Categorized | Entertainment

Love in the Public Eye

Celebrity marriages have always been notoriously precarious. Some might say that the pressures of fame make relationships impossible and that a relationship can’t thrive when it’s under such constant scrutiny. Others might say that celebrities are inherently narcissistic and too selfish to maintain a relationship for long. The question is; are celebrity marriages doomed or are they just designed to be that way?

Look at the recent examples, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, and Katy Perry and Russell Brand. KK and Kris managed to last a spectacular 72 days, while Katy and Russell hung on a little bit longer at 14 months. As soon as these relationships reached their peak, they were already heading rapidly towards disaster. It’s hard to be anything but cynical when you think of the column inches that were generated by both of these relationships.

After all, the public loves a high-profile relationship. More than anything else, it generates a strangely intense voyeuristic interest in the intimate details of a celebrity’s life. The way the interest is sustained (and the column inches) is not by keeping it under wraps, and not by revealing everything either, but by revealing just enough of the tantalising intimate details of the relationship to keep the public salivating for more. What else could a celebrity do to attract the same level of attention? Get a new tattoo? Wear a striking outfit? Think about it: would Katy Perry really have been in every weekly gossip magazine every single week if it weren’t for the roller coaster ride that was her relationship with Russell Brand?

But of course, the public isn’t interested in a solid, stable and healthy relationship. Just look at Ashton and Demi. When they first got together, they lived under the telescopic lens of every paparazzo around; but as time passed and they showed no signs of splitting up the public lost all interest. It was only when the relationship blew up in spectacular celebrity style that everyone was fascinated by them again. Suddenly we were treated to a bajillion shots of the supposedly ‘devastated’ Demi moping around looking thin and haggard, while Rihanna furtively emerges from Ashton’s house at 4am. Let’s face it, there’s nothing we love more in the celebrity world than a bit of interesting disaster.

That’s the way it has to be: ultimate bliss or complete disaster; which is why a celebrity relationship has to race the gamut between the two as quickly as possible to sustain public interest. So to anyone who says they’re not designed this way: please. Don’t be so naïve. Maybe celebrities don’t even realise it themselves, but then the whole celebrity persona is in itself a demand for attention.

A celebrity is a naturally attention-seeking creature. Without that attention, they simply couldn’t get the same parts or sell the same number of albums. When there are so many celebrities these days famous for nothing other than being famous (ahem… Kim K I’m looking at you), they have no choice but to keep their celebrity going with wacky celebrity antics.

But of course, there are exceptions. These are the ones you probably hadn’t even noticed because the gossip magazines aren’t interested. Just look at Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart; who would ever have thought it would last this long? But it has done, precisely because it’s been carried out in private. Look at Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It just goes to show that real love is out there, even in Hollywood.

There are lessons to be learned from these blink-and-you’ll-miss-it celebrity marriages. Here in the real world, you should never use your partner as a narcissistic accessory or as part of the ‘persona’ you’d like to develop. First and foremost, a sexual relationship needs to be a friendship. You must know how to have great conversations, and how to enjoy each other’s company in private; because these are the relationships that last.

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