Leonardo DiCaprio was photographed at the beach in Malibu this weekend with the two puppies he and Camila Morrone have been fostering. They’re called Jack and Jill and they are SO cute, I can’t stand it. Initially Camila referred to it as “fostering”. Lately her language on Instagram has switched to “adopting”. Which means that after the lockdown… will she and Leo still be living together? Camila might be the paperwork, public “parent” of Jack and Jill, but Leo’s parenting too. The dogs are his too. I guess there are no worries about this for another two years.
As you can see, Leo has his mask on. LA residents are now required to wear masks. Do you think when restrictions are lifted though, hopefully soon if people stay at home so that the curve can be planked, western celebrities will continue wearing masks? That is, the ones who actually don’t want to be identified and/or photographed? There are certain stars, obviously, who can’t wait to get back out there with their “candid” appearances. That’s definitely not Leo. Leo has been hiding under baseball caps and jumping into trash cans. You’d think he’d welcome the mask.
East Asian celebrities and civilians have been wearing masks for years. It wasn’t unusual, pre-COVID-19, to see people all over the place wearing masks. And pre-COVID-19, in western spaces, like on flights etc, perhaps they’d be laughed at, before that is. Probably that will change.
Culturally, for East Asians, yes, you wear a mask to prevent infection but for a lot of people in the East, it’s also out of consideration. People wear masks because they’re not feeling great and they don’t want to pass it onto you. And where East Asian celebrities are concerned, it can also be an extra layer of (fragile) privacy. Before COVID-19, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean stars were already showing up to the airport wearing masks. Have you ever seen footage of East Asian celebrities at the airport and the difference between their attitudes to the media compared to their counterparts in the west?
Here’s a video of the members of BTS, some masked, arriving for a flight out of South Korea six months ago, before coronavirus. This is a pretty standard representation of what it’s like for them when they travel. But pay attention to how often they bow. They bow when they enter the airport. They bow on their way up the escalator. They bow on their way to security. Once they’ve been waved through, they turn around and BOW AGAIN to say goodbye to the media. Imagine this happening at LAX? Please. It would never.
This is partly a difference in cultural attitudes and how respect is shown and acknowledged. It’s also because, for BTS, they may also be thinking that the media at the airport is broadcasting an update about their whereabouts to their fans, and since their whole brand is all about fan service, their bows can also be received by their ARMY. That’s not to say that some of their fans don’t act the fool and get hysterical in these situations and it can sometimes be treacherous terrain but the point is that their demeanour and that of most celebrities in South Korea, China, and Japan is dramatically different from the airport celebrity scenes you see in the west, mask or not.
Western celebrities – and certainly not the Leonardo DiCaprios of Hollywood (he flies private anyway) – will never, ever, ever roll like this through an airport. But, you know, they might start using the masks.