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That Reese Witherspoon Instagram video is already deleted. Why are stars so afraid to show their real personalities?


Reese Witherspoon, Stella McCartney and Kate Bosworth. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

If you happened to spot supermodel Cara Delevingne’s Met Gala Instagram videos before they were deleted, you could catch a very rare glimpse of something that almost never happens in the outside world: Celebrities actually being themselves.

Of course, some Web sites that captured the video and gifs, and the clips are already on YouTube, so we can relive the bizarre scene again. Basically, the two (NSFW, language-wise) short videos show actresses Reese Witherspoon and Zooey Deschanel, along with models Kate Upton and Delevingne, apparently post-Met Gala on Monday (judging by their after-party dresses). The stars are all goofing around in an elevator, just like regular people. It’s completely ridiculous and also about 100 times more interesting than any TV talk show interview could ever be.

“I love you, Cara — Cah-ra — I don’t know what your [expletive] name is,” Witherspoon drawls as Delevingne captures it on video. Witherspoon’s Southern twang appears again as she dispenses some advice: “The most important thing in a name for a girl? That a man can whisper it in his pillow.” “Oohhh,” responds the elevator crowd.

In the second video, Witherspoon’s monologue about Delevingne’s name continues. “If you force me to say your last name, I’ll be [expletive].” Upton tries to get in on the fun: “Karen? We don’t know,” she laughs.

Obviously, Delevingne must have realized her famous pals wouldn’t like being shown in a real-life moment that wasn’t controlled by publicists or (imagine!) showing them in their best light: The videos disappeared quickly, although not before US Weekly could copy and paste the captions, which showed it was all in good fun: “The confusion @reesewitherspoon @zooeydeschanel @tennesseebunny @kateupton #HAHAHAHA #loveyouladies.”

So, we take this moment to announce: Celebrities, don’t be afraid to be yourselves. Sure, the videos weren’t very classy. But it was an extremely unusual glimpse into something that we often forget when we see famous people: Beneath the airbrushing and media spin, celebrities really are people, just like us. A harmless video like this is way more convincing than any US Weekly photo spread proving that stars feeding change to a parking meter, too. (Wait, they also do that?!)

Why does it matter? In the end, actors and actresses make their money from their image and getting audiences to connect with them, and the beauty of social media is that it’s now more possible than ever. While Witherspoon might not want to be known for her, um, special advice about naming conventions, it’s way better than any tightly-controlled interview she’s given. In fact, she seems kind of fun. Flattering or not, that should be the sort of image she wants out there. It’s just good business.

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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