The 101 loves of my life

Revealing the reasons behind my long list of celebrity men


Kripa Mayureshwar

An inside scoop: Broadway star Derek Klena is currently ranked 5th on my list.

Jiya Singh

As I’m writing this, I have 101 celebrity men compiled and ranked in my “Notes” app in a document titled “celeb loves.” The list was first created on April 19, 2020, with a total of seven men, but has since, well, expanded a bit. 

Not just any man can be added to “celeb loves” — each new person must first pass these following criteria, and if successful, they will have the honor of being among the others.

1. Interesting personality outside from just their work

2. Impeccable sense of humor, preferably closely resembling my own

3. Kindness (this one is more of an estimate)

4. Cuteness (depends on the person, but generally means a good smile)

5. General un-problematicness and human decency

Clearly, the process is intricate. However, as much time, investment and joy I put into crafting “celeb loves,” I would never, ever, share the people on there with anyone — in fact, I’ve locked the note on my phone and constantly avoided discussion of the topic. Mostly, it’s because I’m embarrassed by the people on it. 

However, several months ago, when word slipped out about my secret list to some of my friends, I was instantly met with shocked, excited questions as they insisted I show it to them. I agreed to play a game we called “Celebrity Roulette,” where I would let them choose any number from one to 53 (the number of celebrities on the list back then), and I would reveal that specific celebrity from my ranking on the list.

Jiya Singh

Glancing at my phone, scared of who I had listed at the chosen number of 16, I paused. It was Fawad Khan, a South Asian actor that I was certain these friends had never heard of. I’d always loved watching his movies and had added him to the list based on the criteria as usual, but saying his name out loud to my friends felt strange and scary — I didn’t want them to judge my unconventional, somewhat age-inappropriate choice.  

Ultimately caving in and saying his name, I wasn’t shocked by my friends’ confused faces. What did shock me was their interest in learning more about him. As I showed them his pictures and described his career in the Indian and Pakistani film industry, they not only agreed with my taste but also seemed surprised by my love of Bollywood, something I hadn’t publicized before. 

My friends, more interested in knowing who else was on the list, insisted on playing “Celebrity Roulette” again. As I announced Seth Meyers as #44 on the list, I was first met with shock, then laughter, and finally, nods of approval. Each time I listed a person, it turned into a long conversation about my connection with each one, whether it was discovering them through a funny YouTube video or looking them up after hearing a song of theirs I loved. I soon found myself wanting to list more people as I became comfortable talking about them.

Taking a closer look at my list, I discovered that it isn’t just filled with men who I find attractive. My list is a reflection of me and all the things I love: stand up comedians, Broadway performers, Bollywood actors and musicians were on the list because I share an appreciation and joy for their specific craft. In fact, l remembered that I didn’t title the list “celebrity crushes,” but rather “celeb loves,” because above all, I looked up to them as role models.

Jiya Singh

Instead of being embarrassed by my list for its inclusion of celebrity men that may lack mainstream appeal or conventional features, I suddenly started feeling proud of it and my ability to find beauty in the people who share my passions instead of loving just a pretty face (although that definitely earns points as well).

Now, talking about “celeb loves” has become one of my core personality traits, and I am excited for my passions to lead me to the next men to add to the 101 I already adore.