Caitlin Moran: We need people treating celebrity “with the importance it deserves”
We were delighted to see Caitlin Moran telling John Lanchester why celebrity culture is too important to leave to the gossip magazines. She explains how celebrity seems to be confined to the likes of OK, Heat and Hello which tend to reduce the discussion to “always being, ‘well, she’s sweaty, she’s fat, she couldn’t hold it together’, end”. Instead Moran wants to see people “treating it with the importance it deserves”. Laura, Kim and I are spending a lot of time doing just that through this project and feel lucky that we managed to convince the ESRC that it was worth £170k. Despite welcoming this intervention from Moran and her earlier one into debates on feminism, we have a few qualms about one aspect of what she said…
In asking for more serious work on celebity and its implications, Moran justifies this on the basis that we need people with “first of all some humanity and second a bit of intelligence”. We worry that this contributes to the idea that all intelligent and human feeling are located outside of the gossip mags and the tabloid press, presumably in the broadsheets. Thus it is the publications that are associated with women and the working-class that are positioned as lesser. In saying this she also ignores the prurient interest the broadsheets have always maintained in the world of the rich and famous.
Tags: Caitlin Moran, gender, magazines, social class
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