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Ban Celebrity Marriages - Ridiculous Thinking or a Damn Good Idea?

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How does the idea of banning celebrity marriages strike you? Too harsh perhaps - or a necessary evil to protect an institution that is supposed to bind people together for life as opposed to oh, about 16 days?

Over Christmas, Sinead O'Connor of the beautiful voice and bizarre behaviour married and separated in the space of the aforementioned 16 days - teenage infatuations have lasted longer.

Meanwhile, Katy Perry and Russell Brand separated after a few short years of marriage, which to be fair was considerably longer than Kim Kardashian's 72 day stunt, sorry - stint. For many celebrities - old and new - it appears that marriage is something you 'acquire' like property or a puppy, rather than a complex, lifelong emotional and physical commitment to another that requires hard work, selflessness and dedication.

We know that marriage has taken a kicking in recent years. Many people choose not to walk down the aisle, many who do divorce and a great many who want to can't, but the outcry and disgust at the way of the celebrity marriage shows that for most people marriage is still something profound and not something you try on for size only to discard it a hot minute later when you decide it doesn't suit you anymore or the shine has turned grubby or when, as the tabloids like to spout, "they drifted apart."

While disinterest might be one factor in celebrity marriage breakdown, it certainly isn't the only one. Most of these unions are doomed from the beginning, which is hardly surprising given that they are often little more than a cynical business plan dressed up with a pink bow of romance. Got a new reality TV show, perfume or album to promote? Well then, why not get hitched?

Due to the world's continuing fascination with weddings, you'll be guaranteed more publicity than money can buy and you'll get to combine powers with another of your ilk, thereby creating a celebrity juggernaut that will have your publicist weeping dollar signs. And then there is the divorce circus to look forward to - once attention wanes or your career needs a bit of a boost or your partner gets a bit flabby.

It doesn't take a genius to read between the lines and see the ugly truth, yet we still obsess over celebrity weddings that are clearly little more than sponsored knees ups or a reality TV show pilot or both. Surely there is something deeply wrong about exploiting a serious, legally binding contract for the sake of your career? Talk about undermining an institution. And spare a thought for poor sods that do the boring thing and marry for love. Yawn. How predictable. They don't even get paid for the pleasure.

As we face into a new year few things are certain but one you can rely on is celebrity marriages crashing and burning, which ones of course remain to be seen. Meanwhile many decent, loving, ordinary folk who long to have their union recognised in law are forbidden to do so. They don't have a business plan for their wedding and their 'schedules' are not so hectic and trans-global that they will never see each other. They actually want to be together - hence the marriage.

How frustrating it must be for them and indeed anyone who values the idea of marriage (i.e. most people) to watch celebrities run rickshaw all over it without consequence, as if ending a marriage is like ending any old relationship. Perhaps if it was more difficult for celebrities to avail of it, they wouldn't be so quick to cast marriage aside like a broken plaything.

So what can be done? Chain celebrity spouses to each other for a minimum of five years? Make them take ridiculous and protracted tests about their significant other prior to the wedding to ensure they are truly besotted? Bring back stocks and let people throw rotten fruit at the offending couple while their wedding pictures (as featured in OK! magazine) are projected on to large screens behind them having been crudely photoshopped to resemble characters from the Muppets?

Can we make it illegal for celebrities to profit from their wedding? Or do we, the public, have the gumption to simply ignore their antics, depriving celebrities of the very oxygen they need to survive: our undivided attention? Because let's face it, in Celebrity Land what point is there in getting married or indeed doing anything at all without an audience of eager strangers hanging on your every carefully constructed word?

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