|"I LOVE KIDS!"|
When I was 30 years old, I had to face the fact that Vogue magazine was no longer aiming towards my demographic. The book that I had slavishly devoted my allowance and paycheque to month after month year after year had abandoned me in favour of 14 year olds. Which was a shock because when I was 14 the magazine was devoted to cool 30 year olds who filled the pages with reminiscences of their fascinating lives well-lived to that point. These articles, these pictures, their memories, these women literally formed my overall world view of what women could be and achieve by drawing the past and being open to the opportunity of the future. They were professionals who had married into European royalty and women who were using their family’s money to create a better world. They were arcane writers and actresses with actual talent or a bonafide education or a resume that was longer than 6 months or a combination of all three (the original triple threat). They were happy, they were healthy, they were hippies, and I'd like to know where the hell they went. Suddenly, because it felt sudden, the magazine began to feature women I had never heard of, who themselves had barely heard of Vogue, who had only been famous for fifteen minutes and who Vogue wanted me to believe were some sort of acting savants, ready to redefine the medium. It's ironic that they all were tall blond and skinny. It's sad this went unmentioned, but not surprising. Vogue used to the place that questioned whether Taylor Swift would be as successful as she is, if she looked differently than she does. (Read: The Pinkprint deserved a Grammy)
I don't read Vogue anymore. My first Rolling Stone featured Prince. I don't read Rolling Stone anymore after they put a man I had never seen before on the cover. I later learned his name was "Clay Aitkin". That wasn't helpful because I don't choose my music using a game show. I don't read Cosmo anymore because I've already mastered all the sex manouvers I wanted to in this life. I don't read the paper anymore because I don't have that kind of time and I have never purchased a tabloid, so I'm not going to start now.
But if you want to learn how to write a female celebrity profile, here's a step by step guide featuring all you need to know:
1. Put objectivity aside and start the article with a long boring paragraph detailing your various preconceived misconceptions about the subject, while still outlining the ways in which you are a true blue fan girl before the next paragraph where you actually meet the person and they turn out to be "so down to earth". This keeps the article seemingly relevant while not upsetting the people who purchased the magazine in the first place.
2. Ask a softball question about the really tough preconceived misconceptions the subject faces. This provides an opportunity for the subject create an agenda for the interview without seeming like they are hijacking the piece. For example, "a perceived misconception about me is that I am angry at X when really we are the best of friends!" The subject will "prove" this by showing a few key instagr.am pictures to the author that will not be published in magazine, keeping your reader hungry enough to buy more information about the subject. Excellent tie-ins include referencing a favourite charity or foundation to combat just this issue which will help to fatten this article about nothing. Please note, the charity can not be a regular non-profit like The Red Cross or Juvenile Diabetes, it must be new and have no real paperwork or background. Bonus points for extra obscurity if it helps children in a different country and uses the word 'gluten'. Never never never mention prisons. Not even women's prisons. Not even if they are in America. While Pope Francis may have named 2016 The Year of Mercy, don't get it twisted. Mercy does NOT sell stuff.
3. If the subject is white, focus on how they rejected their privileged upbringing to become a true artist in their own right (see Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham). If the subject is non-white, include an exhaustive genealogy to illustrate the exoticness of the subject's beauty which by its very nature is too difficult for the average person to comprehend or obtain (see Johnny Depp, Rashida Jones).
4. Never ask about the mother but the grandmother is fine. The subject will invariably describe her being "cute, strong, a great role model, funny" regardless of whether she is alive or dead. Include a black and white picture.
5. Talk about food and the newest diet craze. It is imperative that you include the subject saying "I love to eat!" and follow up with a cute anecdote about what a disgusting pig they are sometimes when they eat. This will make the subject more relatable to other lady brains. Bonus points if they subject wants to be seen as a cooking or baking "maven" and include some ridiculous recipe that sounds stupid on paper but the subject "swears by" to increase their beauty/lose weight (see Gwyneth Paltrow, goop).
6. Talk about bullying. It is imperative that you include the subject saying "If people like me that's great, and if they don't that's okay too. I don't care what people think".
7. Follow up this really abrasive feminist manifesto with something fun like the subject's new fashion line. It doesn't matter that the last fucking thing the world needs is MORE cheap plastic clothes, the subject will - without question - "have their own line"'. You actually don't even need to ask the subject the question, just google it afterward because it's a given. Be sure to include that this fashion line solves some problem that had not yet been addressed in human history. Allude to the fact that the subject might be a design genius and superior than the author (read: your readers) in every way. Don't forget to include that some percentage of the profit's are directed toward the subject's "charity", creating a very effective tax evasion scheme (gloss over this using a words like "give back", "sustainable", "global warming" and "social responsibility").
8. Briefly cover the subject's personal relationship. Coy answers will be given and are preferred. End the paragraph re-affirming that a man will never define the subject, that she is an independent woman and how much her man loves that about her.
9. The interview should end with the author wishing it could have lasted longer, with a sad air of longing and abandonment because they have become such fast friends with the subject. The subject must rush off because they are so busy like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight and the author is left imagining the bright future the subject will enjoy. This will include political aspirations, a multitude of awards and the perfect marriage. Feel free to editorialize.
If you are mistakenly assigned a male subject to interview, please rigorously adhere to the following steps:
1. Ask detailed and well-researched questions about subject's current project.
2. Ask detailed and well-researched questions about the subject views on his industry as a whole and what he forecasts for the future.
3. Include an exhaustive list of beautiful women he has slept with. Get him to confirm the numbers, dates and positions then subtly indicate how this devil-may-care attitude makes him very successful in business using anecdotal evidence.
When Vogue stopped caring about me, I switched to Playboy. It was way more informative: It had the sex manoeuvres and quizzes like Cosmo, it was streets ahead of the tabloids and the articles were better than anybody. I literally read it for the articles. They didn't deal in makeup like Vogue does but, then again, who cares when you've got so many naked chicks?