An issue we have seen before rises to the top of our newsfeed’s once again: male authors writing uncomfortably intimate pieces about female celebrities. To be fair, the piece in question currently – Selena Gomez on Instagram Fatigue, Good Mental Health and Stepping Back from the Limelight in April’s Vogue, is mostly reasonable. However, the authors “protectiveness” over the star’s “doll-like” looks and “tiny waist.” While this is incredibly tame by all standards, as the Guardian points out in Why Do So Many Male Journalists Think Female Stars are Flirting with Them? “But I think my favourite was US Esquire on Scarlett Johansson: ‘I didn’t look at her ass,’ the male journalist informs us. ‘I don’t know that she wanted me to. Probably not. Surely not. In any case, I didn’t.’ Of course she wanted you to, you fool! It is every woman’s fantasy to be ogled by a tragic male journalist while she tries to do her job.”
The author of the Guardian article goes on to offer examples of female reporters with equally sexualized stars to interview who do not end their articles basically fantasizing about sleeping with the interviewee. Why is this the norm? Why is this a “Perennial issue?” Why is it that when you reach a certain (any) level of fame you no longer become a person and instead become a tiny, fragile, doll for strange men to feel urges of protectiveness over? Selena Gomez dated Bieber through a media firestorm, battles Lupus, has been in and out of rehab dealing with depression and anxiety, she lives in a world where everyone thinks they know her – where they can leave a million comments about her weight, her stability, her weakness – and she thrives. That is not weakness. That is not fragility. Let’s start writing about these artists as they represent themselves – not as your masculinity and sexualized fantasy represents them.