the long face of celebrity: SJP and those horse pics

21 Nov

I got told to get over myself the other day.

It all started with a tweet. A tweet about a website this person had sent out as “the funniest thing (they’d) seen in a long time”. It was your usual web fare –  a mash up of Sarah Jessica Parker and various horses, a chance to expound her equine similarities.

My issue wasn’t that these mashups were, frankly, rubbish, but that I just found the whole thing, well, a little bit mean.

What if SJP was your sister, daughter, friend – would you still laugh? Maybe you’re having the same reaction as my fellow tweeter did – “Lighten up Milk, it’s just a bit of fun!”. But is it really okay?

Of course, the “Is she fair game simply because she’s in the public eye?” debate is nothing new, but is this kind of behaviour becoming even more normalised in a virtual world where it is easy to make and distribute this stuff and where anything goes as long as it’s funny? Does this easy, laissex-faire medium turn all of us Guardian-reading liberals into digital Bernard Mannings?

I’ve done it. I’ve giggled at the lesbians that look like Justin Bieber or Female celebrities that look like men, so I’m not sure why it took SJP to make me stop and reconsider.

Maybe I am taking it too seriously but I do wonder what it teaches our society about how we should treat people? That it’s okay to criticise, take the mickey, guffaw at another person if they’re in the public eye, and especially if the medium is an intangible, virtual one? That you can rip the piss out of someone, anyone as long as it’s typed on Facebook and not said out loud in the playground?

Thankfully I’m well into my 30s now, my heat-buying-days are over,  and I honestly don’t care whether Cheryl cole is suffering from premenstrual zits or Claudia Winkleman has forgotten to wax her tash (made up, don’t sue).  So shouldn’t us Tricenerians be setting the bar for the younger ones and reminding them that while it may be attractive comedy fodder, not everything goes?

I think i’ll stick to Cats that look like Hitler and Vegetables that look like penises. It’s what the Internet does best but without the laughing at someone’s expense.

12 Responses to “the long face of celebrity: SJP and those horse pics”

  1. Emma @mummymummymum November 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I’m glad its not just me whose Heat buying days are over, I did try the other week and didn’t recognise anyone in it.

    I think if I was SJP I’d be upset, and its not funny in the slightest, so i’m with you on this one. x

  2. jfb57 November 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    It certainly seems to be becoming the norm in so many facets of life. Not sure I can cope with it all. Apparently now you can swear as much and as foully as you like to a policemen . You won’t get arrested anymore because ‘ they hear it all the time’! That’s alright then!

  3. imoncrackers123 November 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Hmmm I’m not sure how I feel about this. I had a friend in college that used to do this sort of thing to all the girls on the swim team. It’s mean, but it’s hilarious if you can stand back and objectify the person. I guess celebrities are a good target since they are already in a prepackaged objectafiable position– most of us don’t see them as whole people and many of us envy them. That doesn’t make it right, but I feel worse for the awkward looking girl on the swim team since it’s more difficult to detach myself from her as having feelings.

  4. Muddling Along November 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    I stopped buying Heat when they started guessing the size (and cup size) of various slebs – just had no interest and it all felt a touch distasteful

    And yes, think this whole SJP thing isn’t particularly nice

  5. Kelloggsville November 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    It’s ok, you’ll find you’re less offended by it all once you’re in your forties. I’m torn on this one. Celeb’s put themselves out there come rain or shine and and it’s all par for the course in a way, on the other hand (do I sound like Topov?) it is cruel, rude and mean. But it’s outside of my circle of influence and contol so i don’t worry too hard about it,I simply ignore it. I don’t pass on the mail spam or post it on my page etc. but I do think if I had her looks,money and talent (yes I know it’s all relative but they are all greater than mine) I think I would put up with a bit of ribbing. Problem is it creeps out into society norm and infects minds. So in summary ‘I completely agree’ with you. Sorry it took me a while to ge there!

  6. Harriet November 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    According to my mother (yes really) all women can be divided into cats, birds and you guessed it, horses…. SJP is, by that mark, just like one in three of us, only significantly more beautiful.

    So not fair. Why don’t we laugh at her to make ourselves feel better??

    Which is really what it boils down to isn’t it? It’s because we want to convince ourselves that she’s not that much better than us so we have to take her down a peg or two, even if she is (as I’d love her to be, but suspect she isn’t) oblivious to it. Of course the stupid thing about it all is that she’s not “better” than the rest of us, she’s just different. More beautiful (than me certainly), richer, (ditto), but happier, cleverer, more liked by her friends, better with animals etc etc? Who knows?

    So I agree with you too. Although for me it was Frankie Boyle’s comments about Rebecca Adlington that made me stop and think. Because she was 18 and she was clearly so hurt by it, even if she’s dealt with it now.

  7. Simone @Greatfun4kids November 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Good onya Milk, I say meanness starts small and sneaks up on us.
    Best to nip it in the bud.
    Before we catch ourselves doing it in real life not just on facebook.
    And SJP did start off with unfortunate looks {remember Square Pegs?} – but look at what she’s made of herself. From Square Pegs to Sex in the City? not bad for a girl who might slightly resemble a horse.

  8. Blue Sky November 22, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    I would never pass one of these on, but I do enjoy seeing images of celebrities on a less-than-good day as it’s a reminder that their images are usually pretty fake, require a lot of work and money and that we should not beat ourselves up because we can’t be like them

  9. Knackered Mother November 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Agree, not that funny. However, the Benton clip all over fb/youtube today is one of the funniest things I have seen for ages. Please tell me you’ve seen it?

  10. Anthea Barton (@BlueBearWood) November 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    I think it’s getting worse and crossing over into normality. Anyone who ends up in the papers or on tv (non celeb) is commented on somewhere. Our perception of boundaries and the truth is getting so blurred. I think it’s all about power. Having the upper hand. Being able to manipulate people’s thought and feelings. On the surface a bit of fun. Underneath very nasty.

  11. Iota November 25, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    And by the time you’re in your 40s, you have no idea who these people are anyway. It’s something of a relief, actually.

    Bitchiness is never nice, whether in the school playground, the office ladies’ loo, or the internet. In my opinion.

  12. Mrs TeePot December 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I have to agree. I think it’s cruel and, tbh, with SJP I can’t see the resemblance. But the veggie cocks, that’s my bag!

I'm all about the debate. Would love to hear what you think.

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