I have a difficult relationship with celebrities. By “difficult relationship” I don’t mean raising three children with a man who you fell out of love with ten years ago, or trying to mend a turbulent relationship with your drug-addled child who steals from you. I simply mean “difficult relationship” in the sense that my feelings for them are complicated and also, talking shit about and/ or praising them is one of literally thousands of my un-guilty, guilty pleasures.
I wouldn’t say I’m a celeb knowledge- factory- powerhouse by any means, but some people have been known to turn to me when they want to know my opinion on such meaningless things as, “do you think Kim K’s nose is heavily contoured or did she get a small shave at some point?” Admittedly, when that shit stain (or piss stain?..vomit stain?) south of the border was elected in November 2016 I had a breakdown and deleted all of the Jenner-Kardashian family from my Instagram because I felt that I would have to fully mobilize and donate all my energy to fighting this newly engorged white, cis, hetero patriarchy the Americans had succumb to. Any Jenner-Kardashian interest had to go if I was to be a serious full time SJW (I’ll probably never use that acronym again). But deleting them was useless because I just ended up searching their profiles anyway every couple days, which actually took more time to search them out instead of just seeing them in my feed. This also wasn’t much of a sacrifice, as Kim K was M.I.A. during this time, and who really cares about Kourtney and Khloe’s gym snaps, am I right? We get it. You guys work out. Kourtney evidently works out with bad form, based on my limited knowledge, but get it girl, I guess. (Kourtney’s actually my fav and I’d be kind of into hanging out with her and her sassy shrewd self if she’s not too offended by my exercising critique).
If you are thinking to yourself, “oh I don’t know anything about celebrities, who is Kylie Jenner?” God bless. No seriously, pat yourself on the back for being so pure and intellectual and self- congratulatory. But let me break it down for you. You aren’t going to understand most Saturday Night Live sketches with that attitude, or really much contemporary comedy. Celebrities are part of this world, they play a role in politics, some of them make incredible art, and some of them are just really attractive so we let them be famous. Yes, some of them are out-of-control fame-monsters with personality disorders (I’m actually fairly into these ones, except for the one that is the president of the United States), but some of them are Frank Ocean. So get over yourself. You should really widen your knowledge, mmkay? Also, yours is not an original stance. Hating on celebrities does not automatically make you cool or different. It probably means you’re full of shit and actually do pay attention but pretend you don’t, or you’re boring (or okay maybe you’re a really cool human rights lawyer who is just so busy saving the world and bringing genocidal dictators to justice that you actually don’t have time for this trash, you get a pass, Amal Clooney… then again, Amal Clooney married a celebrity and then became one herself, so even that example doesn’t work).
So yeah, back to my difficult relationship. I don’t think people who think I’m “really into” celebrities understand how much I actually DON’T know about celebrities. For example, I don’t watch any of the real housewives shows, so I don’t know any of the characters except for Bethenny Frankel and Theresa Giudice, the former because she scares me and the latter because, wtf hairline.
In fact my only exposure to reality T.V. celebrities other than the Kardashian/Jenner cult, comes from one of two people: Either Andy Cohen, because he’s a fellow queer and I’m into his level of obnoxiousness, or a lovely lady counsellor friend who somehow finds the time to stay up to date on shows I didn’t even know existed, all while organizing conferences and starting her own business (so there’s really no excuse for ignoring celebritaaahs).
My engagement with celebrities is actually fairly limited. I don’t look at the Daily Mail celebrity section at work because I would be embarrassed if one of the hipster bar tenders came around the side of the desk and caught me. I’m embarrassed and then all at once mad at myself for being embarrassed, because fuck those fakers, they probably like it too, and also they’re actually all pretty nice people and probably wouldn’t judge me and my fear of embarrassment is actually just my own insecurity. That being said, I rarely look at the Daily Mail at home either – mostly because their use of slut-shaming and inability to just call legs “legs” and not “thin pins” is ridiculous. But then at the same time, I get a rush from “discovering” things about famous people. For instance, I knew Ellen Page and Kristen Stewart were gay (or however they identify, part- time lady fuckers maybe? I don’t know, but I’m down) long before they were “out” and took great pride in knowing that. How did I know you ask? Because Ellen Page was seen with Clea DuVall like a century ago, and I mean neither of them were “out” publicly but…lesbians by association. And Kristen Stewart was just queer from the beginning. I mean what was even happening with Robert Pattinson? That had sexual confusion written all over it. Obviously I wasn’t the only queer to notice this. You basically had to be those hear no evil, see no evil monkey emojis to miss that rainbow shit. But this was NEWS to my straight friends with better things to do than obsessively research which famous people were secretly fucking people of their same gender.
Just for the sake of mentioning it, I was also really psyched when I found out Lorca Cohen and Rufus Wainwright were having a baby (Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen!!) together, along with his husband. The fact that the children of Canadian lyricist kings Loudon Wainwright and Leonard Cohen were going to make a child together and raise it in a group-parenting sitch was almost too much for me. And no one seemed to give a shit or want to throw a party for them the way I did. But whatever, that’s in the past. It just deserved an honourable mention. I wasn’t blogging at the time, so I never got a chance to make a celebratory post. Side note: I really can’t wait to see what Viva does with her life (also congrats on your boss fucking name, child).
So to sum up, I refuse to be shamed about my un-guilty pleasure. Celebrities are part of our culture and that shit matters. Historian Elaine Tyler May refers to them all the time to demonstrate mainstream social norms in her study of social history, in Homeward Bound and America and the Pill, which y’all should read btw. There is no doubt a historian or sociologist already writing about how Kim Kardashian’s use of nudity and the public’s response to it demonstrates mainstream points of view about women’s sexuality, slut-shaming, sexism and morality. And if one isn’t then I’m graduating with my BA in two months and I’ll start on my thesis right away if that void needs to be filled (#popculturehistorian). So if you’re standing there pretending to not know anything about Kim Kardashian and that you totally never even once looked up her sex tape (only to be disappointed by having to hear Ray J give himself a pep-talk for future masturbatory viewings of his own sex tape– get out of the way Ray J, we’re not here for you), then you are not going to be very #relevant, your future children are not going to ask you for help on their social history homework, and you’ll never be able to teach a hip University course like “Beyonce’s Pussy Power” or whatever (that just became my #1 dream to teach, fyi).
[Side note: I made that meme at the top of my post. It’s not the MOST funny, but it’s the first meme I’ve ever made, so it’s like my first born and I’m pretty proud of it. By all means please use it. What’s mine is yours. Except for anything I have written. Please credit me for my written work or I will at the very least be forced to threaten you because you are a plagiarizing piece of trash.]