For years, maybe decades, not giving a fuck was the ultimate flavor of cool. To radiate confidence while renouncing the rules of the upper echelon was counterculture in a nutshell. But as that spirit of effortlessness grew in popularity and capitalism did what it does best, “not giving a fuck” became a set of grooming rules in its own right. Ripped jeans, messy hair, dirty sneakers, dad hats. Most of us now recognize this attitude for what it is: an aesthetic. The appearance of not giving a fuck is liable to take as much thought as appearing to give one.
Giving a fuck has its own look, too, and is typically assigned to a whole other different type of person: frilly dresses, bejeweled eye shadow, the perfectly planned candid. (If you think I’m not going to bring this around to Céline Dion, you are sorely mistaken!) The lightening-speed proliferation of culture through social media means “attitudes” quickly become LEWKS, their trappings interchangeable and indistinguishable from each other.
I think this is why authenticity became such a priority a few years ago, for brands and people alike. But now authenticity feels like its own PR play, which is hilarious if only because it’s so predictable. At this point, everything feels calculated because it is! To care is a lewk. To not care is a lewk. The question of what could possible feel real any more hangs in the air.
Enter: CÉLINE FUCKING DION.
Céline Dion does not fit into any aforementioned box. Céline Dion is not cool. Céline Dion is so embarrassing. Céline Dion is my hero. Look at this please:
Just a few weeks ago The Cut published a story called “Welcome to the Céline Dionaissance,” which is an incredible headline and confirms what I’ve long suspected, which is that she’s having a moment. Said moment came to a head last night on Instagram and then again this morning: Vogue published a profile on her entitled, “How 2017 Turned Céline Dion Into an Icon—Again.” The above clips of her dressing up in couture are pulled from this video and are literally incredible.
Forgive me while I over-intellectualize something as pure as the above videos, but I think Céline Dion is having a comeback because she’s radically different from most “personalities” in the spotlight. She’s so uncalculated and unabashedly herself. Who she is happens to embody so much of what pop culture has deemed dorky: jerky but confident dance moves, utter dedication to a character for the pure drama of it, genuine kookiness. She exudes not a lick of self-deprecation nor feigned self-awareness. She’s ridiculous and so comfortable in that space. She doesn’t give a fuck but she doesn’t not give a fuck.
Maybe this is what real authenticity looks like. Maybe this is how you break the cycle of attitude commodification. Maybe just be Céline fucking Dion, you know?