Why are the celebrities trying so hard?

When the pandemic first raged in 2020, think pieces everywhere heralded the end of celebrity culture.

At the time, it was probably a fair assumption. The entire world was shut in their homes with ample free time to ridicule famous people in their mansions singing "Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can". They complained about feeling like they were in prison, while lounging on their lawns bigger than my apartment block. 

Without premieres and dinner dates, the celebrity gossip mill dried up. Social media was the only way to make headlines, and as such, the weirdness - and grossness - of celebrity had never been so glaringly obvious. Sure, they could chuck on track pants like the rest of us, but theirs definitely weren't from Kmart.

Watch: Just in case you want to uh, relive the mess that was Hollywood in 2020. Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia.

Obviously, celebrity culture didn't die as predicted.

It's now 2022, and celebrities have done away with any semblance of relatability. Pretending to be like us normies didn't rake in the money or influence so instead, they've spent the past 12 months leaning 200 per cent in the opposite direction.

The famous people are not chill.

The world (and particularly internet culture) is still heavily invested in their world, except now we're watching through our fingers like it's a slasher film.

At any moment, a new Julia Fox essay about her professionally photographed dates with the artist formally known as Kanye West could jump out of an alley. MGK and Megan Fox touching tongues may be lurking around any Instagram corner. You could close your fridge, only to be frightened half to death by a new 'Kravis' selfie staring into your soul.


Legend has it that if we say his name three times in front of a mirror, we too will find ourselves dating Pete Davidson.

I give the credit for this shift to Kim Kardashian and her 40th birthday party in October 2020. She flew a large group of family and friends to a private island because non-private parts of the world were grappling with that damn virus, meaning partying wasn't a major priority. In that moment, Kim said 'f*** it'. There's nothing relatable about Kim Kardashian. Isn't that her whole thing?

Sure, there was outrage and hate and yelling about privilege. The thing is though... Kim K (and those who are Kim K adjacent) are fuelled by outrage and hate. Those are the things that keep them relevant, which in turn makes them obscene amounts of money.

That felt like the first domino.

Then came the cringe couples of 2021. Kourtney Kourtney and Travis Barker and Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly open-mouth kissed at any opportunity, unironically used the word 'daddy' and revived the previously dormant, unhinged energy of Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton circa 2001.

The blueprint. Image: Getty.


Even JLo briefly got onboard, finding her own, slightly more groomed version in Ben Affleck and his giant phoenix back tattoo. For weeks, every move of Bennifer 2.0 was documented by paparazzi shots and conspiracy theories. They traversed Europe, hung out with each other's kids and haunted our dreams.

By the New Year, we'd reached a point where a famous person saying things like "I am weed" and "I'm only sucking one pair of toes" in reference to their partner was not even that weird anymore.

Then Kanye - who is now known as just Ye, because of course he is - started photographing his dates with a woman he met on New Year's Eve. Her name is Julia Fox, she's an actor, a podcast host, a Kardashian fangirl, and a former photoshoot colleague of Pete bloody Davidson. 

He brought his new girlfriend an entire new wardrobe. They invited a photographer on their dates and published the images in Interview Magazine. Julia even wrote an accompanying story SIX DAYS AFTER THEY MET, gushing about how "it felt like a real Cinderella moment".

The whole thing feels very transactional and transparent, but still... who isn't intrigued by mess?


Especially as this all took place just weeks after Kanye - oops, I mean Ye - declared in interviews and performances that he wanted to get back with his ex, Kim K.

"God saved me from the crash / Just so I could beat Pete Davidson's ass," he raps in a new single, 'Eazy'.

Everyone simply needs to do less.

No one needs to see a photo of Kanye standing over his new girlfriend, who is lying on the table like a literal meal. Everything I know about Machine Gun Kelly I have learned against my will. I never want to see another celebrity tongue ever again.

I'm absolutely certain that celebrity culture has always been contrived, but they've never been so in our faces about it before.

There's no pedestal here. They're trying too hard. 

It's eyebrow raising, cringe and it... doesn't elicit any jealousy at all (except for the fact that this pivot is clearly lining their pockets very well.)

No, the pandemic didn't kill celebrities. It just made them really embarrassing.

Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer. For more pop culture takes, sarcasm and... cat content, you can follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Getty/Mamamia.