When Your Friendship Is In The Spotlight

There was an interesting profile in yesterday’s New York Times about the friendship between legal analyst Dan Abrams and Men’s Health Editor-in-Chief (and Eat This, Not That titan) Dave Zincenko. In many ways, theirs seems the kind of friendship that anyone would envy. In Zincenko’s own words, “it’s very authentic.” They “challenge each other, and help each other thrive in this strange and occasionally wicked…world.”

The two have recently gone into business together, and at the end of the article, Dan Abrams comments on how many people would love to see them fail. Perhaps he’s talking about their joint venture going under, or perhaps he’s talking about their individual careers tanking.

Or perhaps the failure he’s talking about is the undoing of their friendship.

These days, famous friendships are subject to the same kind of media and tabloid scrutiny as are celebrity romances. If you’re super close, people assume you are gay. If you hang out with other pals, you must be frenemies.

US Weekly reports on BFF breakups—Lauren and Heidi, Paris and Nicole, Denise and Heather—just as they do the split of Christina and Jordan or Courteney and David…. And what do we do?

Eat. It. Up.

I wrote once about how it might feel to have a celebrity BFF. But what if you are both celebrities? Or, in the case of Abrams and Zincenko, just really high profile? I would imagine that maintaining a friendship in such an environment would be tough. It might lend itself to competition or jealousy. Or mistrust and fear that everyone just wants a piece of you.

But the biggest obstacle to the friendship, I’d imagine, would be the fact that any tiny disagreement could become fodder for tomorrow’s tabloid. And there’s nothing the masses like more than to read about a relationship on the outs.

Of course, it also might be really nice to have a pal and confidante who understands the crazy paparazzi-laden public life you lead.

All I can do is speculate since the closest thing to fame I’ve ever had was a mention on Howard Stern when I wrote a piece about vibrators in college. True story.

Why is it that us regular folk love to track famous friendships? Is it a desire to have what they have? Or just a fascination with anything celebrity? And why, so often, do people root for them to fail?

{Side note: Speaking of famous friends, my friend and his blog are in The New York Times today! Check out the article, and then wander over to the NYC Nomad. Though his project is different from mine, we’re both ultimately about reaching out and connecting with people. You’ll like! You will!}


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11 responses to “When Your Friendship Is In The Spotlight

  1. I believe in best Friends, even thou as a adult I never made any. I Remember My Childhood I Had Three Females Who I Was Extremely Close too. as Time Moved On ‘N We Got Older Sadly We all Drifted Apart, Yet I Shall Never Forget Those Was The Best Times Of My “LIFE”. Making Friends as a Adult is Difficult Since I am a Very Quiet Person, So Most ppls are Turned Off by Me UNFORTUNATELY. i’m never acceptable as I am, in spite of that I Still knows how to be a Friend a GOODFRIEND!!!

    • Lorrie Paige

      Girl, you and me both; I hear ya’ loud and clear….

      But you (we) are still alive, so don’t say, as an adult you never made any. There’s always a chance, as long as you are alive. 🙂

      • LOVETTE

        Hello lorrie thanks for the advice, yes I know that I Can find Girlfriends if I was to try ‘N put Myself out there. I Will Some Day before the World Ends. I Have always Envied Oprah ‘N Gayles Friendship I Never believed that they are lesbians. they just knows How to value each other, because True Friends are indeed Hard to come by especially these Horrible, Wicked Days. that’s played out on Television Housewives of Atlanta, Basketball Wives, Football Wives, Women who acts So Childish. Who Would Want them for Friends, ENEMIES “WITHOUT A DOUBT”.

  2. LizC

    Can I just say that this: “If you’re super close, people assume you are gay. ” happens even if you’re not famous.

    It does not matter if both women are straight and in relationships with men other people, usually men, will comment and make jokes about how they must be gay. My friend’s boss calls me her girlfriend because I attended ONE work thing with her. She’s invited me to another work thing, along with her HUSBAND, and I would like to go because I’m actually friends with a few of her other co-workers as well and it’d be fun to hang out with them but I’m hesitant to go because I just don’t want to add fuel to his fire. Even if he is joking it’s still annoying. We can’t just be good friends who, oh, I don’t know like hanging out?

    Of course I run into the same problems when I’m close friends with men. Other people, usually women, assume we’re also in a relationship. I went through 4 years of college being really good friends with a guy, who was in a relationship the entire time we were in college, and weeks before we graduated we found out that our female boss at our work-study job assumed we’d been dating the entire time!

    I could maybe understand if I was overly flirty or affectionate with any of my friends but we’re not. So I have sympathy for celebrity friends who have to deal with these rumors and friend break-ups in the public eye. It’s annoying enough when you’re just regular people

  3. Noemi

    Just wanted to mention the most recent and very high-profile case of two very famous BFFs who are constantly being identified as possible lesbians despite years of denying these rumors. Just last week, Barbara Walters, a supposedly respected journalist, brought up the rumors about Oprah Winfrey and her friend Gayle King, and it was really sad. I admire the friendship between the two and wonder what people would say about the friendship I have with my BFF if we were famous. Just over the summer, we spent a girl’s weekend in NYC going to shows and eating out because neither of our husbands enjoy Broadway and we do. We split the cost of the hotel room we shared and obviously slept in separate beds, but what if we had been Oprah and Gayle? Would that have been fodder for headlines in tomorrow’s National Enquirer? Probably so. It’s a shame they just can’t enjoy the happiness we all get out of having that one BFF that we all need and love to have in our lives. I don’t know what I’d do without mine.

    • Lorrie Paige

      It can also depend on how people behave in other ways in public.

      I found it interesting that Oprah doesn’t want to talk much about and be seen with Steadman in public. Who cares what reporters say? She has no problem mentioning Gayle in public. Plus, there are other things Oprah has said and the way she behaves that would make people wonder about her…. If I was her adviser, I would suggest certain things to Oprah to make this much less of a rumor. Her answers regarding this whole subject is very weak….

  4. Megan

    Why do people root for celeb relationships of any kind to fail? I would actually suggest that it’s not celeb relationships, but any sort of relationship (I’ve got a few roommates who are really complaining about their friends’ boyfriends, even some of the relationships people have with others in our house). Perhaps it’s jealousy – people always perceive that the grass is greener on the other side and so, if they can’t have what they perceive is better than what they currently have, maybe they want it to fail so they can feel better about themselves. I know it’s a bleak outlook on human nature, but it’s just a thought since I don’t think the rooting for failure of relationships is limited to just celebrity relationships.

    • Lorrie Paige

      “Grass is greener on the other side”…An old boyfriend of mine, who has friends, once said, “Friendships can be overrated.” Hahaha!

  5. Lorrie Paige

    It’s not that I love to track famous friendships per se, singling them out.. I love knowing about any friendship from ANYONE. Their status in the world makes no difference to me.

    Although I envy genuine friend relationships, I’m always rooting for people’s friendships to last forever, like any decent human being would want for others.

  6. Jen

    The ‘average’ person is not usually forthcoming when discussing the problems or failures she might have in her life, especially concerning same-sex friendships, which it is often believed, are supposed to come naturally to all women. I know I like to read about celebrities’ relationship struggles because I have had so many myself, but have not always had people with whom to discuss them.

  7. Pingback: More Than Friends? | MWF Seeking BFF

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