Why the celebrity couples ruling summer have been just the escape we needed

Why the celebrity couples ruling summer have been just the escape we needed

Posted: Jul 17, 2021 4:10 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2021 4:11 PM

As poet Jennifer Lopez once wrote, love don't cost a thing. But this summer, her love life has been everything.

Following a breakup with former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, Lopez has displayed a masterful grasp of the art of rebounding, being captured by paparazzi with former boyfriend Ben Affleck. Along with much-pictured pairs like Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles and Tom Holland and Zendaya, Ben and Jen 2.0 are the celebrity story of the summer, making the pages of People and the popping into the Instagram stories of beloved gossip account Deux Moi. (It's worth noting that none of the aforementioned duos have made official comments on their status.)

The media and public's interest in celebrity couples is nothing new. Before there was Olivia and Harry, there was Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Before Jay-Z and Beyoncé, there was Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The fascination is as old as fame itself. Arguably, however, we've never needed the breath of trivial air more than now.

"I think a lot of it is people are so desperate to feel like everything's back to normal and what's more back to normal than caring about celebrity," said Cooper Lawrence, host of pop culture podcast the Cooper And Anthony Show and author of "The Cult of Celebrity."

"For the past 18 months or so, we've had to focus on our health, our families, the CDC, vaccinations, who's getting them/who's not -- life has been really serious. It felt really indulgent -- and almost irresponsible on some level -- to focus on celebrities and who they're dating."

Now, Lawrence said, "I think for the first time, a lot of us are vaccinated, people are getting out, it's the summer and people are ready to move on on many levels."

At the start of the pandemic last year, The New York Times pointed out that the world order had complicated our relationship to celebrities.

"Among the social impacts of the coronavirus is its swift dismantling of the cult of celebrity," Amanda Hess wrote. "The famous are ambassadors of the meritocracy; they represent the American pursuit of wealth through talent, charm and hard work. But the dream of class mobility dissipates when society locks down, the economy stalls, the death count mounts and everyone's future is frozen inside their own crowded apartment or palatial mansion."

But as weeks of isolation turned into a year-plus of navigating life through screens, we sought out connection where we could, including on celebrity's social media accounts.

"That bonded us to them a little bit more...we now really have a more pronounced relationship with celebrity couples," Lawrence said.

Particularly, she said, the ones that are both aspirational and inspirational.

"It makes us feel like there's hope, you know. If I get divorced or break up with somebody, maybe there's somebody in my past that's right for me and he's worth taking a look," she said.

She added: "I think that's the important thing and the most important message here -- that it's not about celebrities, it's about us."

In other words, it's perfect, it's passion, it's setting us free.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2408593

Reported Deaths: 55188
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings32093610760
Queens30738910177
Suffolk2296953526
Nassau2080873261
Bronx2029976705
New York1628104607
Westchester1413352329
Erie1000941888
Richmond862711908
Monroe789431158
Orange54975887
Rockland51151769
Onondaga46663723
Dutchess34029490
Albany28778370
Oneida26228554
Niagara22399386
Broome22200387
Saratoga18656191
Ulster16501273
Schenectady15473217
Rensselaer13522155
Putnam1194196
Chautauqua11235158
Oswego9920103
Chemung9354146
St. Lawrence9114119
Steuben8697160
Ontario8669100
Cayuga8034104
Sullivan789782
Jefferson764071
Wayne712878
Cattaraugus684999
Genesee6195131
Herkimer6102118
Tompkins607159
Clinton586634
Madison551598
Fulton545298
Livingston528967
Montgomery5213134
Cortland490871
Warren478478
Columbia4727109
Tioga450567
Chenango425986
Otsego422151
Allegany409193
Washington405865
Greene402483
Wyoming396454
Orleans375684
Franklin367016
Lewis326536
Delaware314241
Seneca251459
Schoharie210920
Essex200029
Yates142426
Schuyler132116
Hamilton4093
Unassigned12929
Out of NY0296
Utica
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 67°
Oneonta
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 66°
Herkimer
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 67°
Old Forge
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 67°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Follow the 2021 Go the Distance Team - sponsored by Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Chapter Photofacial Therapy Giveaway
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve