Fox followed in the seemingly candid and unaffected social-media footsteps of her celebrity brethren
The glammed-up diva, once the mainstay of Hollywood, has been brought down to earth. Real is where it's at these days – or, more accurately, the perception that you're authentic.
By definition, the divas of yore were magnificent celebrities who were elaborately attired, immaculately coiffed, and tended to by a large and deferential entourage. Their fans were kept at arms' length, at best, to maintain an aura of mystique. Their public appearances were stage-managed with utter precision. Their demands were specific, and no, they would neverpost selfies -- had selfies even existed. Think
But then came the tabloids and the onslaught of long-lens-armed paparazzi to feed the hunger for celebrity snaps, and social media, which turned everyone into a homespun shutterbug. The economy collapsed and it became unseemly to be seen guzzling Cristal and climbing out of stretch limos. And stars, largely no longer able to open films or sell music on their names alone, made an effort to directly connect with fans through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
"Celebrities wanted to take control of their image, to outwit the paparazzi, to become more likable and to feel more in control," says Cosmopolitan editor in chief Joanna Coles, who formerly helmed
Which is why, says Andy Cohen, author of Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of
Hollywood's new generation of celebs takes a different approach than their predecessors and considers prima donnas to be passe.
It's all an effortto be a real human, one who doesn't slather on bronzer before going to the pool, and who doesn't get her hair blown out every day. Because neither do most of their fans.
"People who have created rather grand diva-esque personas around themselves are basically brought down by social media," says Coles. "Initially they were brought down by tabloid shots of them getting their groceries like everyone else. That became the demise of the diva."
Some celebrities, such as Dunham or
And they resonate with fans, which could be why glam queen
Carey may have a way to go to catch up with celebrity maestro Beyonce. Her July 3 Instagram post of herself dreamily floating in a body of water, clad in a bikini, her hair placed just so, screams that yes, she loves to cool off in the summer, just like everyone else -- except in a very exotic, glorious location that's far, far away.
Or look at her June 22 post, seemingly completely unmade-up, and yet, well -- looking super-humanly gorgeous and oozing sexiness. Just like the apparently unguarded shot Beyonce Instagrammed of herself on Jan. 29, nose crinkled, hand over her face, skin free and clear, followed by a close-up of her eyes and lips.
Another newly crowned social-media queen is Jennifer Lopez: take a look at the sultry shot of her on Instagram from July 24, soaking in a bath, with skin as clear and smooth as a baby's.
These posts can be called candid and brave -- or just fake and obnoxious.
It would appear that
Stars do it over and over again, surmises Osbourne, because they are "trying to relate to their fans and show they are human, too."
But behind the scenes, not much has changed, says longtime film publicist Bumble Ward. "Of course they still have entourages! I dealt with Jennifer Lopez and
Indeed, most celebrity photo shoots involve an army of handlers – stylist, makeup artist, even in some cases lighting pros. Which is why, she sums up, the diva is alive and well -- but out of sight, for the most part. "There's just a much more intricate job being done behind the scenes to make it appear effortless," she says.
Whether their efforts are effective or not depends on the consumer's level of skepticism. If people believe that Megan Fox, a mom of two,looks that great when she awakens or if Beyonce, with her grueling tour schedule, always starts her day with enviable hair and skin. Or if Carey, who posted a March 1 snap of her "taking a nap," really does look that dazzling while slumbering. And if this is what a regular person looks like after an 11-hour flight, with #nomakeup on, as
Meanwhile, if being in Big Sky country looks as good on the average person as it does on Gwyneth Paltrow in a post from July 24, tours should sell out.
Whether these stars are being authentic or not doesn't matter, unless you're hypercritical or dismissive of the Hollywood machine, says fashion and beauty publicist Jaime Maser. Even a silly or misguided selfie gets people excited.
"It's not about album pushing or movie promoting as much as it is about engaging with fans and showing them you're just like them," she says. "You can Instagram a photo and it catches on like wildfire, starts trending, becomes fodder on entertainment talk shows and celebrity weeklies -- the domino effect is incredible."
Talk to actors, especially those who say they don't make an effort to appear dazzling when off the clock, and they don't see the big deal.
And for some celebs, there's also a palpable sense of relief in not having to project an aura of pristine perfection, says Bell, who took the cue from her husband, comedian
"When you can really cut the (expletive), it's so much more welcoming to people because we're all playing this game of who can be better. None of us are perfect. Everyone has a limited little tool box," says the actress during an interview with bystanders gawking at her. "Right now, there are six people behind you shooting me with their cellphones. I can't let that enter my way of being or I'm screwed. I've lost."
To Lorde, sharing that photo of herself with acne, as well as a shot of herself in bed slathered with zit cream, was not remotely a big deal. "I know I have a degree of influence over the young people who listen. I've been a very normal person and I've been in this very weird world and I see the discrepancies," she says.
Consumers increasingly do, but whether they buy the whole "nomakeup #iwokeuplikethis package a celebrity is selling is ultimately their call. Osbourne brushes the whole thing off as yet another elaborate publicity stunt perpetrated by stars on their followers.
"People will believe what they want to believe," says Osbourne. "You don't have to write, 'I just woke up like this.' How about you just say, 'I like this picture.' Let's face it. You didn't (expletive) wake up like this."