Darlings, here are some things to look for while we’re all tuning into Gay Super Bowl pre-game show tonight, otherwise known as the Oscars red carpet. All of this is from Chapter 5 of the book, titled, simply and appropriately enough, The Red Carpet. It doesn’t all apply exactly to the Oscars specifically, but you can bet you’ll see some of the silly vignettes and behaviors mentioned here play across your screens tonight as Ryan Seacrest struggles to form sentences:
“The “I Fucking LOVE This Person Here!” This is the newly dating couple, newly married couple, or the couple who everyone says is about to break up. She will be fully decked out and showing considerable skin, but not so much as to give the impression she’s looking to impress anyone else in the room. No, it’s sexy wifey getups featuring boob but not a lot of leg. Heels, but nothing that’ll cause a nosebleed. Makeup, but not disco-ready face. He, of course, will be wearing boots, jeans, and something that makes his shoulders look broad. If it’s the Oscars, a tuxedo. You can expect to see her pressing her entire body up against his. They will whisper things to each other as if this moment of screaming and flashbulbs is the best time for one of them to turn to the other to express his or her devotion. She will throw her head back to the ceiling and laugh, exposing every one of her expensive teeth. He’ll smile devilishly over his shoulder, as if to wink at all the photographers who are frantically hoping he pops wood while they have their cameras on him. They’ll make sure to look deep into each other’s eyes constantly, as if there weren’t a wall of fifty shrieking social misfits taking hundreds of pictures a minute. It’s all about making sure that everyone sees how insanely happy and sexually fulfilled you are, sort of like going out somewhere you know your ex will be and making sure you’re going to look fabulous when he sees you.
The “I’m Single Again!” The conventional Hollywood wisdom holds that when someone goes through a breakup, she becomes less attractive to the public (and therefore, less likely to be paid obscene amounts of money), which, as you can imagine, is a fear among celebritykind greater than the average person’s fear of terrorists and cancer. In order to combat even the hint of an idea that the starlet in question is less than the most desirable of all women, any recently single female on the red carpet will be sporting lots of leg, lots of bronzer, lots of big fuck-me hair, six-inch heels strapped to the feet by only the thinnest strip of leather, red nails, smoky eyes, and earrings that weight about three pounds each. Panty flashing as one gets out of one’s limo is optional, as are panties themselves. Nipples are considered déclassé, but it can be quite the career enhancer if the world gets a glimpse of your vagina, so long as one doesn’t return to that well too often. The men in this situation wear jeans, boots, and a shirt that makes them look broad shouldered and small waisted.
The Nominee. For the star who’s made a career-defining move and is on everyone’s list to get all kind of awards for it. In order to sell the idea that she is worthy of such an award, she must, bizarrely, become the award itself. This is when formerly quirky actresses shed every last micron of fat, blast every single imper- fection off their face, envelop each strand of hair on their head with color-enhancing polyurethane and other such shine-inducing chemical compounds, and deploy an array of metallic gowns the likes of which haven’t been seen since Cleopatra had her own dress budget. To win the Oscar, one must become the Oscar. It’s all very Zen, if you ignore the frantic, clawing ambition that fuels it.
The men up for an award will wear suits with sneakers and start shaving once a week, whether they need to or not.
The “I’m Getting My Act Together.” The classic ensemble of house arrest bracelet, low-key makeup, and religious cult hair. Glasses optional. No jewelry except a small cross on a chain (non-Christian stars in this predicament are advised just to stay home or go into hiding), and the heels should be demure, which in the entertainment industry means no higher than four inches.
The Bad Boy. For the male star who secretly wishes he worked construction and rode with a gang instead of having to spend forty-five minutes a day taking care of his skin, an hour on his hair, two on his abs, and if it’s a working day, another hour in a makeup chair. This look consists of carefully faded (especially in the crotch) jeans, scuffed Italian boots, a carefully cultivated sneer, a T-shirt that costs more than your monthly electric bill, and sun- glasses that cost more than the down payment on your car.
The Bad Girl. For the former small-town gal raised by Evangelical Christians who’s now headlining hits, this consists of ratty hair in an array of colors, way too much eye makeup, black nail polish, a sullen facial expression, boots, and a gown worth more than your annual salary.
The “Yo, I’m Straight. No, Really.” See “The Bad Boy” and “The Bad Girl.”
The “I Starved Myself for This!” Whether the result of an eating disorder, a drug or alcohol addiction, plastic surgery, an upcoming part, or a contract with a weight-loss company, sometimes a star loses weight at a pace no sane person would consider healthy. This is when the red carpet becomes all about image rehab. In this case, the image is “MY BODY FUCKING ROCKS,” even if it actually doesn’t. Unfortunately, this is one instance in which the stars really are just like everyone else, because they all wind up making the same mistake so many of the newly thin make: clothes so tight they can barely walk or breathe. This will be a painful period of sagging skin and shoving into ensembles meant for much smaller people. You can expect to see camel toe and some very depressed boobs during this dark time. It’s a shame, because you would think the stylists and designers who lend them their free clothes would want to make sure they put them in the correct size, but nine times out of ten, a ladystar loses a ton of weight precisely because the fashion industry rewards thinner people with a greater array of items to choose from (what a shock), and the only criterion a ladystar needs to fulfill in order to get the couture is she has to be able to get it on. Whether it looks good on her or not isn’t really the issue. So what if it gives the wearer uniboob or back rolls? It’s far more important that everyone know she’s A-list enough and thin enough to score a free Chanel couture gown when she wants one.
The “For ME?!?” This one’s usually reserved for perky television personalities or much older celebrities who don’t walk red carpets all that much and tend to get overwhelmed by all the lights and flashes. They hit the step-and-repeat with an expres-sion like they just walked into their own surprise party. Lots of grinning and blowing of kisses, with the occasional open- mouthed over-the-shoulder pose, as if they were standing facing a wall of corporate logos and just happened to turn around to notice fifty photographers. These pictures will remain largely unpurchased and appear in very few places, but on the occasions the public notices them, they love them like wacky aunts at a wedding.
“And as if all the theatrical vignettes and big money on the line weren’t enough,stars are expected to execute a form of product placement choreography and remember a series of steps and poses designed to make them look taller, thinner, or healthier than they actually are, while also ensuring that the items lent to them for the occasion make it into every photograph, no matter the angle. The result is some of the most bizarre and unnatural poses a human body can perform. Picture a hungry starlet in a sample size and six-inch heels two sizes too large, expected to stand with her legs crossed (so as to elongate them), her hand on one hip (so as to let people know where it actually is), and the other hand either up near her borrowed ear- rings or holding her bag conspicuously in front of her, label facing out. If she’s doing an over-the-shoulder pose, then the bag has to cover her ass, label facing out, and the other hand needs to be placed on the opposite shoulder, so that either the earrings or the ring (preferably both) is prominently displayed next to her beaming, sandblasted face. She’s not taking an unusually well-dressed stroll into the theater; she’s executing an Olympic- level gymnastics routine, all in service to herself and the scores of people in the shadows behind her who are spending tons of money to make her look good for however long it takes her to make it inside.
The men will just put their hands in their pockets and fondle themselves in front of the cameras because they know they can.”
Darlings, call them out as you see them tonight!