Let’s be real, shall we? Apart from insane privileges, eye watering pay-checks and audiences that hang on to every word, celebrities are just like us. Some are stranded in foreign countries, a few quarantined by Covid-19, while most are practicing social distancing in their fortresses of solitude and advising their fans also to stay in, even if they don’t own apocalypse equipped manors.
These pourvoyeurs of entertainment who are used to grueling schedules and jet-setting lifestyles suddenly find themselves unable to do what they love best; from cancelled concerts, halted movie/TV productions, postponed shows etc., it turns out that everyone has a little too much time of their hands and no-one’s quite sure what to do with it.
Luckily for us (and in some cases, not so lucky; here’s looking at you, Gal Gadot and the cliched rendition of Lennon’s Imagine) social media platforms mean that while we might never physically breathe the same air they do, we can share virtual space with them and get a peek inside not only their homes and private lives but also their minds, in this time of crisis.
There are plenty who’ve gotten their social media presence and purpose down. From international stars who’re living streaming guided meditation sessions and virtual hang-outs with their famous friends to local celebs coming together to provide mental health support, here are our picks of some who’re staying sane and helping others do the same.
Though not regular in his transmissions, Sethi produced a treat for not only his audience yesterday but for fans of South-East Asian classical music at large. His Instagram live feed featured two legendary singers, Rekha Bhardwaj and Begum Farida Khanum, both joining in with the conversation and singing. If you’re looking to be charmed and spending a day immersed in nostalgic memories, this would definitely be our recommendation. Bonus: you get see Sethi respond to online trolls with symphonic, proverbial slaps.
JB Smoove/ Miley Cyrus
Comedian JB Smoove, whose worked as a writer on Saturday Night Live and is best known for his role in Curb Your Enthusiasm uploaded a guided mediation session and helped anti-anxiety programming peak. Expletive ladened, hilarious and appropriately toned, the session offers enlightenment in these troubling times. Another unlikely star dabbling in meditation sessions and hosting a small-streaming series is none other than Miley Cyrus, Titled Bright Minded, the series features Cyrus taking her fans through guided meditation, hanging out with celeb pals (virtually of course) and sharing anecdotes from her life. You might not be fans of her music but Cyrus definitely knows how to host.
Host, RJ, actor and over-all ray of sunshine, Ashraf has been vocal and active on social media since the beginning of the outbreak. From practicing and preaching social distancing to participating in a social media awareness campaign and generating funds with her pal, designer Nomi Ansari, to providing ration packages to daily wage laborers, Ashraf’s politics has been commendable. Apart from this, the cool-headed morning show host has also been taking to Instagram live, bringing a bevy of her friends into the fray. She also recently hosted a question and answer session with a therapist to help people deal with their anxieties and fear at this time of global panic. If you’re looking for heart-warming, wholesome content, Ms. Ashraf would be our pick.
John Mayer/ January Jones
Mental health and meditation covered, let’s get down to some fun. John Mayer’s IGTV series has been a hit since even before the pandemic but never has been it more lit or necessary. He goes live every Sunday night with new content that ranges from skin-care advice to hosting tea time and spilling the tea on the industry. Mad Men star Jones on the other hand, has taken this quarantine as time for self-care. Think cleansing mud masks in glittering, sequined shirts, LED face masks and detox baths in palatial tubs, at-home parties all while sipping beer through a paper straw. Betty Draper approves!