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Should celebrities control the urge to overshare in their memoirs?


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Should celebrities control the urge to overshare in their memoirs?

We love knowing personal things about celebrities. It makes them seem more relatable to us, and some of their juicy confessions exposing the industry are undeniably good entertainment. And they’re starting to see it too – celebrity memoirs are a growing business these days.

With Harry’s “Spare” taking over our timelines a few months ago, to Barbara Streisand’s upcoming memoir becoming a bestseller even before it hits the shelves – there’s a potential business boom here for entertainers and much more gossip waiting for us. Streisand’s autobiography will follow recent bestselling celebrity memoirs from Viola Davis, Jennette McCurdy, Matthew Perry, Pamela Anderson and most recently, Elliot Page.

Fans and the industry alike have been anticipating Page’s memoir, Pageboy since he announced it – wanting to know more about his journey to gender-transitioning and the brutally honest truth about Hollywood and its treatment of LGBTQ+ actors. Released right at the dawn of Pride month, the disturbing memoir details the years of horrific abuse the actor faced in the industry and recounts incidents of homophobia and transphobia in the actor’s life. But there’s one specific story that stood out the most to readers – his confession of a ‘secret affair’ with fellow Hollywood star, Kate Mara. Describing the circumstances surrounding their connection, Page writes, “The first person I fell for after my heart was broken was Kate Mara.” At the time, Mara was in a committed relationship with the talented actor Max Minghella, adding a layer of complexity to their burgeoning romance.

Although the memoir goes on to reveal that Minghella was aware of the relationship and very supportive of Mara exploring her feelings – some believed that mentioning the affair in the memoir was extremely disrespectful to everyone involved.

Although one could argue that Page’s affair with Mara was an integral part of his exploring himself and hence relevant to the memoir – celebrities’ oversharing in their memoirs isn’t exactly unseen.

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Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir “Spare” quite literally tells us everything – from the time he got frostbite on his penis to his kill count in Afghanistan. The book, in which he intended to recount his life after his mother’s death, went viral on Twitter for different reasons. Many criticised him for oversharing details about personal conversations and embarrassing incidents that just did not need to be public knowledge. Speaking to People, he justified his decision to share these details stating that “there’s truly no right or wrong way to try and navigate these feelings”.

While he is correct in that there’s no objective measure of what is or isn’t appropriate to share – many still aren’t convinced. But the books sell regardless – because people can’t get enough of celebrities being vulnerable. There was speculation that Harry himself received a $20 million advance for his book with Penguin Random House. He, like many other stars, collaborated with a writer on the project. In the last year, we have seen multiple celebrity memoirs become instant hits.

Even outside of the world of books, celebrities overshare so much now. Social media is a much quicker way for celebs to connect with their fans – now apart from interviews celebrities have another platform to share their personal lives. Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Robbie Williams has made it a point to share graphic details of their lives, especially their sexual endeavours. Oversharing brings them more traction and more money – but people are also just so much more chronically online that oversharing has become commonplace. 

Social media is erasing personal boundaries, bringing the world much closer – but it also has its fair share of cons. Celebrity gossip accounts like Deuxmoi share the most mundane facts about celebrities and have become digital stars lately because want to know even the smallest details about a celebrity’s life. There’s a growing demand for explicit content and the entertainment industry is not going to just let the paychecks pass them by.

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