The Stars Used To Be Just Like Us. They Aren’t Anymore

October 2, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Ruth Graham writes that a vehicle for society to get an insight into stars’ authentic lives has slowly turned inauthentic:

  • In April 2002 Us Weekly launched a series called “Stars – They’re Just Like Us” which showcased photos of celebrities engaged in mundane tasks like taking out the trash.
  • Before the series, the paparazzi would either make money from red carpet photos, or follow celebrities around and hope to catch them having an affair. Suddenly, the photos they took of stars getting a latte or a parking ticket in their sweatpants, were worth something.
  • In retrospect it was a continuation of the nascent reality TV trend that was gaining momentum at the time…and has now grown so big that it’s affecting American Presidential elections.
  • But just as reality TV has become somewhat less authentic over the years, so has the “Just Like Us” feature. Now celebrities know that their every move will be documented, and they make sure they dress and act accordingly.
  • In fact, celebrities will sometimes even call up the paparazzi and let them know that they’ll be visiting a farmer’s market, or dining at a particular table framed by the horizon at sunset – to help build their glamour, brand, and keep them in the news.
  • But the paparazzi are being disrupted. Why hope that the paparazzi will get the right angles, when you can take a shot of yourself artfully folding laundry…and post it on social media for your fans to obsess over.
  • It’s unclear now – perhaps even to the actors themselves – when actors are being themselves, or are acting at being some idealized version of themselves.

Read more at Slate.