The Celebrity Factor

Soon after we stepped off the escalator with Janice Dickinson and her badly tattooed boy toy, she said something about a skank and laughed and walked her twiggy self away.

“Did she just call us skanks?”

“I dunno. Doubtful, but maybe she was annoyed because she thought I was trying to take her photo with my camera when I was checking the time.”

Janice’s commentary probably had absolutely nothing to do with us, but it got me thinking more about celebrities and why I’d even give a damn if she called me a skank. I mean, the only thing I know about her is that she’s never said no to a plastic surgeon. And that a manatee could swim through the unnatural space between her thighs.

When it comes down to it, celebrities are just like the cashier at the gas station, or the mechanic down the street, or you, or me–just with a lot more money and maybe a television show and a few dozen houses. Sure, that sounds sort of amazing, and I’d probably be alright with that for a day. But then the bills would come in for that Switzerland chalet I forgot about, and I’d be all like, “Well, how am I supposed to buy my third goddamned Maserati with built-in Zen garden?!”

I guess I’ve never understood the appeal of having my life on display for everyone to consume–to have random strangers pontificate about my love handles or that terribly tacky outfit I wore that one time. After all, that’s what Facebook’s for, right?

That’s not to say I haven’t flipped out after meeting an author whose work I love, or bumping into a celebrity. Usually, though, the reason why I’m excited to see them is because I’m drawn to them more by what they stand for outside of their celebrity persona than anything else.

But every now and then, I get drawn into the spectacular, buzzing fray. Like with the whole Paula Deen debacle.

The only thing I find sad about the whole damn thing is that Paula seems to be one of the only women on any cooking show who actually eats her own food. Still, I don’t have time for racists, or people perceived to be racists. (Because, really, if someone’s alleging you’re a racist, and there’re plenty of sound bites and statements to support it, it’s pretty likely you are.) And I have one thing to say to the gays coming to her side: She probably doesn’t like you anymore than any other minority, and she and Bubba would probably be glad to throw you and “them” into the kitchen; have all “y’all” enter through the back restaurant entrance; and get you cute little “N’s and F’s” all dressed up and tapping around some bigot’s wedding.

So, to anyone–especially a minority–coming to a bigot’s defense, all I can say is bless your misguided heart.

One thing about Paula’s swift and justly deserved fall from grace that I find so fascinating is that most of the public only started paying attention to it when Paula’s sponsors started pulling the plugs. And suddenly she’s on talk shows trying to recoup money and garner support. Are we really so enthralled with what Sears has to say that we can’t form our own opinions? That we have to rely on someone else to call bullshit first? And I don’t just mean about celebrities.

Hopefully as this country moves forward, there will be much greater accountability and transparency, and more people will feel the need to know where their shirt was made; what that sandwich funds; who authored that cookbook your stuffing recipe comes from.

With hope, we’ll see an upsurge in putting the right people up on pedestals instead of bigots who’ve slid by on their buttered cheeks for far too long.

3 thoughts on “The Celebrity Factor

  1. We so badly need to dump the fascination with celebrities and get some serious involvement with our leaders and politicians, find out who they really are and who is calling their directions. But the celebs are so much more fun and politics is too boring. Wake up, America.

    • I know! If only people would put their energies into understanding the political repercussions of various articles of legislation rather than blathering about celebrities! When it comes down to it, they’re just as responsible for what they say (and how they structure their businesses) as we are about our own business 🙂

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