Social Myopia


Gossip magazines – we’ve all seen them. Lined up at the checkout lane in the grocery store. Fanned out on tables at the dentist office. Mindless fodder, for passing the time while we wait for the interminably slow checker to scan lettuce, or for the dentist to call us in.

I admit that I’ve skimmed these volumes through myopic eyes while sitting at the hair stylist waiting for the miracle of hair color to occur. There I sit, with my hair smooshed into a style that would never make it into said magazine, except perhaps under the “worst hair ever” section. While deprived of my glasses, I sit squinting at the pics of perfectly coiffed celebrities in evening gowns, and trying to read the recommendations for the best new books and upcoming movies.

But recently I’ve gotten a better look at this drivel, and what I see worries me. I bought something online which awarded me a “free” subscription to one of the more prominent gossip magazines, so now I’m getting a chance to give it a closer look.  One recent headline reads “Ellen: How I finally found happiness.” This implies to me that Ellen must have been significantly unhappy and solved some insurmountable problem to “finally find happiness.” I’m thinking cancer, maybe an abusive relationship, or financial ruin. But, not to worry about Ellen, she is completely fine. Turns out the only unhappiness alluded to in the article was that before Ellen was famous, and before any of us ever heard of her, she was poor and lived on one can of soup a day. But, as she has been rich and famous for some time now, I doubt that one could say she just recently “finally” found happiness. The story goes on about her happy home relationship with her partner, her dogs, her career success, and more, so I am hard pressed to feel too badly for Ellen.

Another article is sure to draw much concern though. Turns out Kylie Jenner had a huge problem, in that “..I felt that no one wanted to kiss me.” Apparently, being beautiful and constantly in the spotlight was not enough. Kylie was so distressed she had to get LIP INJECTIONS. Yes, disturbing I know. Maybe now she will get almost as much attention as the other Kardashians, and finally get all the kisses she deserves.

Just in case you were worried about Gwen Stefani, you can now relax. Turns out that she now is “The happiest I’ve ever been.” Apparently there is happy, and celebrity happy. Rest assured, she has moved on from her heartbreak, and  “is in the next phase” and life has “more meaning and purpose” Whew.

I don’t mean to sound like a curmudgeonly fuddy-duddy, but somehow I remain unsympathetic to the sensationalized plights of celebrity. Sure there are famous people who do have serious problems: illness, financial ruin; family dysfunction; loss of loved ones and so on. I don’t mean to trivialize those who truly do experience the same distress that we ordinary people do throughout our lives, yet I wonder how we as a society have become so superficial that we need to elevate the minutia of celebrity life to the importance of news.

Maybe our penchant for mindless gossip and scandal, and even the glorification of it explains in some way our acceptance of the vapidity of our recent presidential contest. Shock – Donald Trump is a womanizing bigot. Shock – Crooked Hilary deleted emails! Frankly, I am shocked, shocked, not just by these insipid arguments,  gossip, and negative discourse of accusations  and lies, but by how low  as a nation we have sunk, that many believe that this is the norm for candidates vying to become  the leader of the free world.

(Disclaimer: Huffygirl’s Blog does not endorse any political candidates.)

© Huffygirl 2016

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Doppelgängers


Cameron Diaz waving for the camera at the 2005...

Cameron Diaz courtesy of Wikipedia

I’m one of those people (annoying people?) who sees celebrity in everyone. Just now I saw Dr. Phil walking across the lobby. If anyone  has a hint of resemblance to a famous person, I can pick it out. This Dr. Phil guy had the balding pate,  middle-aged gut – they could have been twins. Kevin Kline and Jerry Orbach work out at my gym. I went to grad school with Cameron Diaz. Tom Cruise is a local cardiologist.  And Shirley Jones is the mother of one of my former cub scouts.

The gift of doppelgänger perception can be a blessing or a curse. For instance – most people  would be thrilled to be told they look JUST like Cameron Diaz or Tom Cruise.  But Adolf Hitler? Not so much.  And just like all gifts, it comes out whether you want it to or not. Standing in line at the check out. Going in for a colonoscopy. It’s hard to turn off my “you look just like…” persona, even if it’s not the best time to tell someone they bear a strong resemblance to Gordon Liddy (he works in my building).

Who do you look like? What celebrity doppelgängers frequent your hangouts?

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