Is there something in the water?!

Okay, so this makes me a total girl but I was gutted to hear that Heidi Klum and Seal are separating. They are (I refuse to say “were”, damn you) one of my favourite celebrity couples. And it’s not just them.

Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis are reportedly overs too – they haven’t been spotted on the red carpet together for around a year now and pretty much exist on separate continents (Now, I’m no relationship expert but I’m pretty sure you need to spend at least some time together to keep a marriage going).

Aretha Franklin called off her wedding today, saying that she and her friend/fiance/person felt things were moving too fast (She’s smarter than Kim Kardashian at least)… And that’s just this week. 

None of this is helping my growing fear that I’m going to die alone, by the way. If Elton John and David Furnish/Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka/Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter break up, I’m throwing myself off the balcony at work. Period.

In completely unrelated news (which is how I like to do things!) I’m trying out one of those 30-Day Blog Challenges, starting tonight. The idea is to get into the habit of blogging every day. Don’t worry, it won’t be all that I’m blogging – I just need a little shake-up, is all.

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A right Royal mess

Charlene Wittstock

The new Princess Charlene of Monaco

So there’s pretty much only two things making headlines in South Africa at this point – the Great Vodacom Crash of 2011 (thank goodness I switched networks a few months ago!) and Charlene Wittstock’s wedding to Prince Albert of Monaco.

The whole thing was expected to be a fairytale affair… It’s a beautiful story (on paper ) – a Zimbabwean-born, South African swimmer catches the eye of the prince of the richest country in the world. Of course, that’s soured a little by the fact that said prince was also one of the biggest playboys in the world…

But after years of dating, Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert of Monaco were due to wed in a highly anticipated summer ceremony. Rumours flew over the menu, the dress, the guest list – it was a wonderful reminder of that other royal wedding a little earlier in the year, only this time it was a Proudly South African wedding! And the new Princess of Monaco made sure that there was a wonderful taste of South Africa – wines from Stellenbosch, chefs from Zimbali and a touch of Afrikaans added to the proceedings.

But there’s a dark cloud hanging over the proceedings – one that, try as they might, can’t be covered by Armani embroidery and Swarovski crystals.

Those persistent rumours – that Charlene tried to run away – just won’t die down. And the more people try to brush the talk aside, the stronger it roars back… And it’s a case of well, where there’s smoke there is most likely fire, too. Continue reading

A new addition to the “Why are they famous?” club

So I have quite a few people on my “Erm, why are they so famous again?” list*. You can see the original list (with original snarky comments!) on iafrica.com, if you like. But here are my favourites:

It started off with Paris Hilton (she’s famous for going to parties and releasing a sex tape), Kim Kardashian (supposed to be famous for Keeping Up With the Kardashians, actually famous for a sex tape), local girl Khanyi Mbau (in the Paris Hilton model, has she released a sex tape? I’m sure she’s made one), “Speidi” (originally on The Hills, when their fame waned they claimed there was a sex tape), Kendra Wilkinson (was a former Hugh Hefner girlfriend), Jordan (big boobs) and Mike “The Situation” (nice abs).

Sure, most of them have their own reality shows etc etc, but there’s a new addition. A spectacular new addition. Courtesy, this time, of the British Royal Family. And what, might you ask, is this new addition famous for?

Find out after the jump…

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A mini-rant on celebrity news haters

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries on this week's cover of People magazine. I don't think I need to tell you how successful this magazine actually is, do I?

Indulge me, if you will.

I regularly get comments on articles and Facebook posts and @ replies on Twitter in the same vein. Somebody will almost always, as if reading from a script – write “Who the fuck cares?”

Well, buddy… (I’m tempted to respond every.single.time but don’t because I have more important things to do) Millions and millions and millions of people across the entire world care. It’s why I have a job. It’s also why channels such as E! Online are so massively successful and generate so much money. It’s also the reason that celebrity gossip sites are some of the biggest on the Internet. Just because you don’t deem it newsworthy (which is your right), it doesn’t mean that it isn’t newsworthy, to somebody. Celebrity gossip articles are very, very regularly one of the top 10 most read stories on our entire portal. So, yeah, “Who the fuck cares?” is a pretty stupid question.

Aaaaand… If you don’t care (and you’re entitled not to care, by the way) then why, for the love of all things good and holy, do you click into the article, read through it, click on the “comment” button, write a comment and click submit?! I don’t care about, for example, car-related news. I don’t care and it doesn’t interet me, so I don’t read it and don’t leave comments.

Let me tell you a secret, you people who think you’re so rebellious by writing “Who the fuck cares?!” at the bottom of all of our celebrity gossip articles. We’re laughing at you. Hard. If you know anything about how online media works, you’ll know that one of the ways we measure the success of a story and generate advertising is through clicks. So – the minute you click on an article and comment, you effectively ensure that I get to do the job that I love for another day. And I thank you for that.

It still irks me, even though I’ve largely become used to the comments and the insults. I get told at least once a week that I publish “trash”, that what I write isn’t useful to anybody and that I practice “gutter journalism”. I’ve also been called a whore, a moron, an idiot, a blonde slut and a c**t. This week’s catch phrase was “incredibly snobby” (and I can work with that).

It’s the aggressive tone that irks me. It’s the fact that these people think that they’re so very, very much better than everybody else because they don’t find celebrity gossip interesting – and so they can be as rude to everybody else as they like. The anonymity of the Internet doesn’t help much, either. You can hide behind a name on a screen and swear as much as you like – and then turn around and scold your child for doing the exact same thing.

