Tag Archives: Bernard Manning

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.