You are probably aware that alongside our mundane world, there is an ever-expanding parallel reality — the Celebrity Industrial Complex — where people try to make themselves look provocative and interesting so that you pay attention to them.
For example, Tila Tequila — the pseudo-celebrity promotion machine — has been making sure the mediaverse is fully aware she is engaged to Casey Johnson, the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. (Can you believe it? Tila found someone with money! All those poor contestants over two seasons of A Shot at Love never had a chance! I can’t believe she wasn’t furreal!)
As reported by Us Weekly, Tequila prepares her fans for the big news in a video message, saying, “So are you ready for this big announcement that's going to change our lives? This is exclusive and going to be all over the news tomorrow, but because I love you guys so much, we are giving you the exclusive first.”
She shows off a ring which she insists is "not fake, because my baby is a fucking baller. She's a billionaire! She's the heiress of Johnson & Johnson. Anyway, we are going to make love tonight for our honeymoon.”
It’s tough to stand out these days. With more and more celebrities and celebrity wannabes, provocative behavior is becoming integral to any fame-seeker’s career pursuits. Some have to sneak into the White House to get airtime, but if you are a pretty young thing, you can try making out with another girl and becoming a fauxmosexual celesbian to get noticed.
Even talented artists do it.
Lady Gaga, for example, has a requisite kissing scene in her "LoveGame" video.
And recently in an interview with the U.K.’s Mirror, Rihanna said she
could see herself in a relationship with a girl and would be into
playing a gay assassin a film, with Megan Fox as her girlfriend. (Oh,
great, another lesbian killer character. How original.) Gossip Girl’s recent three-way with Dan, Vanessa, and Olivia just happened to be magically timed for television’s sweeps week.
What’s surprising about Tequila’s wedding announcement, Gaga’s girl
moment, Gossip Girl’s ménage, and Rihanna’s admission is how
unsurprising all the lesbian flirtation seems these days. What used to
be alluring and headline-grabbing now seems sort of old hat. It’s got
an almost lazy casualness to it.
Being lesbo-promotional may
have reached its peak when Britney french-kissed Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. It was just another day at work for Madge (I bet
you she goes back to women in 2010), but for Britney it was clearly a
publicity stunt. On CNN’s Crossfire, she said she wouldn’t kiss a girl
again and that “I think I'm still clean living. I mean I don't go home
and have orgies or anything like that.”
In the Celebrity
Industrial Complex, being identified as gay is still a liability, but
playing with it can be a buzz booster. “It lends you street cred, lends
you some of that sexy, or at least you're hoping it'll rub off on you,” says writer Kera Bolonik, author of The L Word: Welcome to Our
Planet. “But people, get your own sexy! Stop trying to steal everyone
else's hard-earned sexy!”
It is interesting to compare the
treatment of Adam Lambert’s controversial tonsil hockey at the recent
AMAs with that famous moment from 2003. After he was disinvited to
Good Morning America, he appeared on CBS’s Early Show and said that he
thinks the controversy exemplifies a double standard — that it
wouldn't be a story if he wasn't a gay male. Even though they gave him
time to speak his mind, CBS still blurred the footage of his AMAs
It has been argued that depictions of lesbian
sexuality are more “digestible” to mainstream media because straight
men love to look at it. But I wonder what would happen if Rihanna were
to come out as a lesbian and french-kiss, say, Melissa Etheridge
onstage. You get the sense CBS would blur that too.
someday Rihanna will make that lesbian assassin film, Lambert will be
able to make out in front of everyone, and Shia LaBeouf will be quoted
saying “I cant wait to play a gay criminal!” in interviews, but for now,
being gay or lesbian is still more popular as a promotional tactic for
straight-identified people to get attention.
Or even an Oscar.
that we don’t want to see Rihanna and Megan Fox make out. Playing with
sexuality and sexual roles is always a good thing and fun to watch. But
to really get our attention, maybe some of these celebrities should go
all the way by coming out.
Put your mouth where your money is. Who knows ... unlike Britney, you may end up liking it.