The Daily Mail is currently running photographs of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, who shared a painfully awkward kiss on Oprah last week. I think we're supposed to see these pictures and think, "Their marriage is a sham!" But why?

It strikes me as fairly weird that we're conditioned to pick apart the relationships of both strangers and friends based on their public displays of affection—or lack thereof. I don't think there's any way Carey and Cannon could win in this situation; when Cannon came on stage, he gave Mariah a peck on the cheek- a fairly normal hello, I think, from a husband to a wife.

But Oprah wasn't satisfied: "'Oh you did that "We've been married a long time kiss'," she said, "You didn't give the real kiss, come on." This, of course, led to an awkward exchange between Mr. and Mrs. Carey-Cannon, with Mariah bending away from her husband as he tried to lay a smooch on her. Now, of course, people will speculate that the awkwardness is a sign that the marriage is in trouble, but really, the awkwardness is there because Oprah forced the two of them to give a public display of affection that Mariah wasn't comfortable with.

If Cannon had come out and started making out with Carey, people would be saying that they were "trying too hard" or attempting to "prove something." So he gave her a dumb peck on the cheek. Big deal, Oprah! It doesn't mean they aren't in love—it just means they choose to keep their makeout sessions private. Why isn't that okay?

I suppose all we know about the romantic lives of others is what they choose to show us, and as a culture that is inherently nosy, we often try to pick up on things that may or may not be there, based solely upon how people choose to act in public. So what say you, commenters? Do you judge people on their PDAs? And do you limit or exaggerate your own public displays of affection for fear of being judged by others...or Oprah?


Don't Drop Me! Mariah Carey Shares Awkward Kiss With Husband Nick Cannon [Daily Mail]