Writing about celebrities is fun. And I do feel a little guilty about it.
I always knew, even when I was a little kid – 5 years old– that I wanted to write. Though for a long time, I didn’t know about what. I thought fiction at first, but quickly realized that that wouldn’t pay anyone’s bills. It’s not like I wanted to be some political analyst for the Washington Post, but I wanted to write about something relevant.
I was always drawn to entertainment, fashion and culture-related topics, and after college I knew that is what I wanted to write about. But it didn’t register at first that writing life, style and pop culture pieces meant that I had to start paying more attention to celebrities I’d rather ignore.
Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t graduate thinking I was going to write the next great American novel or that I was going to pull a Robin Givhan and scoop up a Pulitzer Prize for fashion criticism within my first 4 years post-grad. I mean, at least not yet. I knew I had to stop being idealistic. But getting that money sometimes means having to do things you don’t necessarily want to. These days, it’s talking about Kendall Jenner. I’m 26-years-old trying to grind out here–I really don’t care if this chick threw money into some waitress’ face because she was being a brat and wanted to get served booze at Mercer Kitchen. Like, really? The fact that I even know this story is shameful. But at the end of the day, folks like Kendall drive traffic, and it’s my job to know if she’s in a Givenchy ad or just dyed her hair a rainbow ombre.
There’s no getting around this type of stuff. I find myself trying to approach the more vapid tidbits by putting a satirical spin on them. After all, we read celebrity gossip because it’s mindless entertainment. For example, the other day I mentioned something about Kylie Jenner‘s new shaved haircut, adding that the world continued spinning in spite of an insignificant change in appearance from the reality star. Being a little self-aware about how silly it is that we’re making a big deal of Miley Cyrus posting an image to Instagram of herself peeing on a tree does help the internal moral dilemma I have sometimes covering these “events.”
I recall one specific occasion where I had to write about Kendall Jenner’s appearance on Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2014 Runway – but I couldn’t do it, of course, without mentioning her boobs, because, well, boobs are a draw. But as someone who’s been working in fashion, it’s really not a big deal to me that she was wearing a sheer blouse and her nipples were exposed. There were probably thousands of girls through the course of fashion month who went braless in some sort of sheer confection and had their boobs photographed for all to see. But Kendall does something that’s completely normal in the modeling world, and it’s “OOH, AAH.” Whatever.
Sometimes, I’m assigned stories where I have to talk about specific celebrities’ body parts or appearances. They’re clicky and for entertainment, but sometimes I feel like I have to be careful not to body shame or make insensitive comments if I have to point out flaws. I always try to make a point to approach these sorts of topics with an attitude that we all have bad days, get acne or have weird foot fungus. It’s just that since these folks are in the public eye, they get noticed more and people want to read about them.
It’s a double-edged sword. I love what I do and am glad that I can make a living by writing about clothes and celebrities all day. If I had a regular day job, I’d probably spend most of my time browsing fashion sites or checking out pictures from runway shows or just plain shopping. Now, I can do that–and get paid. But even for this kind of luxury, you have to pay a price. And sometimes, that price is you need to talk about Kristen Stewart‘s new hair color, even if you don’t care that she went from brown to red and back.
Don’t forget to check out: celebrity brides who wore Monique Lhuiller on their wedding day, Beyonce’s $38-dollar top and the deets on Kim Kardashian’s selfie book.
[Photo Credit: Splash News]