We all know that social media and cyberspace are pretty petty spheres, especially for celebrities. But if you regularly browse the headlines online, you might come to the conclusion that there is more flattery than lag out there. And the emphasis is mainly on the female body.
Feminist sensibilities aside, you could argue that this is a good thing in a world of so much meanness, anger, distress and emotional insecurity. Even then, some of the titles are worth thinking about, not necessarily to attack them, but to marvel at superlatives.
I have thought about writing about this for a long time, but again and again important questions have bothered me. But not this time. This online headline from Seventeen magazine from September 28 finally tipped the scales: “Let’s take a break from enjoying Bella Hadid’s plunging cropped top.
At the time this tongue twister of a headline was released, the US government was on the verge of a partial shutdown because Congress was deadlocked on the budget. In Germany, there was political uncertainty as the elections to replace outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel produced no clear winner. Meanwhile, North Korea launched another pair of missiles into the Korean Peninsula in its periodic test of nerves. And, of course, all over the world there are insurgencies that claim victims and increase insecurity and hunger.
In the midst of it all, we were called to take a break to appreciate a woman’s cleavage. In fairness to the magazine, its readers are mostly women in their teens and early twenties, and they aren’t too burdened with national and global issues. Instead, they’re pretty stressed out by academic pressures and the dangers of social media. So the title might well be the millennial version of “Stop and Smell the Roses – or the Coffee”.
In reality, however, this title and similar titles are not inspired by any philosophical inclination. On the contrary, as a friend who worked for the Toronto Star lamented, it’s more about generating clicks. And cumulatively, clicks translate into advertising or compensation dollars.
Unsurprisingly, headlines aren’t limited to teen magazines. They predominate in trade magazines and lifestyle websites, but by no means exclusively.
Cleavage issues take place alongside incredibly toned abs, firmed thighs and above all curvy bodies that rock bikinis. Headlines don’t always make the world stop, but so can they. Their superlatives demand no less.
Celebrity magazine being what it is, it just might be the headline champion. On Wednesday of last week alone, her Yahoo News posts included three such headlines about wrestler Ronda Rousey, actress and model Priyanka Chopra and even former “Dynasty” student Joan Collins.
In her heyday as a mixed martial arts wrestler and boxer, Rousey was known more for machismo than femininity. Still, Celebrity magazine says, “She looks amazing! “: Ronda Rousey stuns in a 10-day postpartum photo. “What kind of postpartum tea do you drink? ”
As for Chopra, Celebrity imagines her hanging out on the deck of a yacht, with the headline: “Priyanka Chopra poses in a yellow swimsuit on her” perfect day off. ”
The magazine’s take on Collins is a bit of an anomaly. Fawning is usually about young women and the ones who look like them, thanks to plastic surgery and everything. It is rare that a woman of two years before the age of 90 is flattered. Still, there’s this headline: “Joan Collins, 88, Shows Off Her Toned Legs As She Lies On The Couch:” She Looks Fabulous. ”
People magazine, which is Celebrity magazine by another name, is not lagging behind.
Revered Time’s sister magazine can be as good as any other magazine, as this September headline attests: “Katharine McPhee Teams Up With Bra Brand MINDD For New Collection: It Doesn’t Look Like nothing there. The title doesn’t ask the world to take a break, but something that “isn’t like anything out there” may very well justify it.
And if you think a magazine called Women’s Health would dispense Hippocratic wisdom, consider this headline from late September: “Simone Biles wears a super short miniskirt and reveals sculpted legs in new Instagram photos by the pool.” ”
Around the same time, SheKnows, an outfit online that seeks to empower women through information, posted the headline: “Gwyneth Paltrow shared an effortless nude tub for her birthday.”
And then there’s this one on one of my favorite athletes, still in Women’s Health: “You have to see this pic of Serena Williams pairing up with her daughter on the beach.” No, you might want to or even should see. But need to.
Other headline regulars include Kim Kardashian, Rhianna, and Jennifer Lopez. Rhianna and Je-Lo made their mark singing and / or playing. Kardashian, on the other hand, became rich and famous simply by marketing her personality. Unsurprisingly, she arguably makes more headlines than anyone.
Indeed, headlines on Kardashian no longer need superlatives, like the one in InStyle magazine in September: “Kim Kardashian hit the beach in a thong swimsuit and shoulder-length hair.”
Although women dominate the headlines, men are not entirely absent. This track from The Wrapabout, an eternally young rock star, attests: “Channing Tatum loses control over Lenny Kravitz’s abs – see photo. Yes, it is a must. Like Serena’s pairing, Kravitz’s abs are a must-see.
Fawning, Fawning everywhere. So, the next time you think it’s a mean world, think again.
Hollywood’s gift to Nigeria
With the headlines making the headlines, why not an update on “Bob Hearts Abishola”, the American sitcom that stars an American businessman (Billy Gardell) and his Nigerian sweetheart (Folake Olowofoyeku).
If Lai Mohammed, Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, had watched the first two episodes of the first season, he would have been inclined to welcome the show’s producers for a lavish dinner. The episodes could not have presented Nigeria in a better light. Aired on Mondays before and after October 1, they are easily the gift of the 61st anniversary of Hollywood’s independence from Nigeria.
In my last update, I recounted that Abishola and Bob’s hastily arranged marriage had to be called off when she learned that her ex-husband in Nigeria had decided to keep their son. The season-ending episode ended with Abishola, Bob and other relevant people flying to Nigeria to fight a custody battle.
This season’s premier picked up the story from there, with their arrival at Murtala Mohammed International Airport and then at Abishola and her ex in Lagos. Along the way, the viewer sees Lagos at its best, with sparkling skylines, lagoons, seashores and modernist arteries. Then came the lavish homes, especially Abishola’s ex’s, where a maid even draped a warm, wet towel over Bob’s face.
The second episode featured the wedding – in Lagos. Here the splendor of Yoruba culture is represented to the world. There’s the Grand Ballroom, the colorful bridal troupe, and the unbridled dancing. Even the visiting oyibo family went out of their way.
To top it off, Abishola decided to leave her son to his father. It was a heartbreaking decision she made after concluding that the boy would lead a better life – and have a better future – in Nigeria. Hi, Lai !!!
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