Forget anything you know about camp and prepare yourself, because this week saw an event camper than a Bert and Patty Newton Christmas special.
Barbra Streisand joined Instagram.
I repeat – Barbra Streisand has joined Instagram.
And I have to say it is everything I expected it to be – the perfect blend of roses, cupcakes and white fluffy dogs. Perhaps the only surprise in all of it is the level of vitriol directed at Babs since making her Instagram debut with a photo of her and her pooch, captioned “Isn’t my Samantha just precious?”
It seems followers were disappointed by the heavily stage-managed nature of her first appearance.
Ah, this is Barbra Streisand, not some reality star with stardust where her brain should be.
Did anyone actually expect candid shots of her and Anna Wintour smoking crack backstage at New York Fashion Week?
Of course not. Barbra Streisand is old school. She’s been doing fame for six decades – the woman knows how to present herself. More importantly she knows what her fans want, and what we want is our impeccable diva – the perfect hair, the perfect nails, the perfect lighting. Streisand hasn’t been shot without a nylon stocking over the lens since the early 70s, so the idea that she’d settle for an Instagram filter over a make-up-free selfie is completely ridiculous.
(But oh how amazing if she were to ironically hash-tag all her shots #nofilter -that really would be the ultimate in camp)
If you want raw and unscripted, follow Miley Cyrus.
No, this is all about Laura Ashley cushions in the home studio, black turtlenecks in the middle of summer and absolutely no chance of an “Oh my god Streisand just accidentally uploaded a photo of James Brolin’s wang” celebrity scandal. This is dignified, poised and publicity driven, just like the woman herself. Because that is what it’s really all about – reaching out to the masses ahead of the release of her new album next month. She knows she needs to reach new audiences and has been told Instagram is where to find them. Do you really think she’d be schlepping around social media with the likes of Kim Kardashian otherwise? Pfft, I doubt it.
Having said that, if Babs is going to join the rest of us narcissists on Selfie Central, she may want to rethink how she phrases her questions when inviting feedback about her dog. My friend George said yesterday that when he saw her first photo and read the caption, he assumed ‘Samantha’ was a new euphemism for a lady’s hoo-hoo.
Oy vey, can you imagine? On a clear day you really might see forever…
Published in The Big Smoke, August 20, 2014.