When I was younger, I wanted to be a celebrity. I thought it would be awesome to have money, fame, and a bunch of screwball comedies to my name. Now…um, no thank you. The very concept of “celebrity” has transformed from “iconic role model” to “public screwer-upper.” I remember all the controversy around Oprah Winfrey, when she opened that school in South Africa that advertised nice linens and dishes and a yoga studio, and how people were all, “what a jerk, that Oprah, funding a few people instead of spreading the wealth around a little more and making a less-fancy school for more children.” Now, Oprah’s not a perfect person, but she’s pretty darn close compared to 95% of celebrities. First of all, who else is building a school in Africa? Are YOU building a school in Africa? Second, isn’t that why public education is failing here in the United States, because even though we spend too little on education, the money we do spend gives our children substandard education, and even then we complain about taxes. Third, so what if some African girls sleep on Egyptian cotton sheets? There are plenty of boarding schools in the USA and the UK where white girls have it just as good, if not better. Fourth, why are we caring about this when Paris Hilton is doing the nasty on 1000-thread count sheets and The Bachelor probably goes through way more sets of sheets than this school ever does? Fifth, why are we even discussing this? People kind of wanted an excuse to put down the O, because yeah, she’s rich and famous but she doesn’t screw up in public because she has manners and a brain, so apparently she needs a scandal to make her a “celebrity.”
I used to wake up in the morning wishing that I was someone else, preferably a celebrity, but I don’t anymore and haven’t for a while. I’ve lost faith in Hollywood for the most part, not because it has so much traffic but because what kind of image are we giving to the world? Then I remember that I can’t change that, I can just be the best and most awesome me that I can be and try not to screw up on a global scale.
I’m doing this whole new “be grateful” and “things could always be worse” thing with my life, so, in light of recent events, here are a list of five people who I am glad I did not wake up as this morning, and why.
5. Lindsay Lohan. She’s so far gone that she’s a caricature of Lindsay Lohan, being a caricature of Lindsay Lohan. Part of me hopes she’ll pull a Britney and become a normal person, but seeing how long it took Britney to get there, we probably won’t be seeing that until the 2020s.
4. Justin Bieber. Yes, he has fans, is Canadian, and has nice hair. I have nice hair, I hope I have some fans, and I don’t throw up on stage or party in a onesie in Sweden or act like someone I’m not. He’s got me on the Canadian part though.
3. Amanda Bynes. Abandoning everyone you know? Moving to NYC to start in the “fashion industry?” Torturing your hair like it sent you anthrax? Wearing purple lipstick and odd-shaped sunglasses? Locking yourself in a public restroom for a half-hour? Tweeting about the weird stuff that turns you on? Oy vey, you were such a nice Jewish girl. Unlike even the worst celebrities, you don’t even have the self awareness to laugh at yourself. And now what is this? Amanda, this is a shonda.
2. Anyone named Kardashian. First of all, that’s not even a real last name. It sounds like a horse that won the Belmont Stakes in the 1970s. Second of all, nobody really knows why you’re famous. Third of all, I have never seen your show and you’ve never appeared in any of the academic journals I read, so who are you? Fourth of all, North West? Couldn’t you have just stuck with the “K” thing and chosen Kimberly or Katherine or even something like Mary? Fifth of all, Taylor Swift called you out on Twitter. That’s sad.
1. And as a grand finale, a brand-new addition to the list, Aaron Hernandez. You just gave up a forty-million dollar contract, a job with the New England Patriots, and millions of fans in exchange for a blow-up at a bar. Now you’re in jail, probably for a long time. And you’re twenty-three, a full two years younger than me. Game over. I sure am glad I’m not you today.