We at Pajiba do love blowing your mindholes. It’s one of our favorite things to do. That said, like seeing Daddy cry for the first time or finding out there is no Easter Bunny, sometimes, we must grow up and realize that our perceptions may be wrong. That some people and things are different than we have long thought or wish them to be.
What I’m saying is, Taylor Swift doesn’t read your fan letters.
This weekend, hundreds of fan letters addressed to Taylor Swift were found in a Nashville dumpster. Unopened. Swift’s team had to do some quick damage control, pledging that Taylor, OF COURSE, reads every single letter and if a box of letters was disposed, unread, it simply must be an error and they will do what it takes to find out what monster did this.
For once, I’m not going to slight Taylor. She did nothing wrong here. Because of course she doesn’t read her fan mail. Neither does Justin Bieber. And neither did Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
When I was in fourth grade, I sent a long, adoring letter to Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I won’t call him JTT, because real fans know he hated that. He also hated Pert Plus shampoo because they tested on animals and he likes animals, college basketball and Boyz II Men, but that’s beside the point. So, I wrote him this letter. And he totally wrote me back. I received, months later, a postcard with his picture on it, and a handwritten (clearly it was handwritten, I mean it was in his handwriting and the ink seemed awfully thick, but it was probably with a fancy famous person pen that just looked like a scanned copy) note on the back, ending with a request that I join him on a cruise ship to meet him and several of my other favorite celebrities. My mom wouldn’t let me, crushing my perfect dreams.
Years later, I’d find out that my sister-in-law received the exact same postcard. As did this person.
Guys, I’m starting to think my postcard wasn’t handwritten exclusively to only me because he loved me and we were going to get married. On a cruise ship.
It’s easy to laugh at the misguided hopes of pre-teen girls, but they are not alone in this. Celebrities are basically adult Santa Claus. We all have this image of the famous people we enjoy, and when that is disrupted, it is disappointing. Hell, even The Bloggess had to accept that maybe Nathan Fillion wasn’t our universal BFF. Yes, I’m certain there are famous people who are genuinely good, but, ultimately, at a certain level of fame and management involvement, celebrities are pure persona, a conjecture based on meticulous image control and media manipulation.
Take Ben Affleck. Leading up to the Oscars, we saw him out with his wife and children, smiling happily on a daily or weekly basis. The week following his Oscar win, suddenly, it’s photographer kicking time.
I’m all for a good photographer kicking, but it really does suck just a little to have it confirmed, that all those smiling photos of their kids were totally fine when there was an award on the line.
It’s the same with all of them. Listen to every interview where a famous person laments lost privacy, then look at every smiling, perfectly coiffed image sold to People Magazine, a magazine basically dominated by celebrities and their management teams. It’s not all bullshit, but it rings hollow.
And, ultimately, I feel terrible for the ones who actually don’t want it, who don’t court it, who just live their lives and don’t feed the paparazzi machine. But if you think for a second that anyone just happens to be hanging out at a Hobby Lobby when Kim Kardashian comes in and just happens to get her photo, then I have a pregnancy conspiracy to sell you.
And that’s where we are now. Where pregnancies are used to create a sense of humanity in an otherwise soulless pair of famewhores, where babies are pageanted like Honey Boo Boo to win awards and where PR pros have to pretend that a 23-year-old singer actually sits there and reads thousands of sparkly notebook pages herself.
They’re not monsters. They’re people.
They’re just probably not the people they’ve been painted to be.