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October 7, 2013 | by  | in Features Homepage | [ssba]

We’ll Never Be Royals

Over the course of Lorde’s unstoppable trajectory to international stardom, I have developed a somewhat unhealthy obsession with following her interactions with celebrities via Twitter.

Way back in February, after the Love Club EP was first released, Lorde was justifiably ecstatic when electronic artist Grimes tweeted about it; just six months later, and actress Emma Watson was posting a simple but effective: “Lorde – royals”. Every couple of days or so I head to to witness a new horde of celebrities clamouring to engage online with Lorde. In the last month alone, she has conversed with Chance the Rapper, Lena Dunham, and Jimmy Fallon, to name but a few.

Setting aside reasons of humanity’s natural interest in all things celebrity, and my weekly requirement for procrastination whenever we’re meant to be making Salient, I have begun to suspect that my fixation with @lordemusic has a lot to do the fact that she’s—and this may come as a surprise—only 16.

If Lorde can do all this and more at age 16, what are the rest of us doing wrong? I certainly wasn’t in contact with celebrities of any sort via my Bebo account when I was Lorde’s age, and now, six years on, I’m still not tweeted at by celebrities with any regularity (Seven Sharp host Jesse Mulligan excluded).

And if it didn’t happen when I was 16, I begin to wonder when my big break’s going to happen. I start to realise that with every birthday I draw closer and closer to that destination known as “over the hill”, and that maybe it would be more realistic to start referring to my “big break” with an “if ” rather than a “when”.

Just as I once believed that, prior to turning 11, there was every chance I could still receive an invitation letter to attend Hogwarts, I have long convinced myself that, so long as I am younger than the rich and famous, there’s every chance that I could still count myself amongst them one day. As if the only thing separating me from being as successful as Lena Dunham (wrote and directed Tiny Furniture at age 24) or Kanye West (released The College Dropout at age 27), is the fact that I’m simply not that old yet.

At some point in the not so distant future, I will be officially ‘old’. There will no longer be young people doing incredible things who I am younger than. No longer will my age deserve to be preceded by the words: “But she’s only—”. I will be whoever I am, doing whatever I am doing, and when I look back on myself at age 16, or indeed, at age 22, will I be able to say I was number one in the US, or indeed, anywhere? No.

Sure, I can tell myself that I, too, was once photographed by Lorde’s current boyfriend, photographer James Lowe; that I, too, have a connection to producer Joel Little—he is the son of a family friend’s friend—and that I, too, once had long, brown, unruly curls. But these links are so tenuous they barely deserve to be described as links at all. They play no part in Lorde’s success, nor my lack thereof.

Then, last weekend, Lorde tweeted “c’mon acne don’t do this now”, and the harsh realities of adolescence came flooding back to me. Was I ready to interact with celebrities the world over on a daily basis when I was 16? Hell no. I wore my jeans inside out to school one mufti day to seem ‘kooky’; thought that posting statuses stating “I just caressed myself” was funny and ‘on-brand’, and seriously considered getting a tattoo of Jeff Buckley lyrics.* 16 is widely regarded as a fairly awkward age for almost everyone, and even if it means that we can no longer lay claim to being the ‘Youngest Ever _____’, perhaps it’s better that, for most of us, our successes—however small or large they may be—come a little later in life.

Regardless of how old any of us are, very few of us will ever be international superstars, let alone interact with them, but let’s face it—no one wants acne when, and not if, we finally get a big break of our very own.


Molly McCarthy is Co-Editor of Salient 2013. This opinion piece, which comes at the tail-end of her fifth year at Victoria University, may just be a thinly-veiled quarter-life crisis. If you’re a celebrity and keen to chat, hit up @molliotti.


* “All my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder” from ‘Lover, You Should Have Come Over’ tattooed on my shoulder. Clever, huh?

White culture is finally catching up with hip-hop, not vice-versa.


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