Hollywood Ships

October 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Anonymous Fangirl writes,

I don’t see much on your blog regarding people who “fangirl” over the real life relationships of celebs. I’m thinking of people who are freaking out over Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner separating. Or people who never got over the fact that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams broke up.

I admit I get a lot of enjoyment over watching a favorite celeb “falling in love” on social media or in the entertainment pages. They paint such lovely narratives holding hands while walking through New York City or pushing their shopping carts to the car after doing groceries or smiling serenely walking the red carpet.

Rationally, I know that all I’m seeing is the functional stuff i.e. the times when they are behaving themselves for the camera and paparazzi. I don’t see the arguments or the affairs or the long lonely days spent apart as people travel to film and work. But emotionally, those pictures are so lovely!

What advice do you have for fangirls who can’t help obsessing over real life celeb couples?

REAL LIFE SHIPS! Thanks, Anon. We all have our Hollywood ships. Who wouldn’t want to lip sync battle in their living room with Blunt and Krasinski? Or go real estate shopping with Ellen and Portia?

But actors are not people to us. They’re blank slates where we can write stories. They’re the dolls we take down from the attic, dust off, and prance around on the carpet. Much in the same way that fictional characters are. If you knew them as well as your parents or your friends, then the blank pages fill up with facts. There’d be no room for your own flourish of imagination.

Rather than focusing on reducing your obsession, I want you to think about how this capacity to fantasize and obsess affects your own relationships. Any two-some, family, friend, or romantic, faces conflict when we ignore the facts of a situation. When we put on the fantasy goggles. You lose out on a relationship with your mother when you wait for her to waltz into your house like Meryl Streep. You neglect your partner when the measuring stick is an US Weekly PDA photo.

Deep down, the fangirl knows that life will not look like a movie. Thanksgiving dinner won’t be a two-page spread in a magazine. You won’t casually sit on your partner’s lap at an awards ceremony. And because of this reality, we play it safe. We forget that real life could actually be better than what we see in Hollywood. And better doesn’t always equal newsworthy. Better may not be 5,000 hearts on Instagram-worthy. Better isn’t focused on the reactions of others. It’s an inside-out feeling.

Take off your fantasy goggles when you look at the people in your life. See them for who they are, and what’s there that paparazzi can’t capture. You might be surprised if you find yourself less interested in Ben and Jen. You’ll find a script that the best screenwriters Hollywood could never imagine, and you won’t care whether the world knows about it or not.

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