Nudity. Fish scales. Fame. What vision do these three words conjure in your mind? If your answer isn’t “typical celebrity photo shoot,” then you clearly have yet to peruse my new finsta account, A-List Animal Planet.
Don’t worry! It’s brand-new. Cool teens haven’t even found it yet.
The idea germinated a few months ago when I was flipping through the July issue of Harper’s Bazaar and found myself face-to-page with Emily Ratajkowski riding naked on the back of an equally naked horse, followed by another photo of her reclining on said horse with her arm propped on its rump. The corresponding article was fine and good but had absolutely nothing to do with horses, horseback riding, equestrianism, barns or even unicorns, so I found myself asking, where the horse burglar did the naked-horseback-riding concept come from?!
I guess I hadn’t been paying attention — because after that, I started noticing them everywhere. By “them,” I am referring to 100% real photos of celebrities looking extremely uncomfortable with or on top of animals.
These photos often include:
+Nudity because why not? (see: Emily Ratajkowski naked on a horse in Harper’s Bazaar July 2016, Miley Cyrus naked holding a pig in Paper Summer 2015 and Jennifer Lawrence naked in a pool with a cockateel in Vanity Fair November 2014.)
+Incongruous sartorial choices (see: Matthew McConaughey wearing a snappy blazer and hanging out with a chill-looking vulture in Esquire February 2014.)
+Just plain wrongness (see: Kendall Jenner riding on top of a giant dog in V Magazine May 2015 and a giant dog riding on top of Leonardo DiCaprio in a mysterious publication I cannot locate despite intensive Googling.)
+Palpable awkwardness (see: all of the above)
But, oddly(!), these photos never include:
+An explanation for why someone decided it would make sense to put a fish between Helena Bonham Carter’s legs or a pigeon on Lena Dunham’s head.
+Deep breathing techniques for all participants involved
+Any mention of April Fools’ Day or a major animal escape in Hollywood
I considered the possibility that I was just…missing something. Maybe where I saw skin-crawling awkwardness and inexplicable prop styling, everyone else saw a gorgeous symphony of beast and man intertwined snout to snout, skin to fur (or scale) — a part-seduction, part-friendship of epic proportions, shattering taboos and societal preconceptions.
I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, though. I feel comfortable speculating that a horseback riding/gynecological exam mashup is not the logical recipe for a balletic creative product. But I’ll let you be the judge. There are plenty where these came from, and I am more than willing to hand over A-List Animal Planet to the highest bidder. I need to free up my time for digging further unearthed weirdness from this delightful chocolate box we call life. You really never know what you’re gonna get.
Feature image by Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images.