Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Holly Wood

, originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

When I was younger, in 8th or 9th grade, every week I would walk to the grocery store down the street from our house in Traverse City, and buy a pack of green Extra gum and People magazine with my allowance. My awareness of celebrities -- what they wear, who they love for the moment -- stretches back at least that far. I was always sort of fascinated by movie stars (the glamour and whatnot) and moving to Los Angeles, where the celebrities roam as free as is possible, hasn't really changed that. Five years later, I still love to pour over US Weekly, and I still blush when I see someone famous walking out of the bathroom at the movie theatre.

What's changed is that now some of these people are actually part of my social life. Through various circumstances, I find myself at their birthday parties, or at dinner with them, or simply at their place of business. This has brought an element to my life that is on one hand sort of cool, and on the other hand quite stressful.

Famous people, you see, are wee folk. Male, female, young, old, really famous or only sort of... they are, nearly universally, very short and very thin. In the men, I find this sort of cute and funny. I think it's amusing to know that women all over the country are being wooed from afar by men who are barely over five feet tall.

In the women, I find it to be downright intimidating. I'm a tall girl, and thin but not skinny. Petite girls have always terrified me. I feel like an oaf next them, as if I've suddenly become the most ginormous women in all the land. If these girls also happen to be beautiful and immaculately dressed and, oh, I don't know... FABULOUS SOCIAL BUTTERFLY MOVIE STARS then it gets a bit scary for me. I get shy and sweaty, and all at once I'm back in second grade when my feet grew too fast and my mom made me wear huge pink Converse All Stars and everyone called me Dumbo (nevermind that Dumbo had large ears, not large feet).

It's rather wretched, when this happens.

Before you go ahead with the comments about how I'm darling just the way I am (and aren't I, though?), I must add that you couldn't pay me to switch places with any of these girls. The other thing my fairly close proximity to these people affords me is the ability to see just how rather normal they really are, all physical beauty and riches aside. The vast majority of them are horribly insecure, and with good reason: In most cases, they will be tossed aside for being too old, too undertalented, too difficult, too addicted, too "last year" long before they are ready to be done with their careers. Their lives are riddled with bizarre pressures. The pressure to be microscopic in size and enormous in personality and talent. The pressure to always look ten years younger than they are. The pressure to wear a full face of make up when they drag the dumpster down to the curb, unless they want to be seen by all the world in their pale, puffy faced glory. And Lord help them if they want to have a normal romantic relationship!

So it's not about jealousy (although I wouldn't mind some Prada dresses and perfectly glossy hair) as much as it is about feeling a bit uncomfortable in my own skin when I'm around a certain type of person.

Hollywood breeds that, maybe even for The Stars Themselves.


Doug Worgul said...

You're awesome. And your writing ain't bad, either.

Anonymous said...

You show a lot of insight into both others and yourself, a very important quality for an aspiring writer.


Claire said...

I wouldn't want to be like the majority of famous people either, I do agree that they have so many pressures that revolve around how they look and what they say or do that few people rarely get to see who they really are. It can't be at all easy to live with day in, day out.

this is me said...

"as if I've suddenly become the most ginormous women in all the land." You stole my "in all the land" line! Ha!

One of my favorite things is how when we talk about Jen and Brad... we can say just that and know exactly who we are talking about! I mean, after all, they are our friends, right?

Anonymous said...

Hey girl...I recall that you really, really wanted those hot pink Converses more than anything..at the time...Sorry your feet got so big so fast.mine did too.Lovemom