These are the photos that make me like Katie Holmes a lot

You may have seen it – and other shots like it – in the gossip mags and on gossip sites over the past few weeks. It’s Katie Holmes snapped by papparazzi while out running. Sometimes she runs with Tom (once also with step-son Connor) and sometimes alone. But the thing is, she runs. She puts on her trackies and her runners and she puts on her ipod and she just hits the pavement.

She sweats and she puffs and she grimaces. Now, that shouldn’t be so remarkable.

So why is it? Why do these images always make me stop and look and make me like her? I think it’s because in this age of contrived celebrity appearances and staged ‘candid’ photo opportunies, it’s refreshing. It feels real.

I’m sure she knows there’s a good chance she’ll be photographed. She always is. Paparazzi follow her everywhere. But she doesn’t seem to care. She does it anyway. Now, I don’t claim to have the inside word on what Katie Holmes thinks or who she is. Maybe I’m over-thinking it. But what I do know is that every time I see shots of Katie Holmes, she looks real. When she’s going out or when she’s on a red carpet she gets dressed up. Like you would.

But when she’s out with Suri or going to rehearsals or going to the park or walking in the street she looks normal. Her hair is not professionally done. She wears little if any make-up. Sometimes she looks really tired.

And I love that. I can relate to that (the Tom part and the Scientology not so much but I’m putting that aside for the purpose of this post).

A while back, I wrote a column about why another female celebrity tends to inspire a very different reaction among women. A very negative, oddly irritated reaction. As I wondered out loud why we tend to like some female celebrities and not others (and why so many women tend to feel the same way about certain celebrities) I noticed the following:


….I think we want our female celebrities to reflect some truthful glimmer of ourselves. Something real. Something vulnerable. Something imperfect. We need to see the chinks in the armour because from those chinks come humanity and humility. And we demand both these qualities from the Celebrities We Love.

In case you are a female celebrity wanting to join that group of famous women other women like, there are rules for membership. You must be a girls’ girl. You must be self-deprecating. Sometimes, you must wear no make-up. Because when a celebrity refuses to do that? When she refuses to reflect anything back to us that we recognise? It makes us feel insecure about our own failings and we’re liable to turn.

A quick example: Naomi Watts. She is internationally famous, followed by paparazzi and married to a famous actor. But when she leaves home, she doesn’t make any discernible concession to her fame or photographers. Yes, I agree this takes enormous courage or perhaps she just can’t be bothered. But when I see pictures of her wearing no make-up, shorts or thongs, pushing her pram or doing the shopping or playing with her son in the park, I think ‘hey, she’s just like me’ (albeit if I had an Oscar nomination and my day job involved Sean Penn).

That’s how women connect. And a pristine public image of perfection wipes out the possibility of that kind of connection.

I’d put Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes in the same category as Naomi Watts. While so many of their peers (you know who you are) are never seen unless they are absolutely immaculate, women like Jennifer, Katie and Naomi just seem to GET ON WITH IT. Their celebrity is something they wear casually and simply shrug off or ignore when they’re not on a red carpet or specifically promoting something.

When they’re off duty, they just ignore what must be a relentless and infuriating intrusion of papparazzi snapping their every move and go about their buisness.

Now, I’m not judging those who get glammed up every time they leave the house. I can’t image the pressure or the scrutiny that comes with fame. The mere thought makes my skin crawl. I’m just interested in the different way that different celebrities approach that scrutiny and how that can affect they way we feel about them.

Got any thoughts on this? I don’t want this post to turn into a bitch-fest so save the snark and forget about flaming and let’s try to keep it positive.

Which female celebs do you relate to? And do you prefer to see the glam shots or the real shots? Or a mix?


Posh & Becks strip off for Armani

Has Lady Gaga lost her mind or just her eyebrows?

Sharon Stone wants you to see her pert, youthful boobies

Demi Moore hasn’t had plastic surgery. Not a jot of it do you hear?

Should laugh lines like Toni Colette’s be erased with fillers and botox?

Mariah Carey – un-retouched

Keira Knightly – boobs by photoshop