Appetite For Celebrity Details Has Become Ridiculous
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Orange juice? Me, too!
Coffee? Me, too!
Leftover pizza? Me, too!
I guess there must be some special bond between us. Something unique. Something real.
You know, I haven’t felt this way since I read that Charlize Theron likes to drink Red Bull — just as I do. I hadn’t felt that way since I had read that Sarah Michelle Gellar is a big fan of tiramisu — just as I am. Those revelations were important to me, my sense of identity and my sense of well-being because they gave me a tangible, iron-clad link to someone famous. And that, we all know, is the key to true self-worth.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, thank you, Entertainment Weekly.
But it’s not just EW that deserves my gratitude. I read a lot of entertainment writing. Tons of magazines, books, Web sites — you name it. So I see a lot of the same phrases and conventions over and over.
One example: If the writers of celebrity profiles meet a star over a meal, and they typically do, they always describe what the person is eating, as if it’s an incredibly pertinent detail. “Brad Pitt orders his ostrich-egg omelet with baby capers, prepubescent squid ink and just a touch of middle-aged cilantro …”
Why would anyone care what Brad Pitt, or any other celebrity, eats? Really, unless they’re scarfing something incredibly weird, exotic, or illegal — heroin-and-spotted-owl quesadilla, anyone? — who gives a gosh darn about it? Or even a golly-gee willikers about it?
Does it really make you feel closer to a person if you know what he or she eats? Honestly? Does it surprise anyone?
It’s as if there’s some intrinsic news value in the fact that celebrities eat food. As if everyone thought that once they became famous, they were suddenly able to get their nourishment solely from wearing Kabbalah bracelets.
All legal and illegal stimulants aside, they do have to eat to live. Still, they must not eat very often, because when they do it during an interview, they’re not very demur about it.
In stories, celebrities are always described as “digging into,” “tearing into” or “ripping into” their food, as if they’re velociraptors devouring the fat D-list actor who gets bumped off first in “Jurassic Park 562.” Now, if they actually did leap onto their chairs, squat on their haunches, bare-hand the greasy food, and attack it before throwing it, still warm, into their mouths, that would be one thing. But, with the possible exception of Kim Kardashian, I’m guessing they don’t.
Some lame-o writers might say that they’re using food as a metaphor for a celebrity’s zeal for life or whatever project he or she is working on. Right. Some might say they’re really trying to capture every detail of a story, although I never see those same writers go so far as to tell me what a celebrity smells like. Other writers might admit that they put those cliches in to either break up dialogue or, more likely, to slyly boast about actually having a meal with a major star.
Personally, I’d prefer to see the space devoted to something more important. Such as news about the subject’s latest project; in-depth analysis of the star’s creative process; or titillating, lascivious details on other famous people this star has slept with.
But hey, that’s just me. The guy who had orange juice, coffee and leftover pizza for breakfast — just as Demi Lovato and Hugh Jackman did.