Celebrity Culture and Why the Paparazzi Isn’t the Problem

I recently read an article about yet another act of aggressive (if not disgusting) behavior by a paparazzi (paparazzo?).  The incident involved insulting a seven year old (Suri Cruise), and while I think the behavior was despicable, I believe it pales in comparison to the behavior of the consumer who purchases gossip/celebrity/tabloid/etc. magazines.

You cannot stand on higher moral ground than the person taunting a child to get a photo if you then consume that photo.  Placing the blame on the paparazzi is a bit like believing that the shift supervisor in a sweat shop is the person to blame when in fact, it is us, buying the shoes who are really to blame (or at the very least the company who chooses said factory…though we’re still worse).  Our society functions on supply and demand, and if there were no demand for celebrity photos, there would be no sleazy behavior to get them.

To be clear, I am in no way condoning the behavior of the cameraman.  Insulting a child is pretty disgusting.  But what is more disgusting is the perpetuation of the involuntary invasion of personal privacy.  And while the argument could be made that celebrities themselves sign up for this–Hollywood and business and all that–I would make the argument of so what?!  I mean, is that really the most reasonable argument?  Are we really telling people that if they book a job that requires anytime in the public eye that they are forgoing all sense of privacy and are essentially public property for the rest of their natural lives?  That’s insane.

While I think the paparazzi was clearly in the wrong here I think it’s worth noting who the real culprit(s) are: the people who buy tabloid magazines (including the high-brow, if there is even such a thing, ones like Us Magazine, In Touch Weekly, Star, and People, not to mention all the websites and TV Shows like TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc.).

I recently wrote an article about bullying and how (and I’m generalizing here), society as a whole looks at the bully, to place blame, and upon the bully’s immediate influences. When, in actuality, the blame lies with society. For example, girls are so often bullied over sexual choices (with whom, at what age, with what ease, with how many, etc.). But, if we as a society didn’t judge the sexuality of women (in attempts to suppress their pleasure and happiness under the guise of morality and virtue), bullies would have no ammo. (here is the article for a better explanation)

To bring my point back to this article–if people stopped buying the magazines that invade the privacy of celebrities–paparazzi wouldn’t have a job that entails invading the privacy of celebrities. While this particular paparazzo acted horribly, in many ways, he was just doing his job by whatever means necessary. For all we know, he’s the single breadwinner in a house of 5 children just trying to make ends meet, and while this in no way justifies his behavior, you have to wonder who is more in the wrong, this person doing his job or the consumer wasting their money in order to know/see the private lives of celebrities?  Who is perpetuating this cycle of personal invasion?  Who is the demand that this paparazzo is supplying?

And don’t get me wrong, I’ve read articles about celebrities on the internet and I’ve read a People or two in the nail salon, and I’ve even gone as far as to read the old copies of Us Weekly that a friend subscribes to.  I’m simply saying, that the first step in the right direction is to accurately portray the real scenario and to assign blame where it logically goes, on us.  After all, you can’t fix a problem until you can figure out what it is.

Dear Boys, Nobody Likes to Be a Sideshow


[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s come to my attention.  As of late.  That I’ve been dating idiots.  Now don’t get me wrong.  People are inherently beautiful and everybody has their talents and upsides.  But when it comes to dating.  These boys are fucking ridiculous.  And that could very well explain why they’re on Plenty of Fish.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But these aren’t boys that are looking for a discussion.  They’re not just dating.  They’re “looking” for something.  And so if a fella is open and willing.  You have to wonder.  Why.  At 36/37/39/etc. his not finding it.  And that brings me back to the idiocy.

And the thing of the thing is.  I kind of don’t mind.  Because while I know most people read this blog for the funny business.  I have some fucking wisdom.  I swear.  To bestow on those willing to read/hear it.  And possibly the friends of those people.  Because someone has to be friends with these ridiculous boys that I’m dating.  They’re not social rejects.  Just.  Boys with maps to dating.  That haven’t been completely drawn in yet.  And so they’re guessing.  When they should be pulling over and asking directions.  And so here I am.  Waiting in the service station.  Throwing nails on the road so they’re forced to pull in to fix a flat.  Ready to guide.

