And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #234: Liam Payne v Selfies

By | Published on Friday 28 November 2014

Liam Payne

“I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera”, wrote Taylor Swift in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year. “The only memento ‘kids these days’ want is a selfie”.

Sure, that’s a nice little soundbite, but what does that change actually look like in the real world? Well, it looks a bit like this:

You’ve probably seen that video of One Direction’s Liam Payne stuck in a ‘selfie line’ at this week’s ARIA Awards in Australia already. You’ve probably tweeted it seven times in the last two days. But if you didn’t just sit and let it play at least another ten times, I’m not sure we can be friends. It’s by far my favourite Vine since this one forced the phrase “on internet” into my vocabulary.

Look at Liam’s face. It’s almost eerie how the smile drops between each photo. If that was part of a movie about a popstar who falls out of love with fame, you’d tell people that the acting in it was too unsubtle to be believable.

Still, you do have to sympathise with him a bit. At least in the old autograph days, you could get by without having to smile. And if anyone asked why you looked so miserable, you could just say your hand was hurting from signing all these fucking autographs. True, you’d run the risk of the autograph hunter telling a few friends that you were a bit of a dick. Though if you faked a laugh in the right way, they’d probably just tell everyone about how you shared a bit of a joke together and what a nice bloke you were. Good times.

Now, if the conceit that you actually enjoy engaging with endless processions of fans slips even for a moment, it’s captured in a six second video and shared far and wide on internet. There’s no escape. And you can’t even say something like, “my face was hurting from pretending to smile 500 times”, because that would suggest to everyone smiling was a special effort, and therefore your life wasn’t a constant flow of utter joy.

So, when responding to the viral vid on Twitter yesterday, while Payne admitted that he was “a little tired” while stuck in that particular selfie line, he insisted that he “wasn’t faking it” when he smiled for the smartphone. Brushing it off, he added: “I usually find when you’re taking a photo you don’t smile until somebody’s about to take the photo. Sorry to disappoint but I don’t walk around [grinning] all day… that would hurt!”

Actually, now I think about it, that does kinda read like he’s saying smiling is an effort and that the life of a popstar isn’t endless pleasure. Sort of. Though when we do turn this whole episode into a movie, it’s going to be more like this. In fact, someone see if Nic Cage is free to play Liam now. Let’s get this thing moving.

In other One Direction news, this week they broke US chart history when they became the first group ever to have their first four albums all debut at number one in the Billboard 200 chart. Here’s a picture of them all celebrating after they were told the news.