Perfect Blue taught me how to leave people alone.
We live in a day and age where anyone can acquire public attention because of the internet. Perfect Blue is a 1997 film about a woman, a pop star turned actress, dealing with a stalker and someone impersonating her online; these events lead the woman into losing her sanity. Back in the nineties, the decade when Perfect Blue was created and released, the most common way for a person to be famous was for them to be on television, have their music on the radio, and perform live shows at events. The internet has always been an object used to admire celebrities, where it would be watching their concerts in poor quality uploaded by fans, looking up showtimes for movie theaters, and purchasing tickets for concerts. The concept of fame changed slightly when social media became common. People came to the realization that they could have a group of people admire them without leaving their house. They grasped the idea that they have the possibility to be a Paris Hilton type, that being famous with no talent. Society caught on to the fact that there is an easier way to be well known. The number of famous people in this world has skyrocketed because more famous people have led to more problems; these issues include but are not limited to, stalking, impersonation, home invasion, harassment, and violence.
I started my YouTube channel when I was fifteen, one year before I watched Perfect Blue. I knew that having a channel on the platform would open me up to the public eye, but the thought of that did not terrify me at the time. When I watched the Japanese film, the only thing I got out of it was that this could only happen to real celebrities, people that didn’t get their fame through the internet. I thought I had nothing to worry about, until I turned twenty-one. When I was twenty-one, my YouTube channel went from two thousand subscribers to forty-thousand subscribers within the time span of five months. I am now twenty-three with a subscriber count of ninety-eight thousand, and I can confirm the small piece of fame that I have is not all it’s cracked up to be. While I do enjoy having a large platform, I do not like being judged, disliked, and bullied by thousands of people I do not know. I absolutely hated being stalked, lied about, hacked, and impersonated by a few individuals who went out of their way to attempt to ruin my life. Perfect Blue did not scare me for the right reason until I was put in a similar position as the main character in the movie.
Social media is currently at its peak because we have numerous sites where people can have a big following. This includes Tiktok, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Wattpad, and Tumblr. Super Eyepatch Wolf in his video, Why Perfect Blue is Terrifying states “You know the fictionalized, highly scripted, highly edited, character that the actual person behind this channel uses to voice his ideas.” Same thing with celebrities that did not get a following through websites and apps, internet stars put an image out of themselves to the public online. While yes, internet stars do show more of their true selves to the world, you still don’t fully know the person, because they only decided to share a piece of themselves. That is a big factor as to why many people prefer internet celebrities over movie stars and singers, because they feel more authentic. While authenticity is a great thing for people to have, it is also a downside when it comes to fame for two reasons: it leads people into either thinking they are friends with you, or makes others be mean towards you because they don’t like your personality.
Tiffany Ferg states in her video Why Do Popular Youtubers Stop Uploading? “Everyone who posts on YouTube knows you’re gonna get hate comments, negative comments, that’s part of posting things publicly online.” Society has this way of normalizing to being rude to public figures to the point where it is normalized. I have been told numerous times that I should expect people I don’t know to be mean to me because my work is shared on a large platform. While yes, I can reason with the fact that you can not control how people perceive you, I can also acknowledge that it does not give someone an excuse to be vile to strangers. Because of gossip blogs, drama YouTube channels, confession pages, and talk shows, it is normalized by the community that bullying people you don’t know is ok; it is extremely disgusting.
While yes there are more serious issues in the world, I highly recommend watching Perfect Blue, as it may help shift the mindset of society as a whole towards those in the public eye. Just because someone has fame, doesn’t give you the excuse to treat them in any kind of way. At the end of the day, no matter how much attention they are getting, they are still human. Too many individuals see public figures as objects that they can play around and bully with. Outsiders feel like they can say and do whatever they want to a famous person, because they think that they know them. Yes, I do enjoy having a fanbase, but I am also willing to admit that fame is not that great. I love what I do, but I and many others would like to have privacy just like those who are not known to anyone.
Thank you guys so much for reading. If you would like to support me, all my social media handles are @harriyanna. If you would like to donate, here’s my ko-fi link and pateron.