I’m going to go out of turn here from my previously scheduled blog to take this opportunity to talk about something else; celebrity. Celebrities, not actors. Celebrities, those manufactured personas that draw millions to the box office or television set, those faces, those personalities that we covet in our spare time; obsess over like Barbie dolls, they're all over Hollywood and they're reproducing everyday. And I don't mean biologically. The media and reality television have given birth to a few next generations.
When I was little, I bathed in Tiger Beat magazines! Bathed! My room was plastered with the mugs of Kirk Cameron and Michael J. Fox. My father once, when I was about nine, came to my bedside while I was waking and told me that Michael J. Fox was waiting for me out in the driveway. I shot out of bed and ran outside in my pajamas, only to find that it was my turn to water the plants. Love you Dad.
Even living in New York I found the glow of Hollywood and star sightings intriguing at least. I remember spotting Usher and Kevin Kline shopping at SAKS, not together. I once ran into John Mayer at the Met Foods on 3rd avenue and 17th street. He was looking at a cantaloupe. But when you move to and live in the same town that gives birth to these objects of fascination, it all seems rather, well…stupid.
Yes, stupid. It’s stupid that a ‘next door neighbor' should have greater value just because they're a 'celebrity next door neighbor'. Who cares? The lack of distance I now have from their reality automatically dissipates the mystery of their celebrity. For example, you’re standing in line at the grocery store with say, Nicole Richie, buying chicken cutlets. All of a sudden, it just seems kind of dumb why you would worship her and not well, yourself. I’m actually going to eat my chicken cutlets.
Since I moved to Los Angeles, I could care less what is going on in the celebrity world. I haven't watched a single awards show. Why? Because it's there! I lived in New York for years and never, not once, went to see the Statue of Liberty. Why? Because it's there! Again, I find myself referencing an episode of Seinfeld. It's true what they say about 'absence making the heart grow fonder'. Distance gives the lover, or in this case, the celebrity more luster.
I’m not saying it’s dumb to admire the work of the actors you admire. I gasped when I saw Kevin Kline in a t-shirt and jogging shorts. But that’s what separates the actors from the celebrities, the boys from the men, so to speak And I bet some celebrities themselves think they're stupid too.
Of course, there are the exceptions that prove the rule; Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Sean Penn. These are actors that have become celebrities because of the track record of their work and impact as artists and people. They would probably be well-known no matter what line of work they are in because the strength of their individual essence would make it so. No knocks on Jolie please, she’s a personal favorite; and a friend of a friend of a friend.
Sorry (insert your own favorite celebrity), but I liked you better when I lived far away. When you’re up close and personal, everybody’s got pores, gray hairs and grade school scars. Maybe I’ve just got intimacy issues, who knows? Love the celebrity, but love yourself more. We’re all headed straight up to the heavens anyways. Last one in, has to dance with the worst dressed. And by the way, that's a pic of my Dad, not Marc Anthony.
(photos courtesy of HQ-celebrity.com and gigglesugar.com)
Yours Truly -- Ann Hu