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Tabloid tales: poor Harry takes over from poor Jen

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject: Tabloid tales: poor Harry takes over from poor Jen Reply with quote

div class="track"img alt="" src="http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.22.4/911?ns=guardianpageName=Tabloid+tales%3A+poor+Harry+takes+over+from+poor+Jen%3AArticle%3A1720654ch=Life+and+stylec3=Obsc4=Celebrity%2CPrince+Harry+%28UK+news%29%2CJennifer+Aniston%2CFilm%2CUK+news%2CLife+and+style%2CNewspapers%2CMedia%2CPrince+William+%28News%29c5=Press+Media%2CUnclassified%2CNot+commercially+useful%2CMedia+Weeklyc6=Eva+Wisemanc7=12-Mar-25c8=1720654c9=Articlec10=Commentc11=Life+and+stylec13=The+Eva+Wiseman+column+%28series%29c25=c30=contentc42=Life+and+styleh2=GU%2FLife+and+style%2FLife+and+style%2FCelebrity" width="1" height="1" //divp class="standfirst"Modern fairy stories – as told by the Mail and the Mirror – have found a new hero. It's the story of a lonely ginger prince and his fight to find his princess …/ppI have this vision that one day I'llnbsp;benbsp;sitting reading bedtime stories from MailOnline's sidebar to a child by Ikea lamplight. "What happens to emTOWIE/em's Sam Faiers when her tan peels, Mummy, when she's punished for her vanity?" the child will ask, cuddling her Barack doll closer. "Shh, darling," I'llnbsp;say, closing my iPad 14. "We'll find out tomorrow."/ppToday's fairy tales are told by the tabloids. Our heroes are recovering prescription-painkiller addicts. Our heroines wear their cleavages like enlarged thyroid glands. Their lives are defined by their love affairs, but it's rare that a male celebrity's heartbroken loneliness gets the same gleeful sympathy as a female one's does. The kind of sympathy that involves digging for more evidence of pain as if tweezing for an ingrown hair. The kind of sympathy for which the concerned gasp was invented. The kind offered to Jennifer Aniston through all those post-Brad years, when her name carried the "poor" prefix whenever uttered by pundits. Poor Jen, cuckolded by Angelina Jolie, a woman who has thenbsp;wordnbsp;"sexy" running through her like Brighton rock. Poor childlessnbsp;Jen, who plays out the love she's lacking every month on the set of another soapy romcom./ppInnbsp;anbsp;current interviewnbsp;she muses on the media'snbsp;fascination with her womb. "In the tabloids," she says, "instead of beingnbsp;about alien babies and stuff, it's my triplets, quadruplets, marriages, feuds." Like fairy tales, where the good and pure are always rewarded with marriage, stories about celebrities are written to anbsp;limited brief. So when Aniston started looking happy with the guy from emSex and the City/em, tabloids had to look for a new lonely heart. Who would've thought it would be... Prince Harry?/ppThe front page of the emDaily Mirror /emlast week read, "Harry: I Can't Find Love. Lonely Prince Opens His Heart" – on American telly Harry hadnbsp;spoken of his search for anbsp;wife. "I'm not so much searching for someone to fulfil the role," he said, his ginger eyes twinkling like eternal wealth, "but obviously, you know, findingnbsp;someone that would be willing to take it on."/ppAt which Endemol's giant "Cinderella Project" lever was, Inbsp;imagine, thrust downwards to clicking point, and Elstree Studios swept clear of all detritus to make way for the construction of the best-lit ballroom-cum-"beanbag area for after-show fantalk" the world has ever seen. And lo, we had our new Poor Jen. Poor Harry, the "spare to the heir", who longs to be "normal", whose brother – while Harry's been chasing "Newcastle blondes" (copyright the emMail/em) around Mayfair's nightclubs – has found his soulmate./ppAs tabloid stories about tits on beaches muddle with tales of our lonely prince searching for his one true love, the lines between trash and trueness blur,nbsp;pleasingly. Has the fairy tale come full circle? Have tabloid tales become so unbelievable they are turning into fables? Is this the moment when the stories we read in our childhoods crash through the fourth wall into the emMirror/em itself?/ppIn which case, phew. As with receipts and anxieties, it's helpful to have all your myths in one place, for ease of reaching. It could go two ways, of course. There's the worry that, by seeping through the gaps in our media, fairy tales threaten to overwhelm us entirely. That the stories we were told in our snotty, porous childhoods are being reinforced by their repetition in the news, and that we will come to expect love at first sight and happy endings for blondes./ppBut more excitingly, perhaps the more we accept that Poor Harry and Jen are interchangeable, the more we will come to see that it's allnbsp;anbsp;fiction. That the celebrity news we drink in daily is asnbsp;artificial and moral-ladennbsp;and creative as the bedtime stories we oncenbsp;heard nightly./pdiv class="related" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"ullia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/celebrity"Celebrity/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/prince-harry"Prince Harry/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/jennifer-aniston"Jennifer Aniston/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/newspapers"Newspapers/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/prince-william"Prince William/a/li/ul/divdiv class="author"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/evawiseman"Eva Wiseman/a/divbr/div class="terms"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk"guardian.co.uk/a copy; 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our a href="http://users.guardian.co.uk/help/article/0,,933909,00.html"Terms Conditions/a | a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/help/feeds"More Feeds/a/divp style="clear:both" /

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