An Open Letter To Chrissy Teigen

Dear Chrissy,

How are you? I’ll assume you’re reading this on an airplane, as it’s hard to imagine a day in your average week in which you’re not traveling to your various jobs, homes, and promotional events, so I hope your flight is going well. Are you and John mostly on private jets these days? Somehow I feel like your brand would be more commercial flights – first class, of course, but still flying with the people. Plus, from what I’ve seen while filing, sadly, into coach, a lot of the first-class accommodations on international or cross-country flights are pretty luxurious. Are you in one of the laying-down seats? I hope so.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop in for a minute to chat because I admit, despite my love for you that is (and always will be) unconditional and unerring, I have my reservations. And honestly, part of this deep love I have for your celebrity brand necessitates me telling you when something is wrong. We are only honest with those we respect, and I respect nothing if not your social media hustle. So with that said, let’s talk about my specific concerns for both your celebrity brand and that most #personal of #content, your life.

You see, I’ve been following you for a few years now, long enough that I can remember when you were (not very widely) known as the kooky wife of singer John Legend, prone to hilarious bouts of social media honesty and writer of a food blog that was endearingly struggly, considering your near-unlimited resources. Yes, there was an error in the subtitle of your blog for a long time, but that was honestly one of its most charming features! Your recipes were delicious, your humor biting, and your openness about loving food, yet being contractually obligated to be skinny, was refreshing. I fell in love with you like so many young women, and like you, even went on to do some modest food blogging of my own. And as someone in a long-term relationship with a more reserved guy who looks at my antics with a healthy mix of love and exasperation, I identified with you and John. (And coveted your stunning Italian wedding.)

But perhaps it was that very wedding that set things off into another, slightly scarier and more branded era. You see, I know essentially every detail of that wedding (as do millions of other people), because John used it for the video of his corny-yet-sweet superhit “All Of Me.” Both this song’s enormous success (followed shortly by an Oscar win, no less!), and your being increasingly embraced by the media, created a shift in things that was imperceptible at the time, but has grown enough that I find myself writing you this very letter.

Between the frequent sponsored Instagrams, the constant talk-show and reality gigs, the unfortunate karaoke show, and the news that you and John are doing an upcoming couple’s reality show (no!!!), it seems that your once-golden personality and genuine set of interests have been co-opted into a product, a patented and marketed Chrissy Tiegen ™, where there was once actually someone named Chrissy. And I worry that soon, I will no longer be a fan, because there won’t be much left worthy of fawning over. I’m not one of those geeks who demands all of her beloved pop culture treasures remain obscure to be worthy of admiration, but I feel there must be a grey area between “running a little blog and clowning around on Twitter” and “participating in 2308325 promotional events and shows per week.”

Where is the old Chrissy who humored the masses with pictures of John’s butt, or hilarious smackdowns of wayward Instagram commenters? Where is the old Chrissy who mostly posted pictures of her mother hanging out in the kitchen and prepping food? Where is the old Chrissy who would see that Samsung commercial and be like “Ugh, come on.” You are in that Samsung commercial now – what’s become of all this?

But I believe that it’s not too late. I hold out great hope for the future of your blogging career, and will almost certainly buy your cookbook. I ask only that you scale back a tiny bit on all of your many (hard-earned!) media projects to, if nothing else, spend more time getting sleep and seeing loved ones. And, if you promise one thing, let it be that you will not go the way of the couples’ reality show. There is almost no greater sign of the immediate demise of a relationship than agreeing to do one of those dreadful shows, and the mystery of your goings-on is why everyone loves you! You’ve remained demure about the personal while still divulging little, funny tidbits – inarguably the perfect celebrity brand, and something you are very close to squandering!

Anyway, give my love to John and the pups. And I look forward to making your spicy beef stew as soon as the weather gets colder.

Be well
Chelsea TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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