One thing to be thankful for is that April Fool’s passed relatively unnoticed. Is this one thing we can keep from this era? Let’s stop with the fake pregnancy announcements on April 1. Oh and handshaking. Let’s get rid of that, too.
This morning, Lainey posted about Gwyneth Paltrow’s intimacy chat (catch up here) and linked to Amanda Hess’s New York Times article Celebrity Culture Is Burning. My favourite line is, “Celebrities have a captive audience of traumatized people who are glued to the internet, eyes darting toward trending topics for clues to processing the unimaginable horrors looming just outside, and instead are finding Madonna bathing in a rose petal-strewn bath".
A few months ago, a reader wrote in to ask why Madonna’s Instagram was so “weird but boring.” I don’t really have any answers except that maybe, in real life, this reader would find Madonna a little weird and boring? For a generation of us who grew up convinced that celebrities are inherently special and interesting, so many things have broken the illusion over the last 20 years, from gossip blogs to social media - we have had to unlearn that fame equals a fascinating personality. A celebrity, any celebrity, could be as boring to you as someone you shared a desk with on a temp job 15 years ago.
Or is the “normalcy” an illusion? In Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson wrote about how traditional celebrities (pop stars or talk show hosts) are now using TikTok and Instagram as a necessity, rather than a lark, and questions the celebrity ecosystem will ever come back from it. He also pulls together the threads of social inequality and how it relates to celebrities being relatable writing, “Flexing is a niche right, one not really afforded to anyone in the “Imagine” video. So instead, in order to exist online with everyone else, a strenuous humility has been required—an insistence of normality that borders on manic.” I’m not quite doing his words justice, but if you feel a little bothered, or even irritated, by celebrities right now, reading his piece might help unpack why. I for one have been irrationally annoyed with Miranda Kerr and her bubblegum wellness push, in part because she makes no mention of her immense wealth and advantages.
Reese is using her time to work from home (she’s always working) on Shine On, a digital extension of her Netflix series of the same name. In this, she will use her team of go-to experts in finance, parenting, and marriage to share conversations while she promotes WC Kitchen. She is striking the right tone here because she’s not saying “I have the answers” to any issues, but rather she’s opening up her network and sharing her contacts. This is similar to what Oprah does now – it’s less about advice and more about access. Part of what makes Oprah so successful is that she could be talking to a world-renowned expert on anything and it’s always intimate and like she’s doing it with the audience in mind, she acts like a proxy for the everywoman. Will Reese be able to capture that?
With all this talk of celebrity access, there are also the ones who have used this time to be as private as they’ve always been. Like the usuals, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (when was the last time we saw George?), and Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Robert Pattinson, Winona Ryder, Rachel McAdams, the Olsens – not coincidentally, the ones who don’t have Instagram.
And if we don’t see them, our perception of them stays the same. Their stock doesn’t rise or fall on current events because they are not burning their goodwill on Instagram. We can’t get tired of them because they don’t let us.
Irinya Shayk and Vito Schnabel are reportedly dating and have been spotted around New York as recently as this week. Um, doing what? Everything is closed. And who casually “spotted” them?
John Mayer was on WWHL and as I’ve said before, it’s the last great talk show because people can phone in and there’s no control over what they ask because it’s live. Well someone asked John about Jessica Simpson’s book and he said he’s obviously heard all about it but won’t be reading it because he lived it. Now the John that Jessica wrote about would have probably read it, but maybe he’s grown since then.