Splice’s own estimable female presence Claire Taylor recently alerted me to two idiosyncratic blogs by talented female creative-types. Neither is groundbreaking content-wise, but they strike me as good uses of the medium for celebrities.
First up, and least surprising given her penchant for public expression of opinion, is Jane Fonda, whose blog is one page among many on her own personal website. Fonda takes the old LiveJournal approach to blogging, using it as a general sounding board for her opinions, updates on her day-to-day life, and pictures of her dog. In her own words:
[Some friends] pointed out to me that there’s such malarkey floating around the net about me. Why not begin to tell my own story, my thoughts, and activities (past, present and future) rather than letting others—sometimes hostile others—try to put out their own spin on me. That’s part of it. But the idea also occurred to me that I was about to launch into a new adventure in this third act of mine and that it might be interesting to bring people along with me.
The adventure is that I am returning to Broadway for the first time in 45 years. Why not try, with this blog, to convey what it’s like… day by day…the excitement, scariness, the highs and lo
The tone is a nice balance between the typical unknown blogger’s desire for free self-expression, and the self-righteous “I do what I want” toughness that was Fonda's 70s stock-in-trade. As such, I can imagine it would great fun for the many people who’ve come to idolize Fonda because of her acting, activism, or fitness celebrity.
Slightly different is Lily Tomlin’s blog, who Fonda says was an inspiration for her. Tomlin spends less time with her own daily nitty-gritty, instead addressing women’s topics and animal rights issues, occasionally lauding a person or two, and more often providing a semi-frequent dose of non-sequitors. The post “Ten Ways to Please Her,” for example:
In response to: What is your favorite luxury?
Nothing at all to do and plenty of money to do it with. And a great cook and a driver. And someone to shop for clothes. And all the physical energy in the world. And Sofia, my facialist, living next door. And no one you love dying.
A solar-heated pool with a cold plunge for swimming at night and in the rain in winter. While I’m at it: a hot tub in the mountains so you can roll in the snow and back in the hot tub and do that over and over again. And massages three or four times a day until your body works just perfectly so that you’re "floating" as you walk. I may just be talking about being young.
Tomlin’s been blogging for nearly a year on the Women on the Web site (which also hosts blogs by Whoopi Goldberg, Candice Bergen, Liz Smith, Marlo Thomas, Peggy Noonan, and more), and while certainly her longtime fans are the target audience, I can see a few people who may never have seen her comedy specials or Nashville getting into the frequently Dadaist groove here. When asked, “What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?” Tomlin answers:
Take my bioidentical synthroid thyroid pills
Celebrity blogging can be a painful thing to watch, but Fonda and Tomlin seem to have the right idea: address your fans, rep a few good causes along the way, and puncture the celebrity mythos a little bit.