I work in entertainment. Sure, I will never, ever think that my article on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child is more important than the latest election results or the volcanic eruption in Iceland. But what my section is – what reading about Kim Kardashian’s engagement is – is escapism. Which we all need. Just for a minute. Something light and fluffy to remind ourselves that yes, the world has issues but there’s always space to hang out, breathe, and not deal with blood and death and destruction all day, every day.

And that is why I do what I do. Because my silly stories might brighten up someone’s day – and I’m perfectly happy with that.

Iconic Oprah moments

I wrote a 15 Great Oprah Moments piece for work – but here are MY favourite moments. Now, I don’t particularly like her (though I don’t really dislike her either) – but there’s no denying what she’s done for women in the industry. With the final ever episode airing in the States today (here in South Africa we’ll probably get the final episode in about 5 years time!) I decided to take a look back at some of the many, many moments that made Oprah Winfrey an icon.

America’s most racist town: In 1987, Oprah travelled out of her studio to Forsyth County in Georgia, where white residents had made it known for years that black people were not welcome. One man, Dennis, said he was “afraid” of blacks coming to the county. He also used the word “nigger” repeatedly as he spoke to her. Oprah was hailed for remaining calm at the meeting and not being drawn into responding. Years later, the man contacted Oprah – saying he was “the bearded man” from Forsyth – and told her that he no longer uses the word.  Defending his use of it, however, Dennis said, “I spoke from what I had lived and that’s all anybody can do.”

The Wagon of Fat: Oprah’s struggle with her weight has been famously documented. In 1988, Oprah tried “Optifast” – a fasting and supplement programme – which she thought would be her “final answer” to her diet battle. For four months she didn’t eat a single morsel of food – and dropped around 30kg to just under 66kg. She squeezed into a pair of tight jeans, pulling a wagon full of fat – representing the weight she had lost – onto the stage. However, two weeks after starting to eat real food again, she had picked up almost 5kg again. How she didn’t realise that the weight was going to spring straight back is beyond me – but I suppose it was the 1980s and dieting pretty much equalled starvation at that point.

Oprah and the Fat Wagon

Oprah and the Fat Wagon

An eye-opening experiment: I love this idea so, so much. I would have loved to have been there. In 1992, Oprah set up an experiment with diversity expert Jane Elliot to prove the power of discrimination. When the audience arrived for the taping, they were separated into two groups based on their eye-colour – although they weren’t told why they were split. The blue-eyed people were pulled out of line, told to put on green collars and were treated badly by show staff. The brown-eyed people were asked to step to the front of the line, given coffee and doughnuts and treated respectfully. The segregated audience was then told that brown-eyed people were smarter. The blue-eyed people were visibly upset at being discriminated against, while the brown-eyed people became smug and bought into the idea that they were superior. The idea behind the experiment – to prove how arbitrary judgements based on skin colour are, and how susceptible we are to prejudice and misinformation.

More after the jump…


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Angelina vs. Jennifer. Let it go, guys. It’s over.

You know, it’s been six years. But there is always, always, always somebody who brings up the Jennifer Aniston vs. Angelina Jolie debate/feud/comparison/whatever.

The most recent was a reader on my site. On an article and poll on Angelina’s Cannes gown – where really, all you had to do was say whether or not you liked her outfit – a reader managed to wangle in the Jen-and-Angelina thing (Jengelina?). “Anistons toned body would have done greater justice to such an awesome dress [sic]”.

*facepalm*

And then I thought about it a little more. The media still makes SUCH a thing out of it. There are regular references to the Angelina-Brad-Jennifer triangle. And honestly, there probably will be references until the day they die.

Honestly, people were so moved by the situation that you would have thought that they were the ones that had been divorced. There are still people who call Angelina the “whore of Hollywood” – even though she’s been with the same man for the past six years. And we’re always talking about “unlucky-in-love Jennifer”… We cast these wonderful roles for them to play and we expect them to do so for the rest of their careers. It’s typecasting, really.

Why did we have to pick sides? Why do we assume that Brad was “tricked” into falling in love with Angelina, or believe that she ruthlessly seduced him? Why do we always cast Jennifer as the victim and Angelina as the villain? Surely the bad guy here is Brad? Still, after six years we refer to Angelina as the h0mewrecker where it appeared that Brad did a pretty good job of wrecking his home all by himself.

At the end of the day, he picked Angelina. Now can we move on and stop comparing the two (they’re hot in entirely different ways, can we not accept that?!) and feeling sorry for Jennifer (especially as she has said that it irritates her beyond belief).

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a superinjunction!

You can now read the jazzed-up version of this post on iafrica.com. And vote in a sexy little poll.

There have been some pretty loud rumblings in the UK over so-called “superinjunctions” taken out by various public figures/celebrities/footballers with more money than sense – and it’s come forcefully into the fore after a Twitter account was created with the aim of allegedly revealing gag orders taken out by celebs. Whether or not these claims are true is largely irrelevant to this blog (although Jemima Khan has protested, strongly, against claims that she had taken out an injunction) – but it does stir up the debate over whether or not these superinjunctions should exist at all.

To kick off with – a superinjunction is basically a gag order on steroids. The media aren’t even allowed to report that an injunction had been granted to an individual. Sure, they can (and do) hint until they’re blue in the face, but this Twitter account is a way to just show one finger to the courts and the spoiled celebs in the UK.

It’s an ongoing debate. Continue reading