Welcome to Jezebel Inquires, a very serious tabloid about very serious things, like the ongoing rumors that famous normies Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton might someday get married, or the absolute inability of the gossip press to coherently engage with celebrities who lose weight without resorting to virulent fatphobia and outdated notions of what happiness is supposed to look like.
If you’re feeling exhausted from the awards season press circuit, know that I am holding your hand in spirit as I smoke my fourth joint of the day, and down my twenty-third cup of coffee this morning. We’ll get through this together, but in the meantime, let’s get gossiping!
Are you tired of talking about Meghan Markle’s supposed feud with Kate Middleton yet? I am, but In Touch is not! Since Meghan and Harry fled the palace, reports have surfaced that they solicited Disney for jobs, and are potentially courting Netflix for a documentary. Despite what is probably the reason for their exit—malicious press attention, and the ability to live the lives of famous people who are also not royalty—the tabloids insist on delivering “scoop” after “scoop” about a feud between Kate and Meghan. My children, and their grandchildren, living in the ruins of civilization 100 years from now, will probably be listening to radio broadcasts on the shortwave concerning a century-old blind item about something Meghan Markle supposedly said in passing to Kate Middleton. It’s exhausting!
And then, of course, Life & Style dedicated a significant portion of its cover to Adele’s “weight loss,” with blatant overtones of fatphobia and obsessive fixation on her “glow-up,” which is really just an underhanded way of telegraphing that you think fat people are neither beautiful nor deserving of love and success. There’s another thread to this story that troubles me—the narrative of a woman who somehow escaped a toxic marriage, with her weight loss being the end-point of also finding “happiness.” The coded language is too obvious to dissect, but again, there is a clear line being drawn in the tabloid press—and society at large—between weight loss and whatever happiness actually is, which is bullshit of course.
There’s also a confounding report in In Touch that Brad Pitt is secretly snatching up Jennifer Aniston’s stylists for his Oscars press blitz. According to sources, “Jen is giving Brad a Hollywood makeover.” Sure! As for this week’s blind item, the outlet has some interesting dirt on one “starlets” appetite for sugary sex-scapades:
A lot of juicy gossip came out of the recent Golden Globes, but this one may take the cake, literally! Turns out this starlet, who is very open about her sexuality, has a kinky fetish that involves sex and desserts.
Reneé Zellweger, meanwhile, graces the cover of this week’s Ok! in a story that loudly asserts itself as an interview, when it is actually just an aggregation of quotes and loose, anonymous sourcing. Typical! But that’s not what interests me here. Mostly, I’m concerned with her sudden reemergence this awards season after spending some time as a Hollywood pariah. She even quipped, at the Globes, that it was nice to finally be invited back to “the family reunion.” Why do you think that is? In a recent Vulture interview, she opened up about that hiatus, claiming the six years were an “important time” because she was “not in the people’s consciousness anymore.” As she told journalist Jonathan Van Meter, “It’s a quieter life, and I love it.”
Of course, her hiatus was briefly interrupted by that infamous Gawker article which launched a thousand think pieces and an essay by Zellweger herself, for HuffPost, titled: “We Can Do Better.” (Unsure if, in the time since, anyone has achieved her vision of a post-tabloid future.) Later in the interview with Vulture, she says that she knew nothing about Harvey Weinstein’s many alleged transgressions because “I wasn’t around it,” it meaning: Hollywood, the parties, the awards circuits. Tabloid reports, mostly stemming from Melissa Sagemiller’s lawsuit against the former Miramax head, suggest that Weinstein had claimed that both Charlize Theron and Renée Zellweger has slept with him in exchange for roles, something both actresses have vehemently denied. As Theron told the New York Times, “One of his lines was that Renée [Zellweger] and I slept with him to get jobs. There was no limit to him.”
So now she’s back, and, ostensibly, doing much better than the last time anyone saw her. Which is incredible, considering most famous people don’t often exhibit the level of self-awareness about their public image or relationship to fame. But combined with the contested nature of that absence, due in part to the vicious tabloid press, her mental health, and the allegations concerning Weinstein, I get the sense that there is more to her Globes statement than just a silly joke. That’s just my gossip senses tingling, though, so for now, I’ll defer to Zellweger’s new path as a Topanga denizen, soaking up the sun and downing yerba mate. If she says everything is fine, then it will be fine—until it isn’t, of course!
