WHAT IS “HIGHBROW” ANYWAY?

In a culture obsessed with celebrities, those of prolific talent as well as those with a penchant for sex tapes and twerking, the lines between high and lowbrow are blurring. The words “style icon” are coined very loosely around figures in the media deemed to be notoriously “lowbrow” such as the likes of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus. But with the levels of fame and popularity rising amongst such “clans” of celebrities, is the nature of what is “highbrow” actually changing? And what even is the meaning of “highbrow” nowadays anyway?

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I personlly hate the terms high and lowbrow and the notion that it is already decided for me what is intellectually stimulating and what isn’t. We live in a world where virtually anyone can be famous, for anything. With the rise of YouTube stars such as Zoella and Tanya Burr; those making a name for themselves on Vine such as “King Bach” and Brittany Furlan; even up to the endless amount of bloggers that make themselves “popular” on the various social media platforms available for them to do so. So with all these rising stars and their followings, how do we decipher who is a celebrity and who is not? Is there a universal definition or is it a subjective outlook? Does having a massive following make you “highbrow”? That seems to be the way our society is changing. “Highbrow” used to mean something that is intellectual, cultured and serious. It is questionable as to whether the meaning remains the same, or at least the label of “highbrow” being used too loosely.

The rise of such tabloid figures has also participated in such blurred lines of high/lowbrow in fashion. The “celebrities” that are famous for what some would say “nothing”, are becoming ever more popular, which in turn makes them ever more richer which enables such “stars” to buy into “highbrow” fashion. This simple ability to shop has led certain media outlets to label these “stars” as “fashion icons”. All because they used their money to choose something to wear from a pre-styled mannequin.

Whilst I will be the first to admit my obsession with the Kardashians, my love for “reality” TV knows no bounds when it comes to The Real Housewives and I personally thought Miley’s twerking and tongue waggling incidents of 2013 were pure PR genius, I still feel nostalgic for a time when the Daily Mail weren’t constantly updating the world on who is dating who on TOWIE, or which Z-list “celebrity”, who everyone forgot about eight years ago, is pregnant again. Do we, the consuming public, actually care? Is this what stimulates us, what we consider to be “highbrow”? If not, what are we aiming for? Why don’t we, as intelligent consumers, solely focus on what we deem to REALLY be “highbrow”?

Why? Because we’re too busy discussing the likes of how fat Kim got whilst pregnant.

THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER: THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW

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Having been a fan of No Doubt since I was 11, you can imagine my excitement when it was announced around four years ago that the band were in the studio recording their sixth studio album. For any die-hard fan, this is a BIG DEAL, but No Doubt’s last official studio release was Rock Steady in 2001, making this album extra special.

September 27th 2012
This was the day that No Doubt’s sixth studio album Push and Shove was released in the UK. It is also the day after the band arrive in the UK after a short promotional stop in Paris. It was also announced a few days before that the band would be appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show. Since that had been announced, I had been trying to get myself tickets from an online TV show ticket company, but to no avail. All the tickets had already been allocated.

October 2011
Last October when Lady Gaga appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show, I was also desperately trying to get tickets, again to no avail. So I went on Twitter the night they filmed the show (not just a one-off Twitter session, but because Twitter is my life… No joke) and noticed that Jonathan Ross was tweeting Gaga fans about the show that had just wrapped. I took this opportunity to ask the man himself if he could send tickets my way next time she was on the show. Not thinking that he would even so much as see my tweet, seeing as he has millions of followers, but he actually replied saying he would “see what I can do”, he also followed me.

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September 26th 2012
So here we are, almost a year later and my favourite band, No Doubt, are going on the show… And I can’t get tickets. As a last resort, I decide to send Jonathan a DM on Twitter explaining that I am a huuuuuuge No Doubt fan and that I have been trying and trying for tickets but have been unsuccessful. Not only did he reply, but he gave me two tickets and told me to message him back with my contact details and someone from his office would ring me the next day. Bingo! Ecstatic, I’m on a high. There’s only one problem… Jonathan Ross is a busy man, will he forget? I go to bed that night excited yet nervous.

