I’m not really the kind of person to follow celebrities. There are some famous people whose lives I’m interested in because I admire them as artists or actors, but overall I just don’t have the time or the inclination to keep up with where the Beckhams are going on holiday or what ghastly violation against childhood Katie Holmes is inflicting on that poor little girl of hers. Last time I checked she was putting her into four inch shoes but that was a whole six months ago; the kid has probably already had a full-body wax by now and been spray-tanned to within an inch of her life. I still don’t really understand who or what ‘Snooki’ is, though, or what the purpose of he/she/it is. Can someone please explain? I’d love to know.
The problem I have with celebrity in general and tabloid culture in particular is that it focuses on bodies that are just not attainable to ordinary people. You know, people with jobs and kids and shit to do. Unless they’ve managed to exploit the “Hollywood funny-man” loophole, most actors or models are reliant on their perfectly-honed bodies and impeccably maintained good looks to find work. Singers have a bit more breathing room – literally – but tipping the scales at any more than about 110lbs will almost certainly cause comment. ‘Look at poor Adele,’ the tabloids simper from beneath a poorly-constructed veneer of concern. ‘Such a magnificent voice, but what a shame about her weight.’ You can’t even see her when she’s singing, for Christ’s sake! Who gives a fuck if she’s a size 16? (I do wish she’d stop smoking though – I’ll never get to see her live if she carries on sucking down the old sin sticks like she does.)
The upshot is that these people in the public eye have chosen to pursue careers that require them to be lean, toned and beautiful at all times. If they fail to meet the industry standard for personal aesthetic then they risk losing work. Not only that, but they will also become prey to merciless ‘journalists’ whose job is only to make snide personal remarks about people’s appearance in trashy magazines. Although men are not immune to this sort of bullying, the overwhelming majority of tabloids’ victims are women. There are pages and pages of content featuring photographs of female celebrities who have left the house looking less than perfect, perhaps with a little bit of lipstick on their teeth or sporting a monster zit on their otherwise lovely mug. I remember years ago reading an article (for the want of a better word) in one of these magazines that was constructed around a photograph of Britney Spears standing at a supermarket checkout. ‘Britney buys tampons in sweatpants!’ screamed the headline. Seriously. I know the pages of Heat magazine have never claimed to be brimming with hard-hitting stuff, but in a world of brutal dictatorships, gang warfare, murder, famine, AIDS, female circumcision, natural disasters, rape, torture and racism, is the fact that Britney Spears is on the blob really news? I mean, surely more important things have happened even in the vacuous world of celebrity than Britney’s uterus lining falling out? The mind boggles.
And so the pressure is on for these celebrities, and they spend a lot of time and money getting to look the way they do. On Twitter though, I see so many girls who tweet that they wish they had X’s arse/abs/miscellaneous body part. To them I say: stop comparing yourself to these people. It’s a hard truth, but you are almost certainly never going to be a smoking hot as Beyoncé. Sorry. But it doesn’t matter. Think of the fittest bloke you know; does he look ANYTHING like Ryan Gosling? Of course he bloody doesn’t, but that’s okay because you know R Gozza spends about fifty hours a week in the gym and was also on the receiving end of some pretty spanking genes from day one. As women, we just need to accept that the images of near-perfect bodies we are constantly bombarded with are unattainable, and not achieving them ourselves does not make us any less attractive or awesome. Comparison is the thief of joy, y’all!
Source unknown, via Pinterest
For instance, since the Royal Wedding in April last year, Kate Middleton and her beauty regime has been the subject of countless column inches and media speculation. Fortunately for her, the journos have responded to our nation’s new-found royalism (who knew that republicanism would ever go out of fashion?) with mostly positive coverage. I use the word ‘positive’ loosely of course; although it would be undeniably jolly good fun to have your legs, arse, tan, hair and every other body part you possess singled out and admired individually by the national press, I imagine the incessant objectification would become increasingly dull. Especially as the secret to all these wonderful things is a harem of aestheticians whose job it is is to make the Royal Womb look as lovely as possible. The Duchess of Cambridge is undeniably beautiful, but her natural beauty has been heightened beyond measure by a team of professionals ready and waiting with a whole arsenal of toners, tongs, brushes and bronzers. Even if she does do her own make-up for every occasion (as the Clarence House PR team likes to trill at every opportunity), she still has her pick of the world’s best products and the entire of field of make-up artistry who would cream their collective gussets to be credited with advising the future princess on her beauty routine.
Incredibly, Kate Middleton’s most coveted feature is her hair. She does admittedly have an absolutely smashing head of it, but you don’t have to be John Frieda to know that it is achieved through a) a healthy diet and b) thousands of pounds worth of professional blow-dries and hair treatments. Obviously, this is perfectly fine. She is a public figure after all, and though I envy her impeccably maintained tresses it must be a right royal (ha!) pain in the arse to not be able to, say, get up at 3am and drive to Tesco in your pyjamas to buy an iced bun. You can just imagine her, the wife of the future King of England, sneaking out of her room with bed-head in an uncontrollable frenzy of iced bun-lust only to be thwarted by Charles Worthington, who lives in the cellar and pops up unexpectedly at times like these with a barrel brush and a steely glint in his eye.
Kate Middleton’s famously good hair, via Pinterest
The reason why I’m so incredulous as to why the tabloid press are obsessed to the point of hysteria with Kate’s hair is because in this day and age it would almost be more ridiculous for her not to have hair like she does. Don’t these magazines have beauty editors? Incredible advances in the field of haircare mean that no matter how shit your ‘do is, it can still be wonderful if you care to throw enough money at it, and Kate’s wasn’t exactly bad to start with. Even Wayne Rooney, a man so famously ugly that the only woman he could find to shag him other than his wife demanded a reported £1,000 a night, looked alright after spending over thirty grand on a hair transplant. I mean, it was a bit touch-and-go for a bit where he looked like a hard-boiled egg rolled in fajita mix, but it’s all fine now.
The point is, although I appreciate Kate’s hair for its fabulous chocolatiness and swishability, I know mine will never be like hers. Unless I give up my friends and my job and devote my entire life to achieving a truly bangin’ barnet, it is an unachievable goal. No biggie though, because I am okay with that, and so should you. Carry on reading the tabloids if you get enjoyment out of it – even I’ll admit to the occasional lunchtime perusing The Daily Fail‘s online ‘Showbiz’ pages; they’re hideous but morbidly fascinating, like a car crash or The Human Centipede – but don’t beat yourself up over how you don’t have an arse like Kelly Brook.