How Would You Describe Yourself?
Have you ever noticed that celebrity interviews tend to begin with the writer waxing poetic on each minute detail of his or her subject’s every moment, like a gratuitous play by play that’s either intended to endear us to the celeb or make us feel like we’re on the scene?
“Amelia sat with her upper body still, chewing the cuticle around her thumb and bouncing her knee, exposing that she possibly has Restless Leg Syndrome or drank too much coffee but either way she was clearly oblivious to the epileptic inducing effect the rapid bouncy movement had in the surrounding customer’s peripheral vision.”
If the writer was intending to write a nice piece about me, they may mention the way in which I brushed a lock of hair behind my ear and then set my liquid blue eyes on a point in the distance before slowly beginning the story of my heart-wrenching divorce.
Let’s write one about Leandra for fun:
“Leandra sat, shoulders rounded, like a cat considering its stock market portfolio which is to say, not considering much at all. In her right hand rested her cell phone, lighting up and blinking and vibrating as she rapid-fire responded using just her thumb. Upon second glance I realized her pinky finger had evolved into some sort of bionic bar that serves as a resting place for her mobile device. Fascinating. Her left hand never left her brow, crunching and picking at the different hairs, all the while laughing manically and making this weird squeaking noise (where on earth was it coming from?!) that suggested she may, in fact, be part chew toy.”
In a recent Rolling Stones article, Lena Dunham interviewed Mindy Kaling and asked her to describer herself in this exact format:
“How would you describe your fashion style? Please answer in the form of the first paragraph of [a] … profile that, while not 100 percent accurate, embodies the things you strive for in your wardrobe and your beauty regimen. “
To which Mindy Kaling replied:
“When Mindy Kaling arrived to the Chateau Marmont 30 minutes late, she apologized profusely and began dabbing ice water on a badly skinned knee. ‘I thought I hit an old woman in the Loehmann’s parking lot,’ she said, a flush of perspiration on her cheeks and forehead. ‘Turned out it was a sack of trash with a shawl draped on it. Got so mad at it that I kicked it, and this happened.’ She gestured to her knee.
“Miss Kaling ushered in a scent that was a curious mix of cardamom, citrus, and Old Spice Pure Sport. Without looking at the menu, she ordered a Moscow Mule, the steak and fries with five mini bottles of Tabasco sauce. Her shirt was Ikat print, and her harem pants were tribal print. She had neon pink high tops she promptly took off. ‘You don’t mind, do you? It’s a hell of a lot of shoe for a summer’s day,’ she purred. I did mind. I minded a lot.”
Now it’s your turn. Go forth, young reporters, and write a description of your style and self in the format of the opening paragraph of a celebrity interview. Lay them down in the comments and let’s spend the rest of our day just laughing and writing, writing and laughing.