Picture Perfect

Divorce rears its ugly head yet again. This time, it couldn’t happen to a more beautiful couple. As individuals, they were blessed with good looks and were clearly at the front of the queue when God was handing out favourable genes. Together, they looked like something out of a fairy tale – such statuesque bearings, such alluring poses, such captivating smiles, such perfect sartorial presentations. But now the truth is out – there was an ugly side to their marriage which we may never know or should know every unpleasant detail. It may be something as simple as indifference creeping in or a growing unwillingness to compromise.

The news that Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello were divorcing seemed disingenuous and illogical. With so much, why ruin it with something so tawdry and generic as a divorce. Suddenly, the glass house in which the media had put them was horribly shattered. But why should we be surprised that a Hollywood couple are divorcing. Although typical, we had secretly hoped they would buck the trend. Hollywood spins grand illusions we struggle to resist because we want to believe that life can be a fairytale. We learn yet again that good looks are not enough to hold a couple together. Remember Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford. Perhaps being famous and good looking makes one lazy; having become accustomed to others kowtowing to your every whim and fancy and showering you with compliments, it would be a challenge to one’s comfort zone to have to compromise.

A reality check for all married couples is that marriage requires truth and accountability. Yes, you do need to check in with your spouse and let them know where you are and what you’re doing. Also, when asked ‘Honey, does my bum look big in this?’, you may be obliged to ay yes just to prevent the later accusation – “why didn’t you tell me?”. Building trust takes time, and yet all it takes is one indiscretion or lie to begin to undermine the edifice of trust.

Their official announcement stated, “as two people that love and care for one another very much…”Yeh, right. Enough already! Why do these famous divorcing litigants strive to be so noble when they are stomping on the most noble and sacred of institutions. After all, people who care for one another very much don’t logically get divorced. Celebrities seem to be too busy chasing the limelight, posting on social media than paying attention to each other. One fan posted “Sad, I like them as a couple.” But, is it sadder than any other divorce? Why are we so vested in the marriage of strangers whom we’ve never met. In the entertainment industry, popularity is everything. Cultivating a fanbase is encouraged when marriage requires the opposite – privacy Ironically in their press announcement of their divorce they ask for their privacy to be respected. This is a laughable and unrealistic request considering that all seven years of their marriage was played out in the public eye.

Anyone who has ever been married knows the stressors which bring huge pressure to bear on the relationship e.g. financial worries, in-laws, health problems, balancing work and gamily life. In Hollywood, the financial pressure might be keeping up with your multi-millionaire neighbours not paying the electric bill. You get the impression that Hollywood couples can be in competition. this was certainly the case with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, or should I say Burton and Taylor? Who warrants top billing? Who makes more money?

Actors are particularly susceptible to distortions of reality. After all, they spend their working lives preparing for and playing the roles of characters woven into fiction. When the director yells “cut”, is it enough to trigger their return to reality? Also, this may predispose them to boredom within the stability of marriage, a form of union which thrives on stability and consistency.   Do celebrity couples really want to grow old together? It is a tall order for the ordinary majority let alone those who inhabit this rarefied bubble. It maybe that the thought of their other halves growing old is just as objectionable as the thought of themselves growing old. They may fear rejection, and so they are the first to make a move. Working in an industry where rejection is so common will either breed thick skins or increasing sensitivities to rejection which is thus avoided at all costs. 

Carla Cornelius

Dr Carla seeks to bring a fresh and thought-provoking perspective to today's popular culture. With her Ph.D. in Biblical Counselling, she invites readers to see the relevance of the Bible in addressing the difficult and disturbing issues of our times.