off for me” back in 2014. You know how that story goes.
But what about manifesting romantic interests? You’ve certainly heard of a couple of netizens who’ve tried their hands at it, with some even claiming they’ve succeeded in doing so. But did you know that some of Hollywood’s biggest names have also admitted to manifesting their significant other in the past? Here are six famous individuals who basically predicted their other half.
Speaking to Glamour UK in April 2022, emo queen Megan Fox discussed her infamous relationship with fiancé Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) and mentioned that she believes she “manifested” him aged only four.
She told the publication, “[MGK] is literally my exact physical type that I’ve been manifesting since I was four. I’m also four years older than him. So, I think I made him. My thoughts and intentions grew him into the person that he is, who knows what he would’ve looked like or been like if it wasn’t for me.”
Victoria Beckham once admitted she had been dreaming of dating her now-husband, David, long before they even met. In fact, she went as far as to reveal she never even had a celebrity crush before she saw the former footballer. What a coincidence.
“It’s about creative visualisation,” Posh Spice said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It obviously worked out perfectly for her and David since the two have four kids together, including their eldest, Brooklyn, who’s recently made waves after calling himself a chef instead of a nepo baby…
Apparently, after briefly meeting comedian Pete Davidson on the set of Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 2016, Ariana Grande just knew they had a special connection. Quick side note: we know what you’re thinking right now, and the answer is yes, that’s also exactly how Davidson met and got together with Kim Kardashian before eventually splitting up in August 2022.
Back to Grande however, after their quick meeting, the pop star allegedly told her manager, “I’m marrying him, a hundred per cent… I’m literally marrying him.” In her song ‘Pete Davidson’, Grande also hinted at manifesting her now-ex-boyfriend, “I thought you into my life, woah / Look at my mind, yeah / No better place or a time / Look how they align / Universe must have my back / Fell from the sky into my lap.”
Honestly, the pull this man’s BDE has on Hollywood’s most famous women is unmatched.
Once again, this listicle acts as a harsh reminder that although manifesting your main squeeze can work in some cases, it sadly doesn’t guarantee that the relationship will last the test of time. On the one hand, we have MGK and Megan Fox and the Beckhams still going strong—or sort of in the first duo’s case—but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the two following couples ended up going separate ways.
Our second unfortunate example of a manifested ‘love story gone wrong’ comes in the form of Aquaman actor Jason Momoa and his ex-wife, Zoë Kravitz’s mother, Lisa Bonet. During a guest appearance on The Late Late Show, Momoa shared that he was only a little boy when he decided that Bonet was the one for him.
“Ever since I was, like, eight years old and I saw her on the TV, I was like, ‘Mommy, I want that one.’ I’m a full-fledged stalker. I didn’t tell [Bonet] that until we had two babies, otherwise, I’d be creepy and weird. But yeah, [I’d] just always wanted to meet her. She was a queen, always.”
Though Evan Peters and singer Halsey first made their relationship official in October 2019 while appearing together at an American Horror Story (AHS) Halloween event, she basically manifested their relationship through a series of tweets that were shared back in 2012.
Professing her attraction to the actor on the social media platform, Halsey wrote, “Petition for Evan Peters to date me.” Then in 2014, she was back at it again, writing, “I’m so in love with Evan Peters I’m so whipped I’m whipped as f*ck.”
It’s never been confirmed whether Peters ever found out about these, but sadly, the posts have since been deleted.
In 2012, Cody Simpson told Fuse that Disney child actor turned rebel pop star Miley Cyrus had always been his biggest celebrity crush. “I knew all the words to her songs, I’m not gonna lie. I’m not ashamed about it, at all. I was a big Miley Cyrus fan. I think she will be, forever, the most dateable Disney star,” the Australian 15-year-old shared at the time.
Eventually, the two became friends and even dated for almost a year before calling it quits in August 2020. Nice one, Simpson.