celebrity

How Julia Fox has rewritten the celebrity girlfriend narrative.

The headline after Julia Fox's first outing since her recent breakup said so much about how we view women: "It's all over for Kanye West and Julia Fox! Tearful actress jets out of LAX alone".

On Monday, the end of Fox's whirlwind romance with West became public knowledge. It also happened to be a day where she was flying home to New York from Los Angeles.

Running late for her plane, she rushed through the airport's terminals alone.

Well, alone except for the paparazzi who photographed her. She wasn't crying, but even if she was, it would've been hard to tell as a mask and sunglasses covered most of her face. 

The tabloid who published the photos probably thought it was a safe assumption. I mean, shouldn't she be crying? She'd just broken up with her very public boyfriend. She should be devastated, right?

Wrong.

"'TEARFULLY,'" Fox wrote on Instagram alongside three crying laughing emojis. 

"@dailymail ya'll are straight trash, I haven't cried since 1997 and I especially wouldn't cry over THIS!!"

In a follow up post, Fox reiterated she was unbothered.

"The media would love to paint a picture of me [as] a sad, lonely woman crying on a plane by myself but it's NOT TRUE," she said.

"Why not see me for what I am, which is a #1 hustler? ... Kanye and I are on good terms! I have love for him but I wasn't in love [with] the man. Jesus Christ, what do you guys think I am, 12 years old?!"

Image: Instagram. 

Fox, 32, has dropped plenty of hints about the nature of her relationship with West in the past six weeks, but it doesn't appear that anyone was listening because the default belief following their breakup was that she must be sad or embarrassed.

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Think the relentless 'Sad Jen' narrative, which is fixated on the idea of a 'heartbroken woman'. That tabloid headline about her crying shows how many people assumed Fox was being played, and that she was too silly or swept up in a fantasy to see that she was being used. 

But Fox is far too in control of her own narrative for that to be the case. 

The Uncut Gems actor may be new to this kind of profile, but she's had a niche level of fame for a long time. She has been well-known within New York's elite social circles for years, modelling for Diesel and Coach and appearing in editorials for magazines like Paper and Vogue.

Basically: Fox already had an 'in' within the high fashion world West spent years helping Kardashian get into. The pairing made more sense than it first appeared.

In a mid-January 2022 essay for Interview magazine, she said she had no idea what her and West's relationship would have in store for her but she was "loving the ride". Soon after, she said on her podcast Forbidden Fruits they were just enjoying each other's company with "no labels".

Image: Getty. 

Fox and West photographed their dates for features in magazines. They wore matching designer outfits at Paris Fashion Week events and packed on the PDA, each time leading to new headlines and interest in her.

West gifted Fox and her friends Birkin bags for her birthday, and she has a new wardrobe full of Balenciaga.

Oh, and people outside of New York's east side - where she has been an 'it girl' in low-rise pants long before West walked alongside her - are far more likely to buy her book or watch the TV show she's writing now.

In a profile for The Cut, interviewed before their breakup but published after, Fox offered a frank outlook on her newly  amplified fame.

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"When our paparazzi photos were leaked, there was just such an interest," she said. "I was kind of like, 'Okay, I'll tell you.' I wasn’t being, like, hush-hush, celebrity. Celebrities are not that f***ing important. You can tell us about your stupid f***ing date. We're in a pandemic. Give people something to talk about. Do your f***ing service, do your job."

That was part of the deal, she argued.

"You talked about the man in the press like you were married," one critic wrote on an Instagram post following the break-up news.

"He f***ing wanted me to!" Fox responded.

Fox just spent six weeks living her best life. So no, she's not crying. 

Maybe it would make a juicier story if she was embarrassed or angry about how things played out. But the reality is, she had a short-lived fling with a very famous man. She didn't fall in love. She wasn't haplessly following West around. Their relationship was mutually beneficial and fun.

There will be plenty of different opinions on that. But whether you applaud the hustle or find the whole thing icky, Fox's outspokenness has changed the default narrative of celebrity girlfriends.

Plus, if she ever does get teary, her new Birkin should be pretty good at catching tears.

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.