There are some words that only exist in tabloid-speak. 'Blonde' as a noun. 'Bed' as a verb - and it's normally 'a blonde' who is 'bedded', of course. And 'unlucky in love', which is the tabloids' adjective for 'single'. But only if you're a woman.
The curse of being 'unlucky in love' is one that has, over the years, afflicted the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Sheryl Crow, Kate Winslet, Geri Haliwell, Cameron Diaz and many, many other unattractive women with nothing going for them.
But imagine my alarm when I realised that their ranks had been joined, apparently, by a young actress named Emma Watson. You may be familiar with Emma's work - Burberry, Lancôme - but now she has a new string to her bow. Or, indeed, beau (yes, my tabloid-speak is fluent!). She's got a new boyfriend, the actor Johnny Simmonds. Which is cause for celebration - not only because it's, well, nice that Emma's happy, but because it apparently stops her from being 'unlucky in love'.
That's right: Emma Watson is only 21 - yet the Sunday Mirror described her this week as "the unlucky in love Harry Potter star".
Which is odd, because I would describe her as "a seemingly normally functioning young woman with, y'know, your usual number of relationships, if indeed there is such a thing as 'normal', and who are we to judge, anyway?".
According to the tabloids, 'unlucky in love' women aren't simply Women Who Enjoy Monogamous Relationships And Periods Of Being Single. No. They're lonely, sad harpies doomed to spend their days alone with nothing but their friends, families and Oscars/Grammys/dogs for comfort. So, y'know, at least Geri Halliwell - the latest victim of The Curse* this week, after splitting from her boyfriend Henry Beckwith - has her pooch to keep her company. Poor old Geri... who is, according to the tabloids today, not 'single again' but 'unlucky in love'. I give it a week before she 'shows her ex what he's missing', ie. leaves the house.
As you can probably tell, I'm rather fed up of this sexist label put on female celebrities. So, in the spirit of balance, I'd like to give the usual treatment meted out to women to the following Famously Unlucky In Love Men. Or as they're more popularly known: 'bachelors'.
George Clooney: He says he doesn't want to get married again - but clearly he just can't get a woman to commit. What's secretly wrong with him?! Is it that he insists on pursuing a career as actor, director, producer and humanitarian worker? Why can't you put your energies where they really matter, George?
Hugh Hefner: Sure, he's a millionaire surrounded by nubile young blondes all day - but is he really happy? And sure, he's had a string of beautiful wives - but he's 85 and unmarried, so there's obviously something wrong with him. If only he had some sort of business empire to prove his life wasn't a total waste. Or some children to give his life meaning... Oh, wait. I just found out he has four.
Gerard Butler: A Scottish hunk who's found fame and fortune in the States and starred opposite the most gorgeous women in Hollywood - and yet he hasn't married or impregnated anyone yet? What's wrong with him?! Something, clearly. Oh, Gerry, Gerry, Gerry... We can call you Gerry, right? Maybe you should stop spending your time "between London, New York and Los Angeles" (© IMdB). You're never going to find love like that. Except maybe with an air stewardess.
Justin Bieber: Caitlin Beadles, Selena Gomez... Yes, 17-year-old Justin has dated at least two people and yet still not found The One. What's wrong with the unlucky in love pop poppet? Is it that he's spending too much time being the world's biggest music star? Is it because he's too busy watching Ben 10? Whatever it is, he needs to sharpen up his love act so he doesn't die alone surrounded by lolcats. Get on it, Justin! (And before you ask: no, you're not too young to be 'unlucky in love'. See Emma Watson, above.)
*not to be confused with a woman's menstrual cycle
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