Sunday, October 09, 2005


How Brad, Angelina, Nick, Jessica, Kenney, and Renee are ruining the concept of marriage.

When Rebecca Romijn became engaged to Jerry O'Connell just a few days ago the first reaction was congratulations. The second were predictions on how long the marriage would last. After all, Ms. Romijn, the quintessential B-list model, had just filed for divorce from her first husband John Stamos five months previous. The reason for the separation: Romijn didn't want to start a family.

In Hollywood, marriage is a whim. It's an outfit you put on depending on the weather. A wedding--and now a pregnancy--is the perfect press opportunity. Celebrities may set the standard for fashion and couture but are they also setting a precedent for unholy matrimony?

Perhaps Sienna Miller could answer this. One of England's most beautiful women, if not the world, and the arbiter of the bobo fashion is willing to slump. After being outed publicly for cheating on his fiancé with his less-attractive housekeeper, Jude Law was taken back by Miller carte blanche. In the most disappointing display of lack of self-esteem, Miller has set an example to the public that charms and good looks (in this case, extremely good looks) will get you far. Even as far as to your nanny's fanny and back again.

All the while, the press like Star, People, In Touch, OK, etc. have been covering the respective break-downs of celebrity relationships like it were the progress of our oxygen supply and our lives depended on it. When opening any of the aforementioned publications, one is bombarded by romantic dysfunction. This week, it's Nick and Jessica, last week, it was Kenny and Renee, and the week before, it was still Angelina, Jennifer and Brad. The tabloids are so obsessed with divorce that they'll promote B- and C-listers to A list status. Now that she's divorced, when was the time before that that Tori Spelling made the news? Yup, when she got married. And since when is the lead character from One Tree Hill's divorce cover-worthy? It's not a popular show but I'll bet Chad Michael Murry is enjoying the boost in popularity even if it cost him the fee for a divorce attorney.

Two questions could be asked: 1. Who cares? We know the dysfunctional lifestyles of celebrities. They have their process and we have ours. And 2. the current rate of divorce is at 54%. Isn't this just reflecting the status of matrimony in America?

Good questions. I'm glad you asked them. Well, 1., one of my favorite features in Us Weekly is "Stars: They're Just Like Us." In this weekly feature, we are privy to all the thrilling minutiae of a celebrity's life, like Jennifer Garner drinks coffee. Just like us. And Cameron Diaz? Well, she goes to her niece's birthday party. I Know. Crazy.

What the tabloid essentially does is demystify the celebrity, or dim the bright star. By revealing every single aspect of their lives like their embarrassing and should-be private moments, the gap that separates them and us narrows. Eventually, we may have a hard time distinguishing between the actor, the singer, the star and the regular folk ( and I mean this in some regard subconsciously). When this happens, when we find the likeness, it becomes more difficult maintaining our own moral compasses. After all, they cheat on their wives with strippers. After all, they file for divorce five months after their marriage citing the basis as fraud. If this is what a famous person does, and Lord knows I want to be like a famous person....These people have crazy lives. Exposing the masses to them is not healthy for our mental and moral development.

And 1A., this part of your question reminds me of something I saw on MTV (surprise). The pop culture channel aired a special about the making of House of Wax, a horror movie remake which, come to think of it, starred Chad Michael Murry. Co-star Paris Hilton, an utter and complete wasteful human being, takes a trip to the birthday party of an eleven year-old girl, who is also an enormous Hilton fan. Apparently, there are such people. Unbeknownst to the girl, Paris is on her way over to a Paris-themed party where all the girls were asked on the invites to dress in a Paris Hilton-manner, aka, inappropriatley slutty. I have no idea what this girl's parents were thinking but they're obviously not too fond of their daughter's virginity. All the little innocent girls are wearing Von Dutch (Paris later comments on them saying "I don't even wear those anymore") and dressed in tight, revealing clothing. Soon after the show's taping, it would develop that Hilton's ex-boyfriend would leak an infamous sex tape to the internet showing Hilton's "skills." The hotel heir-head would also get engaged twice and then steal the boyfriend of another sickly celebrity (Mary Kate, I was once such a fan). She would also take pictures of her self topless with another girl on her cellphone. Does it even need to be said that this is obviously not a stable role model? But before we answer that, we should figure out how Paris Hilton became a celebrity or worse yet, an example for an eleven year-old girl in Australia?

Simply put, the tabloids made her what she is with their obsessive coverage. Paris is a compelling accident. There is no shortage of paparazzi fodder. We wrongfully seek moronic behavior and Hilton gladly, if not stupidly, supplies. And as much as it hurts to say it, the tabloids are so culturally potent that they've even fooled reputable...okay, semi-reputable publications like Vanity Fair into putting her on their cover. Groan all you want; tabloids sell like mad and that may even be your fault. The more you purchase "beach reading" all year round, the more we condone this soul-sucking cycle. I'm not mad--I won't suggest that you consider boycotting them immediatley but maybe catching up in the doctor's office or reading them in line at the supermarket will help you wean yourself off, you gossip junkie, until you're able to say, I don't need you, Nick Lachey.

Finally, I’m not saying (re:question 2) that tabloids are solely responsible for the sullying the image of marital bliss but I would say it’s definitely one of the major contributors. After my weekend home, flipping through my mother's Peoples, it truly depressed me to see the unprecedented access to Hollywood's rampant dysfunctions. As far as I could tell, the only person who is “truly in love” is Tom Cruise. But after watching his public declarations and insane outbursts, I would say that both Katie and her upcoming baby have an unenviable life ahead. Cruise has obviously lost his mind and will never make a fitting husband or father.

And if that is love, I’d rather not have it anywhere near me or my couch.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arye, you're so silly. That "doesn't want to start a family" excuse is so old- anyone can see right through it.

Rebecca is just upgrading. See, "Stamos" has two syllables while "O'Connell" has three, plus an apostrophe. You just don't understand celebrities, do you?

6:40 PM  
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