Fabulous & Opinionated

Chapter 16: Lifetime Achievement Award

“Unsurprisingly, male stars generally have an easier time of it than the ladies when it comes to growing older. Cue the surprise and shock. As we’ve indicated, Hollywood has some astonishingly retrograde ideas about gender, so it’s probably not surprising that the industry’s norms on appropriate dating ages stopped evolving around 1850 or so. Men with faces like parched deserts routinely date and even marry women whose high school diplomas are still drying. It doesn’t exactly make them appear younger, but it’s enough to keep them viable as celebri- ties for a little longer. His adult children will mostly refuse to be seen in public with his new child bride, and once she has a baby, the public will silently tsk at him for his irresponsibility while begrudgingly admiring him for still being fertile at his age.

Compare this to the lady side of the aisle, where a forty-year-old female star with the kind of bikini body that 95 percent of twenty-year-olds would kill for gets raked over the coals by the press and the public for allowing someone under the age of thirty to find her attractive and have sex with her. She’ll get compared to predatory animals and generally be seen as a slightly sad figure, trying desperately to stave off her inevitable descent into irrelevancy. Fortunately, most of these ladies couldn’t give less of a shit what the rest of the world thinks of them (hence the sleeping with men decades younger than they are), and they ignore the constant frowning and poo-pooing being directed at them in order to concentrate on having yet another orgasm that day.”

~ “Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me

Chapter 15: Acts of Contrition

“Sometimes a star reaches a point where the arrests happen more frequently than financial reports or she’s done something that the public, not to mention the authorities, can’t easily forgive, like desecrating the flag or being photographed shooting up while nursing her baby. This is when you separate the winners from the nominees. It’s sink or swim time, and if a star has that special something, she’ll reach deep inside, find that inner strength, pry that rock out of her nose, wash her hair, borrow that dress, and show up on the courthouse steps sporting an eight-hundred-dollar pair of sunglasses and a renewed sense of purpose. The lesson here is, when you hit rock bottom, dress like you’re here to pick up your award.”

~ “Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me

Chapter 14: The Full Chernobyl

“It’s not that we love assholes so much, and it’s not even that we love celebrities (although that is, of course, a huge part of it). No, it’s because once again, a celebrity stands in for our own fears and desires, and when one of them simply snaps, while standing in front of forty paparazzi, we try to see some part of ourselves in them, some bit of our own struggles reflected in the actions of the wild-eyed, underfed teen pop star shaving off her eyebrows on a sidewalk at 3:00 a.m. And when some middle-aged overpaid douche bag, after years of living in a diamond-hard bubble of privilege, has a tantrum that escalates into a full-blown psychotic episode, again we rise to our feet as one and cheer. Not because we love overpaid middle-aged douche bags of privilege, but because there isn’t anyone out there who wouldn’t love to indulge in a little “Fuck you, world” moment. But since almost all of us have to live with the consequences of our actions in one form or another, most of us never do it, preferring instead to applaud the privileged few who are allowed to live as consequence-free a life as we will grant them. Of all the odd celebrity/fan relationships, this one’s easily the oddest.”

~ “Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me

Chapter 13: The Exhaustion Sweepstakes

"It’s always great if the singer can collapse on stage in midsong, in front of an audience of thousands. If nothing else, the phone videos on the Internet will be the most discussed item of the week. If there’s vomiting involved or pyrotechnics gone wrong, all the better. Besides, it’s always kind of hilarious when they do it, especially if there’s dancing involved; the backup dancers always hesitate for that one split second, wondering if she’s improvising and maybe she’s going to start popping and locking or spinning on her head or something.”

~ “Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me

Chapter 12: Flop Sweat

“The far more likely route that a desperate, post-flop star will take is to run into the comforting arms of past career triumphs and try to replicate them. These are the rom-com stars who wind up making ludicrously dramatic and glamorous epic love stories, playing characters much younger than their actual age. Or the aging action star who thinks the last movie flopped because he didn’t make enough implausible leaps from moving cars to moving trains. Basically, these are the stars who run from career failure straight into a new project that’s all about saying to the public, “This is why you love me, right?”

~ “Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me