When celebrities you love disappoint you
Looks a little uncomfortable? Bill Clinton and Mindy Kaling appear on Amerca's Today show. (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
I’m about to discuss with you the worst disappointment that can ever befall a human being. I’m not talking about the disappointment of realising your child has made a bad decision despite the values you worked so hard to instil in them. I’m not discussing the painful surprise of realising a parent is human and therefore fallible. I’m not even talking about the betrayal felt when a lover takes off with a French mime artist named Pierre Le Seagull. No, no, I’m here to discuss the feeling of searing bleakness and unending sadness when a celebrity who you’d previously admired does a jerk thing.
Now, before you accuse me of melodrama and a disturbing ability to form “relationships” with people I’ve never met, I also make a point of eating any crushed biscuit on a plate first so its feelings don’t get hurt, so I’m pretty good at over analysing things. I also know that I’m not alone in this uncanny ability to form imaginary friendships based on the public personas of celebrities. Many of my friends have discussed their girl crushes on Amy Poehler, Caitlin Moran, Michelle Obama and their admirable ilk.
Twitter, gossip magazines and websites, and the ever increasing press junket circuit means that we have more intimate access to celebrities’ opinions than ever before, so we do feel like we almost know them. It’s generally considered a little low brow to follow celebrity culture too closely, but personally I think it’s positive to celebrate and get excited when women do good work or gain more power in the notoriously female-unfriendly environs of Hollywood (or the music industry or the art world or the technology arena...) However, it can lead to crashing disappointment though when a woman whose career and work you’ve admired suddenly does something that makes you go “Say what?!” Here are a few celebrities that I’ve sadly been forced to revise my opinion on:
Mindy Kaling: I love The Office writer and star Mindy Kaling. She’s smart, funny, successful and unashamedly loves “girly” things without feeling it somehow diminishes her intellect. So when my boyfriend informed me “She’s Republican” I went on a half hour Google binge trying to prove him wrong. Unfortunately all I turned up was her inclusion on lists like Actresses and Female Singers You Don’t Realise are Conservative and tweets referencing Vince Vaughn’s support of Republican politician Ron Paul which Kaling said “makes me like him more”. Miiiiiiindy, noooooo!
Marina Abramovic: The self-described “grandmother of performance art” creates art so powerful it moves participants to tears. However she doesn’t describe herself as a feminist for the rather feminist sounding reason that “It puts you into a category and I don't like that.”
Taylor Swift or anyone else who I thought was kind of okay until they dated John Mayer: Now I know Swift isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think she deserves some respect for writing her own tunes and offering an alternative to the super-sexualised identities most pop stars adopt. So I was a little disappointed to hear of her rumoured relationship with Mayer back in 2010. What is my beef with John “Ewww” Mayer? He has songs that he thinks are playful and romantic, but I think are objectifying and cheesy. He rather tackily kissed and told about his relationship with Jessica Simpson. He’s made some fairly gross sexist and racist remarks. When you Google “John Mayer is...” the first autosuggestion is “douche”, so it’s not just me who dislikes him. To save me future sadness I have devised an acronym that I would like my preferred celebs to wear on a beaded bracelet and it simply states WIDDDJM (When In Doubt Don’t Date John Mayer.)
Brigitte Bardot: As a child of the eighties my familiarity with Bardot was less through her movies, and more through the fact that 87 per cent of the time I picked up a women’s magazine with an article on eyeliner or retro hairstyles there was a picture of her starlet self sassily peering out from the page. It was not until much later I found out Bardot’s also been fined five times for inciting racial hatred (on the plus side she is an ardent animal rights activist, so don’t feel too bad about coveting her hair!)
So if you have also suffered the devastating slings and arrows of realising a star you loved is not all that you had imagined, bow your head and repeat after me: We’ll always have Meryl Streep (and Cate Blanchett and Tina Fey...)