Could You Live Without Celebrities?

  1. (Glamour put this in their most current issue. I wanted to share it with people. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing what was written . . . I will later . . . but I wanted to see what everyone else thought.)



    No Oscar dresses to critique, no front-page split-ups to gawk at . . . would this be good or bad? Simon Dumenco explores the ups and downs of a fame free universe.

    DOWNSIDE: YOU'D SOMEHOW SEEM LESS HOT.
    In a superster-free world, fashion models would probably take over as our main beauty icons. Imagine having to compare yourself with these symbols of impossible perfection - without the wild-card counterbalancing effect that Hollywood serves up. From Sarah Jessica Parker to Queen Latifah and Claire Danes, celebrity culture has, improbably, broadened our notions of coolness and attractiveness. Guys especially benefit. For every Brad Pitt, there's a buriser like James Gandolfini who gets called a sex symbol. OK, Gandolfini's often called an "unlikely sex symbol," but "unlikely" is better than "never in a million years."


    UPSIDE: FEWER STDS.
    Why? No groupies!


    UPSIDE: WE WOULDN'T LUST AFTER $1,000 HANDBAGS.
    What irresistible force can even compel the non-superrich to spend an entire week's pay on a single accessory? Shots of celebrities carrying, for example, the latest Chloe handbag. Celebrity culture has a way of making outlandish spending seem normal, routine, even necessary. Good riddance, I say, to that delusion.


    DOWNSIDE: BUT FASHION WOULDN'T BE AS INTERESTING.
    The fashion industry loves making rules; celebrities love breaking them, and, in doing so, they give the rest of us more wear-what-you-want freedom. (Really, Mary-Kate? That's what you're wearing? OK, I guess it works.) Normal people, of course, invented style eclecticism, but celebrities made it cool.


    UPSIDE: TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRLS WOULDN'T DRESS LIKE, UH, WOMEN OF THE EVENING.
    Think about it: If Britney Spears and countless other pop stars and starlets haven't normalized youthful call-girl wear, there is no way parents would have ever started letting their teens and preteens out of the house dressed like that, for heaven's sake.


    DOWNSIDE: WE'D BE DRIVING FEWER TOYOTA PRIUSES.
    If it weren't for the aura of glamour that some Hollywood luminaries have bestowed on a certain sort of eco-consciousness, the world would probably headed towards ecological Armageddon a little faster. Take the Toyota Prius Hybrid; it looks like a mom car but has a reputation of being cutting-edge, even sexy, because Cameron Diaz drives it. Impossible but true: Cam is good for the environment.


    UPSIDE: ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER WOULDN'T BE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA


    DOWNSIDE: ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER WOULD PROBABLY STILL BE MAKING MOVIES.

    UPSIDE: WE'D BE A LITTLE LESS STUPID.
    Thirty minutes of Entertainment Tonight here, 10 minutes of Star there. Guess what: When we're well-informed about stupid things, it technically makes us, well, stupid! (Personally, I feel my IQ dipping at least 20 points every time I'm confronted with the latest celebrity nose job news.) Speaking of which . . .


    DOWNSIDE: EPIDEMIC OF OUT OF WORK PLASTIC SURGEONS. (OR IS THAT AN UPSIDE?)


    UPSIDE: FEWER LAME MOVIES.
    How many insipid films get made simply because actors famous enough to draw moviegoers and Netflix addicts like lemmings are attached to the awful scripts? (Right now, for example, ther are people watching and pretending to enjoy Click on DVD.) Such a waste of your $10 and Adam Sandler's talent.


    UPSIDE: WE MIGHT BE CLOSER TO OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
    Imagine the collective mental energy that's been expended speculating with your friends about, say, Eva Longoria going through a "difficult time" with her basketball-star boyfriend Tony Parker. If you didn't care about celebrity relationships, you might have time to care about your own.


    DOWNSIDE: WE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO FEND OFF MOM'S "WHEN ARE YOU GIVING ME GRANDKIDS?" QUESTIONS WITH DIVERSIONARY PRATTLE.
    On second thought, sometimes talking about messy celebrity lives is preferable to talking about our own messy lives. (Say, Mom, did you hear that Eva Longoria and Tony Parker might have called it off?)


    UPSIDE: YOU WOULD FEEL YOUNGER.
    The covers of celebrity tabloids these days are dominated by adolescent It Girls, and older stars have armies of makeup artists and plastic surgeons who make them surreally youthful. Without the entire celebrity-industrial complex driving home the message that you can't be hot unless you fall within the 18-to 25-year-old age group, those of us who fall a little (or a lot) outside of that demographic might not get the message that aging is ugly.


    DOWNSIDE: YOU MIGHT FEEL LESS TOGETHER.
    We're always hearing about celebrity role models, but the truth is, a lot of celebrities are anti-role models: They show us how not to live, how not to love, how not to party. One of the key pleasures we get from celebrity obsession, after all, is witnessing famous people self-destruct and feeling like less of a disaster by comparison. But watching and learning from celeb meltdowns - whether they happen instantly (Mel Gibson) or in slow motion (Tom Cruise) - is only half the fun. The real payoff is knowing that, no matter how difficult your quiet little unfamous life may be, at least your screwups will never, ever be front-page news. And for that, I, for one, am grateful.
     
  2. I think I can do it.
     
  3. Easily