The price of free Yahoo email is that every time I log onto the home page, celebrity update links dominate the screen. If I didn’t make a game out of seeing how fast I could click into my email, I’d be HIGHLY annoyed.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m anti-celebrity, but I’m almost the exact opposite of star struck and I just don’t want them in my face all the time, especially when I’m trying to connect with the people I really care about.
Case in point, last week I went online to retrieve my brothers’ flight info for an upcoming visit, and here were the celebrity-teaser links looming over the email logon button:
Channing Tatum and Pregnant Wife Walk Their Dogs, Demi Moore Reunited With Her Daughter After Estrangement, Kelly Ripa: 1996 Photo of Wedding Goes Viral, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Too Old for Punk Fashion
After morning yoga, I made a salmon and asparagus frittata for breakfast. Both were great, but didn’t deserve web headlines either.
The bottom line for me may be that I only want to see celebs in inspiring movies pretending to be us, or storming through superhero stories with crazy stunts and special effects. Off screen, I have no more interest in them than, say, slugs.
If I accidentally bumped into one whose work I’ve enjoyed, unless I was temporarily possessed, I wouldn’t pester them for an autograph, photo, or rattle off publicized details of their private life I’ve tried to ignore. I do, however, think it would be cool to chit-chat with environmental advocate Erin Brockovich over Julia Roberts who played her in Erin Brockovich, the movie, or Paul Rusesabagina over Don Cheadle who played him in Hotel Rwanda, and so on.
I could be wrong, but I suspect that many celebrities are semi-humble artists doing what they love who hired hungry publicists who hype random minutiae to keep them omnipresent (and isn’t this how stars end up with stalkers?).
If I had magical powers, every time a publicist leaked nonsense, a gazillion viral pet home videos would flood their inbox (you know, like the cat jumping up to turn the light switch on and off or the dog trying to climb up a plastic slide) and hopefully this would scramble their brains enough to stop trying to make celebrity lives eclipse ours.
The celebrity endorsement thing bugs me too on several levels. One, they’re getting paid big bucks to recommend something I’m not getting paid to buy, and, two, I was never good at the Simon Says.
The late author Joseph Campbell once said “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” I.E., you do you and I’ll do me, times EVERYBODY. So, if I’m here to live my very own unique life, why would I buy a lipstick because Halle Berry wore it, drink dairy—even though I’m lactose intolerant—because a milk-mustached Brad Pitt said to, or join Weight Watchers because Jennifer Hudson lost half of herself on it? Umm…NO.
Sometimes I worry that young people growing up in this celebrity-obsessed culture might lose sight of their originality and stop dreaming their own dreams in lieu of idolizing someone else, and then sometimes I get to witness a scene that gives me hope. Like yesterday at the grocery store when one teenage girl drooling over a cover shot of Justin Bieber on one of those celebrity gossip rags always by the checkout counter said to her teenage friend, “I wonder if he’s still dating Selena?” and the other girl quickly replied, “He doesn’t care who I’m dating, so why do I care who he’s dating?”
I wanted to high-five her, but I wasn’t in it.
To starring in your own life,