By SHARMILA NAIR
SINGING “Happy Birthday” doesn’t exactly get anyone in the news except when the person receiving wishes is a dictator hated by many people. Yeah, that’s exactly what happened when Jennifer Lopez serenaded Turkmenistan’s ruler Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov last Saturday, thinking that she’s just helping a leader celebrate his 56th birthday.
Human Rights Watch has called Turkmenistan’s government “among the most repressive in the world,” and said that “unknown numbers of people languish in the country’s notoriously abusive prisons on what appear to be politically motivated charges.”
Oops … Lopez must have not received that memo because nothing stopped her from celebrating the authoritarian ruler’s special day with the country’s ministers, ambassadors and other executives at a resort town in the Muslim country.
Of course Lopez’s party did some quick damage control and released a statement regarding the issue.
Mark Young, her spokesperson, said, “Had there been knowledge of human-rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.”
Well, maybe it’s not really Lopez’s fault for not knowing what is going on outside of her fabulous life.
She does have three kids … erm, two children and one extremely younger boyfriend to care for and besides, she’s not the first person to shake what her momma gave her for a dictator.
In 2011, Rolling Stone reported that pop stars “including Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Usher and Lionel Richie have taken lucrative gigs performing for the members of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi’s family.”
It is pretty laughable how celebrities seem clueless about what is going on around them and how people, especially their fans, live in other parts of the world.
Take for example Gwyneth Paltrow who has recently been ridiculed … not for her sour face (that’s a first) but for dispensing lifestyle advice that only super rich people could afford.
Her suggestions via her Goop email newsletter are pretty ridiculous, but her recent entry made everyone gag and even got several tongue lashings from Fashion Police’s Joan Rivers.
The newsletter said, “Back by popular request, here is our third annual Spring fashion edit of Net-a-Porter. Find inspiration for outfits for all aspects of your busy life. Love, GP.”
Yeah, it’s great that she’s giving out free advice but the eight different looks modelled by the actress – including pieces from Valentino and Lanvin – cost US$32,182 (RM101,965) to pull.
Well, those were just the basic items that Paltrow suggested. The other “essentials” that she mentioned in the post cost a staggering US$450, 000 (RM1.4mil) to assemble.
Erm, that’s like 20 times more than the annual income of most people in the world … and that’s supposed to be affordable to all? Nope, don’t think anyone would be rocking those looks soon.