Why are we awestruck by non-‘shopped celeb bodies?


Aaaand the latest face gone viral for not really waking up and looking flawless?

The chick half of the Jay-once power couple (is that the portmanteau you kids’re using?)

I usually kinda sorta hate this stories unless they have to do with how stupid advertising is by trying to sell you panties using a computer created thigh gap. Especially when the model is really a 24 year old called Trisha who actually had a good deal of adductor friction and even a touch o’ cellulite from that one summer when she got dumped, depressed, gained ten extra pounds, and then lost it all when she reclaimed her power in time for Fall fashion week. Man, I rather like that story I made up just now about a hypothetical cat walker far better than the lie her morphed body parts are telling me. That I can identify with. That makes her relate-able. A person. Like me.

And like Beyonce in these pictures.

You know, I’ve long thrown shade at the ads, but at least the optical lie you’re getting makes sense there. They want you to buy something, so they market the subtle promise of super human impossible beauty by pairing it with their product. Logically, you know that’s not gonna happen. But on a subconscious level, that desirous hope’s got an agenda of its own. So, that makes sense. Ads hack your noggin to prize your dollars from you.

But what about celebrities?

Is it the same thing? And what exactly is it they’re selling me?

It can’t be the good messages in the songs about being beautiful as you are. Not when it’s juxtaposed against a jarring visible paradox the moment the L’oreal mask disappears. We could argue that they are selling us something: distraction. And that distraction is the constant ebb and flow of faux perfection. These mythical pins of perfection get lined up (“Kate Hudson you’re so perfect… how are you even real?” –Actual E! Headline)… only to be knocked down every so often as an unflattering paparazzi shot, photo leak, bad bout of behavior, weight gain, whatever. It’s like the red carpet’s there to be ripped from under them. And, in that way, it is an advertisement. An offer to follow the swinging pocketwatch instead of what terrorist groups are doing what and who’s dying needlessly in not-my-country-so-why-should-I-care-istan and so on:

(An hour or two ago, there was at least one world-news thing.)

And how’s that work? How do celebs trump world events?

Because we love to compare. My sister recently uploaded and tagged me in a hideous picture she took after the holidays when my face was all puffy. She knew I hated the picture. But she did it anyway. And I thought, “Ugh – I look like that?” Sure, I was hurt she did it, and still am. But I tried to glean a lesson from it. I had to wonder – who am I comparing myself to that I hate my mug this much? If it were just me-pre-Christmas, then I’d know that I can reclaim that body status. And I have, thankfully. So why did I hate the picture so much? Because it looked nothing like you’d see in a music video still? In a magazine? And was it just that I was too puffy? Or was it that I looked like I was about to cry – because I was indeed holding back tears while trying to ignore the fact that my sister taking the picture was drinking a margarita in front of me when I’m a year clean and she said she’d quit liquor for good? Was that why the hurt was amplified far beyond the kind that accompanies those usual uggo-photo’s that end up online of me? Much like the model anecdote above, the picture’s not perfect, but it is loaded with reality. Infused with the human condition. Associations to things I had trouble accepting that day when I came home and had an hour long panic attack and couldn’t sort out why until now.

Point? We’re not meant to be picture-perfect. We’re meant to be human. All of us.

The world worshipping something other than that all the time, tells me I’m shit when I’m human.

So, in a way, seeing a snap of a pimple dotted celeb who has to be slathered in Geisha makeup, is fccking beautiful – not news to get dramatic over. What if she’d just gotten in a fight with her husband? What if those puffy under-eyes were because she was up all night taking care of her kid who’s named after a vine and primary color? Why throw shade for someone being imperfect when we’re finally seeing the stuff about them we’ve been waiting for – the stuff we can actually relate to?

The sooner we relate to any flaws a celeb has (“Ah, that’s just like the time I punched my ex in the jaw and thusly was provided VIP reservations in the drunk tank… #memories”) instead of being surprised by it, the easier it’ll be to understand the distraction for what it is. And that’s only half the solution. Because as I thumb through, I too am tempted to click on these ridiculous stories (after all, I had to click on one – to write this). And why’s Beyonce’s mug – now tantamount to cracks in an Aphrodite statue that looked perfect from a distance – so interesting to me instead? Is it because the violence and fighting is – first – depressing and tough to stomach? Why, yes! And is it secondly because I feel like I can’t do anything about it – because even if I voted on something, the party with the most money’s just gonna win anyway? And war is always their answer? Even though it just seems to cause more violence? Current terrorist groups being an excellent example? And the fun fact that brings this full circle is that someone, inevitably will read this – my opinion – and launch nuclear vitriol on me based on what they think they know clashing with what I think I know. And then the unsettling feeling of an internet debate will leave us both feeling something far from blissful.

Funny how that feeling’s somehow less when the subject of debate is something we both know doesn’t matter.

Like how many pores are on the skin covering the front of Beyonce’s head.

Hey, maybe – just like Bey-face – we share more in common with at least some of these peeps we battle abroad.

At the very least, more than the media’d have us believe.