Like a certain Instagram influencer making the rounds this week, I too am a proponent of radical vulnerability. I once subjected every one of my Instagram followers to an unhinged series of stories posts about how the characters on the Netflix show Tuca and Bertie filled me with dread. (Speckle, the anthropomorphic boyfriend bird, is just too perfect, ugh!) So, I have no trouble admitting that I'm not very good at dating. I've heard, "we should just be friends" enough times for me to not have any illusions about myself. That said, I know one thing with absolute certainty: nobody looks good when they're making out. Think about it, have you ever been next to a couple at a bar who can't help themselves around each other and thought about anything other than the nearest exit?
So our current obsession with critiquing celebrity kisses, as though they should somehow look like they do in the movies, is increasingly confounding. Last week, a tabloid photo of my nemesis Timothée Chalamet making out with Lily Rose Depp emerged, to widespread condemnation. The photo is admittedly painful to look at, for reasons I can't quite describe, but no more painful than literally anyone else kissing in public. Ignoring the fact that the Chalamet photos were paparazzi shots, the whole point of making out with someone in the open is that you don't care what you look like. It's about passion, people!
There was a similar kerfuffle at the VMAs. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello's almost-kiss sent the internet into a frenzy of rumors around the authenticity of their relationship, and questions of Mendes' sexuality. Again, no one seems to want to contend with the fact that maybe these two are a little goofy. Life isn't a movie. Some people are just kinda weird, whatever! Fanning the flames of the controversy, the pair posted a video to Instagram of them doing something akin to kissing. The whole thing was awkward and uncomfortable, and very unnecessary.
There's something concerning about everyone's comfort with relationship voyeurism. Imagine, you're on a date, and it's going well. They lean in for a kiss, and all you can think about is what it might look like. What the discourse might have to say about your form. Whether you're a Caroline or a Natalie in the situation. It's all just getting to be too much.