Have you heard about two people named Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, because I’ve literally never heard about them in my life. I’m joking, of course, because the Gwen Stefani/Blake Shelton Marriage Rumor Industrial Complex refuses to let me go about my day like a normal human being. This morning, I found representatives from American Media Inc. banging on my window, eager to inform me that the two never-weds were on the cover of Us Weekly this week. I’m told, via whatever sources the tabloid has on speed dial, that the two are “ready to wed” as always, but something unknowable and spooky is holding them back. Could it be fame, money, their past heartbreak? Or, maybe, these two aren’t married yet, because the rumors surrounding their love lives gives them enough strength to barely cling to relevancy in the public perception.
This blurb appeared in Ok! on January 21, 2019, about Gwen’s plans to marry Blake, and also the party she threw at Planet Hollywood. This contradicted their report from a few days earlier that the engagement would happen “soon.”
A month later, In Touch ran this cover story on March 4, 2019, about Gwen and Blake’s inability to get married, and how it was affecting their love life.
On May 6, 2019, In Touch ran this follow-up story. The two were still not married.
Then, on July 8, 2019, Star ran the following cover story. This wedding obviously never happened, and the two remained unmarried.
In cover story on August 5, 2019, In Touch claimed Gwen was pregnant with Blake, and that the girl would hopefully give them an excuse to finally get married. That baby never panned out, and neither did the wedding.
On September 30, 2019, Life & Style claimed that the wedding would be on hold, because Miranda Lambert and Gwen Stefani were due to give birth the same day. This also did not happen.
On October 28, 2019, a Life & Style cover story then claimed that Gwen and Blake were married—again. They even drove his exceptionally large pickup truck to their private plane hanger for the honeymoon!
Us Weekly, however, contradicted this narrative, and claimed in their November 18, 2019 issue that Gwen and Blake were still unmarried, and that he was refusing to propose.
On January 6, 2020 however, Ok! alleged that Blake had finally popped the question, claiming to have all the insider details on their pre-nuptials.
And then we arrive at this week’s Us Weekly, which claims the two are unmarried, unengaged, but “ready to wed” whenever. I’ll believe it when I see it!
But seriously, I don’t mean to sound obsessive—although I obviously am—but what exactly is the deal with these two? Do they... actually have fans? I assume that recovering rockabilly moms still dig Gwen’s music, and are also the prime audience demographic for The Voice. But besides that, who else? I’m genuinely scraping the barrel here in an attempt to understand their ability to move magazines. They did, however, move me to compose an obsessive, archival screed on their tabloid history in the last year. So maybe the public investment in their relationship isn’t that hard to understand after all! (Although, would you in 2002 believe that one day Gwen would be a total normie and reality competition show judge? I was six, so it’s hard to say.)
Gwen and Blake have thoroughly exhausted me, so why don’t we end on my favorite Jez Inquires segment—dumb shit famous people say!
- Snooki, on if other moms pee on the Peloton: “Do other moms pee on the Peloton?” [Us Weekly]
- Molly McCook, on eating her favorite smoothie bowl: “I ate my favorite smoothie bowl.” [In Touch]
- Charlize Theron, on that guy who pulled out and whispered, “Make out with my nose.” (Brad, is that you?): “And then he pulled away and whispered, “Make out with my nose.” [Us Weekly]
- Hannah Brown, on trying bone marrow for the first time and loving it: “I tried bone marrow for the first time and love it.” [Life & Style]
- Niecy Nash, on healing and drinking water and minding your business: “I’m just healing and drinking water and minding my business.” [Us Weekly]
- Larisa Oleynik, on having a million lipsticks just for fun: “I have a million lipsticks just for fun.” [Us Weekly]
- Ethan Hawke, on people who say they are happy, and also people who say they are unhappy: “If you say you’re happy, then you’re a self satisfied. If you say you’re unhappy, then you’re ungrateful.” [In Touch]