And that’s why I write these Dear Boys posts.  To share the wisdom.  The small amount I have to share.  Because that slogan I came up with awhile back isn’t just a funny catch-phrase.  It’s a bit of the truth.  Mixed in for good measure.  I really am hoping.  To leave a legacy.  Of boys that have become just a little bit better.  Equipped.  More able.  Stellar.  Master daters.  Something She Dated.

Dating Vancouver a Better Place…One “Something” at a Time.  

So that’s me.  Taking one for the team.  Jumping on a grenade for you.  Ladies of Vancouver, BC.  And possibly even more widespread.  Because after all.  Boys migrate.  So you never know.  Atlanta.  Paris.  Saskatoon.  Prague.  One day you just might owe me a thank you.  But remember.  I don’t take refunds.  And I don’t offer warrantees.

So let’s get down to it, boys.  Because you’re screwing it up.  And you’re grossing me out.  And honestly, it seems obvious enough to me, but I guess I’m going to have to say it, nobody wants to be a sideshow.    Because whether you mean it as a compliment or not.  Compartmentalizing me.  Physically.  Is really insulting. And insecuring.  And ick ick icking me to death.

For example.  When you say (as a dude so recently did on Match.com) you posted lovely photos (this is good) – you are simply beautiful (keep it coming!).  I truly appreciate a genuine curvy figure (umm…fuck off).  And now just to be clear.  Where the fault lies.  So that there is no doubt.  Is in the appreciation of a genuine curvy figure.  Now if he had said you’re a babe or you’re stunning or something equally clear about thinking I was attractive.  That’d be awesome.  Because I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.  I’m not a chick who can’t take compliments.  But the gross part, is three fold.

First.  I hate the curvy thing.  And I’ll explain why.  Because saying I’m curvy doesn’t convey attraction.  It conveys sideshow.  Nobody wants a chubby chaser.  Because the thing of the thing is.  I don’t want the dude who likes fat chicks.  I want the dude who likes me.  Huge difference.  And further to this.  The word curvy is a thorn in my side.  My not curvy but chubby bunny side.  Because I’ll tell you.  Every fat girl has taken enough shit from dudes (and chicks) who would criticize them for daring to call themselves curvy.  Curvy being a coke bottle shape.  Curvy being 36-24-36.  Curvy being Vida Guerra or These Models.  And I am not curvy.  I’m beautiful.  I’m adorable.  I have value and all that other stuff.  But I’m not cruvy.  I’m less Marilyn Monroe and more Beth Ditto.  But most of all, I’m just me.

Second.  The word appreciate.  Now I know I’m going to catch some flack from all of you.  Something like you’re being too critical or stop being such a word nazi or something akin to this.  But to me.  Saying he appreciates my curves is honestly a bit of a jellyfisher.  Because what he’s really saying is that he’s different.  He appreciates what I have…fill in the blank____when others do not____.  And so it becomes just another signpost that this fella wants to take a detour to chubby town.  Whether he regularly vacations there or just heard about this great special.  But either way.  It yet again.  Makes me feel like a sideshow.  Objectified.  And not in an awesome way.  But in a yellow-fever, jungle-fever, chubby chaser, freak show type of way.

And finally.  Just in a totally word-nerd kind of way.  What’s with the genuine?  Like as opposed to the other girls.  Who are fake curvy?  What the fuck does that even mean.  So my dear boys, my dear dear boys.  This is my advice to you.


Dear boys,

Ick.  To every dude who likes a chick with some meat on her bones.  Or finds himself attracted to some ethnicities over others.  Nobody Likes To Be a Sideshow.  The way to your woman’s heart.  The key to your ladies panties.  Is not by making her feel like a freak.  It’s not by making her feel like if she were a hamburger that you only ever like her beef.  She is a whole dish.  A WHOLE dish.  And if you can’t appreciate her for that.  You should damn well keep it to yourself.  And honestly for her sake and yours move on.  But don’t tell her.  Don’t fucking make it clear that you just want her for something arbitrary and out of her control.  Because she’s not a circus act.  And you won’t win her over by talking about her tightrope.  Just Sayin’ boys.  Step your game up.  She’ll appreciate you for it.

Yours Truly,
Judgey Wudgey
aka Something She Dated
aka Your boys favorite chubby bunny
aka That girl 2 treadmills over getting closer to curvy status
aka Helping boys woo their ladies one compliment at a time
aka Dating Vancouver a better place one “something” at a time

Vancouver Dating Blog: Dating Vancouver a Better Place, One “Something” at a Time