Monday, 7 April 2008

"Lauren Conrad's a Walking Contradiction"

[Canada.com] - Lauren Conrad is a walking contradiction. As the star of the hit MTV reality show The Hills, there are always two sides to Conrad's life: the regular girl who goes to school and interns at Teen Vogue, and the reality superstar whose every move is recorded and scrutinized by the media. She doesn't really like reality stars, but she sees nothing wrong with being one herself. She hates it when people use the media for their own gain but has no reservations about doing it. But the biggest contradiction about Lauren Conrad is that she doesn't see what’s so strange about any of this.

In person, the 22-year-old is even skinnier than she looks on television, with perfect hair, carefully-applied makeup and legs that appear to go all the way up to her neck. She is also perfectly composed, accompanying every statement with a sparkling smile. Conrad never really criticizes anything; it's more that she thinks certain parts of her life are a little peculiar. For instance, she is not allowed to talk about anything that has happened in her life that has not yet appeared on
The Hills, even if it has already been heavily covered by the press – but instead of finding this irritating and absurd, like a regular person would, Conrad just accepts that her Hills
life has to come before her actual life.

"We find ourselves in a situation where things are being reported months and months before they show up on The Hills," says Conrad. "Media will report on our everyday lives, but the thing is, our everyday lives
is
the television show, so it gives away what's going to happen."

Another strange thing about
The Hills is that a show focusing on Conrad's life makes no mention of the biggest part of her life – the show itself. While filming the first season of The Hills, Conrad's celebrity was practically a non-issue, but now, a few years later, the show still treats her as though she were a normal girl leading an anonymous life in Los Angeles when anyone who picks up a copy of People or Us Weekly
knows that Conrad is anything but.

The Hills
also never covers her fashion line, the highly publicized Lauren Conrad Collection that has just been picked up by high-end Canadian department store Holt Renfrew. Conrad has been relying on media attention to make her line a success, but somehow, she doesn't find anything strange about the disconnect between her actual life and the life that's presented on the show.

"That's the way the show's meant to be. It's meant to be an unscripted drama," says Conrad. "[
The Hills
] does not address the celebrity that comes with it, and I probably would not be able to do [the Lauren Conrad Collection] without the celebrity that comes with the show. They chose not to include it and I didn't really want to include it because I try to separate the line and the show."

An odd moment comes when Conrad talks about the development of her fashion line: she begins speaking in first person plural without specifying who else was involved. It's as though the Lauren Conrad Collection had been put together by the Borg.

"We were looking for an opportunity for a long time," she says. "It took us a while to find it. Basically, we were looking for someone who would give us complete creative control."

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Her shift in pronouns is clearly another way Conrad tries to separate her real life from her
Hills life. It's a subconscious acknowledgement that the person she is on the show is a completely different person from who she is off the show. Lauren Conrad the fashion designer is part of a group; Lauren Conrad from The Hills
is just a regular girl. As soon as the conversation returns to her life on the reality show, Conrad goes back to using the first person singular.

"Dating [on the show] is hard because, personally, I don't really want to date a guy that wants to be on a reality show, but those are the only kind of guys I can date," she says.

This seems at least a little hypocritical. Conrad thinks she's too good for people who want to be on television when her entire career is based on the success of her own reality show?

"A lot of people aren't open to the idea of being on a reality show and having their first date documented," she continues. "Anyone who's watched the show knows that we don't always make the guys look good. We very rarely make the guys look good."

Even with this statement, Conrad narrows her eyes at the mention of Gavin Beasley, a
Teen Vogue model she briefly dated earlier this season. After the episode portrayed him as boring and a little bit dim, Beasley told VH1's Best Week Ever
all about his experience filming the show, claiming parts of it were staged.

"He sold his story to the press!" Conrad marvels incredulously.

Yet, this is the same girl who admitted to using the press to publicize her fashion line.

But Conrad is one of the few people who needs these contradictions in order to succeed. Television audiences began watching
The Hills to see Conrad's regular life; in order to continue, the show needs to continue presenting that life, whether or not it still exists. To be Lauren from The Hills, Conrad needs to be outraged when people betray her to the press, but to be a successful fashion designer, she needs to take advantage of the degree of celebrity she's been given. Conrad is a smart girl and she knows exactly when which Lauren is needed, no matter how frequently she has to shift between them. She may be a walking contradiction, but if not for the contradictions, she wouldn't be able to walk at all.

Picture Source

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your an example of the press all celebrities hate because you took her words, picked them apart, twisted them, and used them out of context.

The Hills & Laguna said...

This isn't my article. As you can see at the top of the post, I've linked it to the website on which it came from. I'm merely featuring it on my site. If you would like to post your comment to the author of that article, please see the link to www.canada.com.

Anonymous said...

great article- so true..