Lainey Gossip’s faculty of celebrity studies – sophomore session!
Celebrity gossip lovers got a chance to be schooled on Monday night at Events InStyle in downtown Ottawa. The gossip maven, Elaine Lui (or Lainey as she is more commonly known as) was in town for her Faculty of Celebrity Studies tour and to promote her first book, “Listen to the Squawking Chicken” Lainey got her star-watching start with her popular blog, Lainey Gossip. The success of her blog launched her into the world of television where she is a reporter for eTalk and cohost of the daytime talk show, The Social.
Lainey chose Ottawa to kick off this year’s Faculty of Celebrity Studies tour, bringing along Glaceau Vitamin Water as the event’s sponsor. The room was filled with opinionated and fashionable women, sipping on cocktails made with Vitamin Water Zero and vodka, and munching on hors d’oeuvres of smoked salmon pizza and spring rolls.
Twenty York Street was able to get some one-on-one time with the Dean of Celebrity Studies herself, where we talked fashion, penning a novel and the future of gossip magazines.
Let’s talk fashion. What are you wearing tonight?
These pants are 3.1 Phillip Lim and my sweater is by a brand I love called Maje.
Who are some of your go-to designers?
I love 3.1 Phillip Lim. I also believe Alice + Olivia make the perfect pump. The shape of it to me is just the perfect looking heel. For comfort wear, I love the brand Fidelity. I’m all about the drop crotch and I own a pair of wine coloured, drop crotch pants by them tahat I just love.
On your blog you make commentary on the lives of celebrities. In your book, “Listen to the Squawking Chicken,” you are turning the spotlight onto your personal life and the life of your mother.Did you find it challenging to write about yourself versus writing about celebrities?
No, I didn’t. With blogging it’s storytelling. You’re telling the story of the celebrity you’re covering. With my book, it’s about my mother, but it’s also storytelling. In both roles, I’m always storytelling and I don’t find it hard to talk about my personal life.
Do you see the future of gossip magazines as a dying industry? Do you think gossip sites will make the magazine obsolete?
No! I think we are in a good place right now. Gossip mags and blogs are working in tandem. Gossip magazines will always exist. People need something to read at the airport.
After the interview with Lainey, we were all ready to be schooled in the Faculty of Celebrity Studies. The talk kicked off with a word from the sponsor, Glaceau Vitaminwater. Did you know that Lainey writes the copy for the Vitaminwater Zero bottles?
Lainey started off the lecture by discussing the importance of celebrity gossip. While some people scoff at those who follow gossip, Lainey pointed out that gossip is a gateway to discussing issues that affect our culture across the board and when we talk about celebrities we are actually reflecting back on ourselves. Gossip actually helps society by identifying and isolating unacceptable behaviour and looking at ways to change it.
Among the topics on the agenda for the evening was the “conscious uncoupling” of Gwnyth Paltrow and Chris Martin, which Lainey said is a direct commentary on our culture’s inability to accept defeat and failure. A large part of the night was also spent discussing the obsession of celebrities as mothers and the idea that mothers are seen as more valuable people. This topic was very interesting to debate as Lainey is very open about her decision not to have her children and there were a lot of mothers in the audience with their own views on the topic of motherhood. The lesson concluded with a heated debate on James Franco’s latest incident involving Instagram and a minor. Lainey used this example to tie in a discussion about misogyny and rape culture in our society.
This event wouldn’t have been what it was without the interaction from the women in the audience. There was a huge variety of opinions, which allowed the debate to move into really interesting areas of celebrity culture. At the end of the night ended with Lainey crowning a valedictorian, revealing some of her website’s blind items and a Q&A session. All students were also gifted a copy of Lainey’s book baby, “Listen to the Squawking Chicken” which she happily signed.