September 27th 2012
8:00AM
I wake up and instinctively check my phone. I do this anyway, but today would be even more of a obsessive-compulsive phone-checking day.
10:00AM
After a couple of hours of torment, and still no word from Jonathan Ross-land, I become agitated. After all, I do have to get ready and make my way to London…
12:00PM
Still no word. Losing hope and faith in Jonathan Ross, I beg my mum to ring his office and explain the situation… Although to be honest, the “I spoke to Jonathan himself yesterday” card seemed a bit weak and unbelievable. After a few wrong numbers, we were finally put through to Jonathan Ross’ personal office and spoke to a nice lady called Katie who was lovely and was willing to do anything she could to help us. Katie said that Jonathan arrives at the studio with the “The List”. Now, when she said this, it reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada when they have to deliver “The Book”. It must be extremely covetable to be on “The List”. “The List” consists of people Jonathan has personally reserved seats for, but only when he turns up will they know if I’m on that list or not. My mum then explained that we’re coming from Cambridge and that we needed to leave in good time to make it to the studio; Katie said that she would get back to us.
12:20PM
Katie from Jonathan Ross’ office rings back saying that she has notified Tom, the producer of the show, of the situation and would either have him or his assistant Verity ring me in the next hour with confirmation of tickets.
12:25PM
Less than five minutes later, I get a phone call from Verity, the producer’s assistant confirming two tickets! Jonathan had just turned up to the studio with “The List” and I am on it! My name is on the production list! She said we had to arrive at the main desk of the ITV Studios between 5:00PM and 5:45PM where someone will be waiting to take us up to the studio.
1:00PM
FINALLY en route to London, it’s fair to say both my mum and I are very excited!
4:00PM
We arrive at the ITV Studios in Waterloo after stopping off for lunch, and are an hour early so we decided to sit and people-watch to pass the time away before heading to the reception desk. There’s paparazzi waiting outside the main entrance, which is always intriguing.
5:00PM
We make our way over to the main door and sign in at the desk. We wait for a while on some chairs that looks like they were taken straight out of the Big Brother house circa 2002, and while waiting, we noticed some commotion going on outside. I turn around and see four cast members of The Only way Is Essex: Mario Falcone, Lucy Mecklenburgh, Billie Faiers and Joey Essex in all their fake tanned, platform heel glory.
5:15PM
It is time for us to go up to the studio! We are taken in a lift up to Studio 5 where we are met with reserved seats, right next to Jonathan Ross’ daughter, Honey.

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5:30PM
While we’re all sat comfortably waiting in our seats, there are noticeably 6 seats empty in front of us. All at once, a man with a headset and notebook comes along with 6 people and a man with a camera. My mum and I looked at each other with horror as we realised we were right in the camera’s lens… *cue glance in compact and re-application of lipstick*. Turns out they were filming for a new show on Channel 4 called Mimic which is a comedy/drama.
6:30PM 
Showtime! No Doubt come out first and perform two small sections from the song Hella Good which is used for the opening and introduction to the show… This is the part where studio 5 in the ITV Studios was covered in my exploded body after taking in the fact that GWEN STEFANI was standing in front of me.
The other guests on the show were Emma Watson (boring bore), Dynamo the magician (cool guy, strange talent) and Jack Dee (who, in my humble opinion, tries too hard by ironically not trying at all). Nonetheless, the show was very entertaining and No Doubt came back at the end to perform Settle Down which, I of course, loved!

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The taping finished at aroung 9:15 PM and it is fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my day, there is no faulting Jonathan Ross!

In short, I woke up, panicked, spoke to the assistant producer of The Jonathan Ross Show, got tickets, bombed it to London, saw the TOWIE cast, was filmed for a Channel 4 drama and saw No Doubt live. Such a good day.

TO WATCH NO DOUBT’S PERFORMANCE ON THE SHOW, CLICK HERE

TO BUY NO DOUBT’S NEW ALBUM PUSH AND SHOVE, CLICK HERE