This week the news broke that Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got married in the Bahamas in an idyllic beach ceremony. While women the world over wept into their gossip columns, I found myself addressing something that had been lurking in the back of my mind for a couple of years now. I no longer fancy Johnny Depp.
Sometime around 1998 I got this poster (below) from somewhere. I knew his name was Johnny Depp, but other than that, I knew nothing about him, other than he set my teenage heart a flutter.
As the years passed, I, like the rest of the world, came to know Mr Depp very well. It wasn’t just that he was handsome, but he had a true talent and I was impressed by the roles he took over the years, avoiding big budget movies for smaller, more interesting films. Films such as Benny & Joon, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to name but a few.
I’m not sure where it started going wrong for me. Pirates of the Caribbean was a huge leap to the real mainstream and I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it, but the change of direction was fun. Sweeney Todd was dire, Alice in Wonderland was average, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was…okay. I don’t think its a coincidence that these are all Tim Burton movies (I used to love Tim Burton, I’m upset at him too). I saw less incredible acting and more kookiness. And this was something I started to notice in his rare appearances on the red carpets and the like… the strange glasses, the affected styling…it was all just a bit meh. And the divorce from his long term wife and subsequent engagement to Amber Heard… I felt disappointed. I KNOW, I have no idea what was going on in the marriage or whether he and Amber are made for each other, and further more I KNOW it’s none of my business, but I just felt he would age gracefully, stylishly, handsomely whilst still acting with that amazing skill he has. He’s still ridiculously handsome but I’m sorry Johnny, we’re finished.
Lets talk about Madonna. In 1984 I asked my Mum what a virgin was, I remember her telling me she’d tell me when I was older. That didn’t stop me saving my 50p a week pocket money to buy the Album Like a Virgin. It was £4.50 on cassette and my Dad took me to Our Price to buy it.
I loved everything about Madonna. The look, the perfect styling and moreover, I loved her for literally decades, through all the different images. Even up to relatively lately when she was prancing about in a leotard and people were moaning about her bony crotch at her age, I was defensive. Why should her age stop her rocking the leotard, she looked AMAZING.
The rudeness, the toy boys, the leotards, all was fine by me, she’s amazing. Watch one of her concerts, incredible.
But then came the grills. I look at this photograph and she looks stunning…
…but all I can think is Madonna, you massive idiot.
But then there’s the music… I don’t think I’ve heard anything I liked since since 4 Minutes with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland and that was back in 2008 and I know there’s been a few singles since.
The final reason I’m upset with her is because I thought she was a magical un-ageing queen of pop, maybe something like the female Dorian Gray. I just though she, like Johnny Depp, aged amazingly well. This year, I’ve realised the truth. Now actually I’ve got no issue with a bit of help, a nip, a tuck, a filler here, a bit of botox there, if you want it, and you can afford it go for it, and the same applies to Madonna, but my dreams are shattered, I thought she was the magical queen of pop and now I know she’s not. I suppose I’m more upset with me than her for being so naive.
It’s a weird thing, because it’s not just about ageing, its something about ageing gracefully, not gracelessly, and that applies to both Madge and Johnny, I don’t care about their age. I think I do feel disappointed in them both because they both appear to be trying too hard to be young, and it smacks of desperation. But mostly, its a weird thing, thirty years I’ve admired Madonna, and now nothing, and its only just less for Johnny Depp and they were possibly my two biggest idols, good looks and talent and far from being sad they’ve aged, or thinking that they’ve lost their specialness because of their age I’d prefer it if they’d just age without the air of desperation (particularly in Madonna’s case).
I’m not even really sure what I’m trying to say in this post, it’s just more of a thinking out loud post really, something I’ve been mulling over for a while now… surely I’m not ageist? You don’t just go off people because they reach a certain age…but I’m not sure what exactly it is thats put me off! I also do my level best to think that people should be free to do what they want with whom they want, whatever they look like, without being judged, but still, I do find myself judging.
So do you have any idols who you’ve gone off? And why? Can you more accurately than me, explain what it is about Madonna and Johnny Depp that I now find so off putting as I’m struggling?