Tracy Clark-Florey posted on Salon that she had found a 2-page letter written to her celebrity crush when she was 10. The letter was sweet and innocent. It was a symbol of its time, because now, I’m sure, kids email (at worst) or look for a way to IM, tweet, or blog it out — even at 10. No one writes these days.
I’m thinking back to when I was 10. Who was my celebrity crush? I could say Shawn Cassidy, but I’m not sure. Was he my crush or a friend’s? I don’t remember watching The Hardy Boys; although, I did buy his 45s. I am a pop culture junkie so that may have just been a fluke. I don’t remember writing to anyone; although, I did consider writing to Barry Manilow. I think I had a crush on him, maybe.
I’m thinking I did not have a true celebrity crush until I was in middle school. Then, my first big celebrity crush was Pete Townsend. We had cable (thank you Mom and Dad), so we got music videos (this was before MTV, I don’t recall the channel), and Baba O’Reilly would play. Somehow I learned very quickly who was the tall guitarist with a wonky nose and beard. I had no idea he didn’t still appear that way (age and all), but it didn’t matter. I was smitten. Still am. That crush never went away; although, I never wrote to him about it. However, it was a hard crush to fan the flames of.
Now, the way teen magazines work, they publish only the new and interesting. Therefore, I did not (having no real awareness of RECORD stores) have a manner or method of covering my walls and everything else with Pete Townsend. Didn’t matter. By that time MTV had arrived and so had Duran Duran. Being new, British, highly attractive and popular, they were the selling point of almost every magazine. Because they were everywhere, it was easy to develop a crush and maintain it.
Therefore, I think my first all-consuming, overwhelming childhood crush was on John Taylor. He was pretty. I feel bad even writing it, but it’s true. While friends had it in for Simon or Nick (and sometimes Roger, but NEVER Andy), I stuck by John. Until he got older. He never grew into his face after the mid-80s. My crush for him was long dead before the 90s hit and replaced by a love of all things REM (yes, I heart Mike Mills, even now).
Duran Duran have a new album out. I don’t care. I’ve heard the music. Feh. I see John Taylor, and I want to crush on him. Alas. It’s not there. However, Simon… How you doin’? He looks GOOD with a beard — like a man.
Recap: childhood crushes on men who were soft and feminine looking; adult crushes — on the men.