Oscars . . . Award Shows . . . Why Do We Bother?

by Kaylene Snarsky
BHS News

Jennifer Lawrence Takes A Tumble

Jennifer Lawrence Takes A Tumble

The prestigious, 86th annual Academy Awards took place on Sunday March 2nd 2014, hosted by the one and only, Ellen Degeneres. While actors and actresses graced (or in Jennifer Lawrence’s case…tripped on to) the red carpet, dressed to the nines in stunning floor length gowns and handsome tuxedos, I sat cross-legged on my couch, makeup-less, with my hair in a bun, wearing baggy sweatpants and an old t-shirt. As I dug my spoon in further to my ice cream, I could not help but ask myself why, exactly, I was watching them, for I had only seen about 2.5 of the numerous films nominated. I settled on the idea that we, as humans, do not watch awards shows merely for the results, we watch them for the entertainment, we watch to live vicariously through celebrities, to see them in their glory, but also to see them at their worst. We watch awards shows to peer into the perfect lives of Hollywood stars, finding ourselves sashaying to our refrigerators on commercial break pretending we too are wearing 3 million dollars worth of diamonds around our necks.

Some of us watch awards shows for the fashion, drooling over the sensational gowns and the bodies that are displaying them. The red carpet has always been a figment of our imaginations, a wonderful dream or far fetched fantasy. We like to picture ourselves striding ever-so-gracefully down that ruby red carpet, stopping to take pictures, answering the famous question: “who are you wearing?” We dream of answering with Versace, Prada, or something of the sorts, when in our lives, a dress like that would actually be a down payment on a car. So we sit and let Cate Blanchette model the stunningly ornate Armani gown for us, thanking The Academy from the comfort of our couches, and waiting patiently for our fairy godmothers to arrive to transform our sweatpants into couture.

We watch awards shows to view the human side of celebrities. We watch them stumble over their dresses and over their words. We watch them butcher each others names. We are able to look down upon them for a moment, feeling pity for them when they mess up because as “perfect” as we think they may be, they make mistakes too. We incessantly tweet about the stupid things they do… like rename the former Broadway star Idina Menzel, into the new and improved “Adel Dazeem.” (FACT: There is now a widget, created to “Travoltafy” your name for you…really you just enter your name and it generates a new one for you!) We feel sorry for them, making collages of poor old Leonardo DeCaprio who, in his 5 nominations, has yet to go home with a stupid golden Oscar. We love seeing them take “selfies,” and order two large pizzas to the Hollywood Highland Center because watching them do these things, finally makes them real to us.

It’s hard for us to remember that the little people in our television screens are real life human beings, so we watch things like awards shows. Awards shows are some of the few times on television we get to see our favorite actors and actresses out of character – when Jennifer Lawrence is not Katniss or Rosalyn Rosenfeld, Jared Leto is not dressed in drag, “Adel Dazeem” is not the animated character Queen Elsa, and Leonardo DeCaprio is not perfect or holding up a glass to the camera. We like to recognize that even if they are off in Hollywood, sipping champagne and eating pizza ordered by Ellen Degeneres… they are real people who are not perfect. I guess watching the Oscars can be dangerous though…especially when you find yourself belting the Oscar-winning original hit, Let It Go, in the mirror with a hairbrush as a microphone. A girl can dream, right?