I binged on youtube videos when I should have been showering and cleaning.
On a healthy day I think celebrity culture is insane, and we would all be better off just living our own lives instead of checking in to see what our favourite actor was wearing or what they said about anything at any time. My personal experience with it has led me to believe that too much of it can cause a huge gap between real life and the tactfully projected life through pictures and statuses, and can make one feel lacking in just about every aspect of life.
Today I saw celebrities get standing ovations for raising their kids without the use of a nanny. I saw women clap and cheer at a man who was working, while his wife stayed home to raise their new baby at home. I saw Ellen Degeneres learn that an epidural didn’t mean ‘natural’ in the birth world. I heard people with more money than some countries talk about the hardship of planning for their kids’ future. I watch these videos like I’m watching a train wreck – I want to look away out of respect because what I’m watching is so terrible, and nobody should be seen like this, and yet I’m forced to look because it’s so unbelievable that it’s hypnotic.
I imagine that if I were a celebrity, after having lived my non-celebrity life up until now, I would likely be too embarrassed to talk about some of these things as though they were so novel. If somebody cried because I discussed my decision to have a home birth, I might feel more compelled to send them some information on continuing education rather than the remarkableness of my decision. If Ellen Degeneres learned that my husband and I had decided to raise our kids on our own without money, but with a blind understanding of the importance of quality of life, I fear she might fall off her chair and give away more iPods than she’s allowed. I wonder if being at a gala of great importance would be overshadowed by a cluster of people hanging on to my every word as I explained things like grocery shopping without a car in a Canadian winter, or nursing in public or my daughter asking if she can wear a head scarf one day because she has so many muslim friends at school. I’m not sure I would be able to take all these people seriously if parts of my life that seem so simple, so necessary would be celebrated as though I was the only person in the world doing it.
I’m sure there are celebrities who grin and grit through their teeth at these stories they have to tell, knowing that a great many people have also opted to not have nannies, in less comfortable circumstances, and I have a lot of admiration for them. It can’t be easy to talk like you are the first person to discover that breastfeeding can speed up weight loss after pregnancy, but there she is, enlightening the audience, and you have to hand it to her for having the balls to maintain the interview rather than get serious and tell Katie Curic that her questions are stupid.
All of this to say, today if you are working and budgeting, or raising some kids or getting into a fight with your partner, just imagine the applause an LA audience would have for you if you had more money, a couple of red carpet pictures in People Magazine and had dated Chris Pine. As I scrub the slow cooker and try not to slip in the oily bathtub because my daughter decided it would be fun to put baby oil in her bath last night, I will be imagining the reaction of a room who can’t believe I live this way, and how hard they would be clapping at my strength and endurance. If I have a room of applause following me around in my head all day, I might actually be able to get through it a little easier. God Bless LA audiences.