Why Paul Mescal and Phoebe Bridgers Destroyed the Internet | culture

They are the Shakira / Pique In the world of the Internet, the Pressler/Vargas Llosa for people who have seen after the sunRead Ottessa Moshfegh and see what you mean by “PDF Lord and Jack Antonoff.” Separation, still not confirmed, from Ordinary people Superstar Paul Mescal and singer Phoebe Bridgers broke the hearts of those who call themselves “internet girls” – and who aren’t just girls.

Rumors of a breakup began circulating at the end of December. As with nearly all news from the international gossip press, the story originated on Deux Moi, the site that shares anonymous sightings of celebrities in the wild. In this case, the Deux Moi podcast, two yoIt was reported that Bridgers and comedy director Bo Burnham were seen “making out” on a date at New York’s Connelly Theatre. At the same time, Matty Healy, singer of The 1975, posted to his account a photo showing him and Bridgers kissing, with Burnham behind them as if blessing the encounter. This theory is supported by the singer’s lyrics. In the song Bridgers wrote for SZA, ghost in the machine, talking about “Standing on My Own” and getting into a fight with someone at the Ludlow Hotel in New York. “I said all my friends are on my payroll / You ain’t wrong you fool / Yelling at Ludlow / I was yours for free,” the lyrics continue.

Since then, Mescal has been seen drinking coffee with Angelina Jolie in London, along with Jolie’s daughter Shiloh, although they are not believed to be a couple. Julie was congratulating Mescal after seeing his performance at the A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeda Theatre.

When the news broke, social media was filled with laments like, “I can’t go on living in a world where Paul Bridgers and Paul Mescal don’t exist together.” TikTok creators made tear-jerking montages with scenes from Ordinary people, the TV series that made Mescal famous, and photos of the couple at the Met Gala. The hashtag #paulmescalandphoebebridgers has reached 3.2 million views.

Why all this emotional investment about a couple who’ve been together for a year and a half and only had a few pictures together? Several factors explain the interest. For starters, a certain corner of internet culture considers Bridgers and Meskal’s relationship as something of their own making: it took shape before their eyes. Bridgers and Mescal’s first date happened in full view of the world, in Instagram Live, and their first communication took place on Twitter.

It was May 2020, the peak of the first pandemic lockdown. Like everyone else, I watched Phoebe Bridgers Ordinary peoplethe series based on the just-aired Sally Rooney novel, and tweeted: “Just watched Ordinary people And now I’m sad and heartbroken,” replied Meskal, who appears to already be a fan of the singer: “I’m officially dead.” “Don’t die, you’re too talented.”

a little later, wonderland The magazine came up with the idea to invite them to their famous Instagram date. “What’s crazy?” Mescal (an Irish way of saying “what’s up”) began. He continued, “I think it’s well documented that I like your music.” In the next few minutes, he practically introduced her to his plant, Henry.

Confirmation that the two were seeing each other in the flesh also came on Twitter. In July 2020, Lemon Tree Café in Kinsale, Ireland, tweeted that they were there having breakfast. Mescal later appeared alongside Phoebe Waller Bridge in the video for the song Bridgers Savior complex, but it would take another year for the couple to appear in public together, blessed and outfitted by Gucci, at a ceremony at the LACMA Museum in Los Angeles. By then, a segment of the population had already decided that the American singer-songwriter and Irish actor were the perfect couple, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in Twenties, a fresh version of the Alex Turner/Alexa Chung duo that still enjoys a cult following. It’s hard to resist such a calculated mix of cuteness, success, talent, and virtuoso clothing: In the most famous photo, which shows the two of them bundled up on a beach, the Prada logo is clearly visible on his jacket. Even their hair was aspirational and was just a suitable vantage point: his appropriate mullet, her signature platinum-grey hue.

This was the final state of charge, a term for the desire by followers of a fandom for two or more people, whether real people or fictional characters, to be in a romantic or sexual relationship. They are what are known as “parasitic relationships”.

The expression spread in the United States, as well as in the Internet Republic, just over a year ago on the occasion of the divorce of a relative celebrity. Comedian John Mulaney, who has included his wife, fashion designer and photographer Anne Marie Tendler in his skit routines, announced he was separating from her and, shortly after, he was expecting a baby with actress Olivia Munn. Many social media users reacted as if they had been cruelly betrayed.

“When you have a parasitic relationship with someone, you look at them and idealize them in some way. As a result, you really want that person to be happy and successful in every way possible. […] Your hope that their relationship will work out is a manifestation of a kind of fulfillment of your desires, said psychology professor Sally Theran, who specializes in investigating these types of expectations. Harper’s Bazaar. According to Thoran, some extreme examples of this include hope that brad pitt and Jennifer Aniston We will get back together or when the collective cheer Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are giving their relationship a second chance.

Clinical psychologist Arianna Brandolini Dada, who has her own YouTube channel, explained in an article in repeller The reason we give such importance to celebrity divorces is rooted in evolutionary theory. “As humans, we are programmed to pay attention to the dominant individuals in the group, in this case celebrities. Only by observing and knowing what high-status individuals are doing are you more likely to become so.” Paying attention to what those at the top are doing serves a political purpose, because it will make you Better prepared to work on the social scene. Celebrities are often a fantasy of what we want to have, so it’s only natural to get caught up in their lives and relationships.” This was indeed the case in early Hollywood, but no one saw Carole Lombard and Clark Gable’s live dates on Instagram. The apparently unpatched access To the celebrity that social media provides increases the mirage of intimacy.

In the theater of celebrity relationships, still shaped by traditional norms of monogamy, the worst role is usually confined to the “home wrecker,” the woman seen as the cause of the breakup of a beloved heterosexual couple. So far, Bo Burnham hasn’t gotten the vitriol that Olivia Munn did for example. As one tweet summed it up: “This is like Brangelina for the people on Lexapro.” Those emotionally invested in Bridgers and Mescal’s relationship are left to review photos Mescal took of the singer, and await clues about the breakup on her next album.

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