The iconic singer reportedly—and fabulously—entered a Italian restaurant to her own song. A new level of diva behavior? More like the perfect wink from a diva who’s in on the joke.”>
Set the scene: Capri, Italy. The famed Ristorante Aurora. Youre enjoying an opulent, lazy dinner, probably wine drunk already at the late 11 p.m. hour, when youre jolted out of your over-stuffed, over-imbibed stupor by a sudden loud blast of music. A sudden loud blast of Mariah Careys music.
And thenAND THEN!in walks the emancipated butterfly, the imperfect angel, the elusive chanteuse herself, along with her fiance James Packer. As one diner who witnessed this very scene, possibly the most blessed diner in all of the land, marveled to Page Six, She literally had an entrance song.
Not only that, Careys music apparently played all night as she dined. Someone at her table asked for something more upbeat. The staff played Fantasy. Diners at the restaurant, because they are humans on this earth with taste and enough perspective to know when a god-honest miracle is happening in their midst, went crazy.
Yet the headline recapping this whole extravaganza, this borderline religious dining experience, confuses. It defies rationality. It is a negative headline. Mariah Carey Takes Diva Behavior to a Whole New Level, it says, suggesting that every single solitary thing that transpired on that Sunday night in Capri wasnt a magical, spiritual, life-affirming experience for everyone involved.
First of all, lets not pretend that Mariah Carey and her entourage rolling into the same restaurant as you and insisting on playing her fabulous music while she literally sits right there for you to stare at is a nuisance. That qualifies in no uncertain terms as the greatest dinner on earth.
Find me someone who wouldnt enjoy hearing Fantasy while they ate anyway, whether its at the Applebees down the street or at a fancy-pants restaurant in Capri. At any dinner, in any context, Mariah Careys music makes for great soundtrack. Fun for all!
But then, excuse me, have that music play while the Dahling Supreme herself is there? Id imagine the only thing greater would be to take a time machine back to the shooting of her iconic MTV Cribs episode and cheers champagne flutes with her while cuddled together in the bubble bath.
Heres the thing. The word diva is thrown around a lot these days. Its thrown around when a female celebrity makes a demand. Its thrown around when a female celebrity is late. Its thrown around when they lick donuts. Its thrown around, sure, when a female celebrity accomplishes something great. Heck, its thrown around merely to describe a female celebrity who exists.
The word has become trapped in misogyny that patrols successful women for, as that Page Six headline describes, their behavior and no longer brings with it any discernmentdivas are divas because of their talent and the aura they give off, not because of their demands or actions.
Now its a lazy label. Jennifer Lopez elucidated this quite eloquently, explaining the difference in how shes described and thought of if she holds people to high standards while producing on a TV set or in a recording studio versus men who might do the same. They have admirable creative vision. Shes a diva.
More, everyones a diva. Youre a breakout young star with your first record, youre a pint-sized diva-in-training. Take home an Oscar, youre an award-winning diva. Now its just a synonym for singer, actress, host, dancer, or performer.
As a description, then, its become somewhat meaningless. But Mariah Carey defies it as merely description. For her, its an embodiment. And we should celebrate that, dahlings. Lord knows she is.
For one, its something shes earned two decades, 18 number ones, a breakdown, a comeback, and a legacy-defining Vegas residency into her career. The accomplishments of Mariah Carey and the being of Mariah Carey are both so impressive and fascinating that she may be the first person to announce a reality TV show about her life and not have it seem desperate or demeaningdespite what some vocal critics have said. Instead, it seems like a fabulous career move.
Thats because Mariah Carey is in on the joke of being Mariah Carey (which is not a joke but in fact a serious, beautiful, glorious thing). Shes turned her diva status into veritable performance art, seizing it from any sexist connotation or reputation-damaging liability.
Following her divorce from Nick Cannona marriage with Cinderella-themed anniversariesshe got engaged to her current fiance Packer, whom she described in a recent Complex article as regular, normal person. This is a regular, normal person who purchased a 35-carat diamond ring for his betrothed. His betrothed who is Mariah Carey.
She doesnt suffer fools, which isnt bad behavior but merely standards. She rarely stoops to full-on spats with fellow celebritiesthe en vogue trend for Twitter-happy celebrities eager to speak their mindsthough she has perfected the art of subtle shade. She not only embraces the I dont know her meme, in which she slighted Jennifer Lopez by not even acknowledging her existence, let alone her talents, but contributed to its persistence on Bravos Watch What Happens Live.
She, by the way, showed up to that Watch What Happens Live appearance after it had already begun airing, you know, live, and she somehow managed to make it endearing, excellent television. Did she make Andy Cohen completely reverse the set so that she was sitting at her best angle? Of course. But thats somehow endearing, too. The whole evening is the perfect example of how being a diva, of course, is about brand management, which she does better than anyone.
She even spun the incident I almost hesitate to speak ofthose disastrous isolated All I Want for Christmas Is You vocals at the 2014 Rockefeller Tree Lightinginto something iconic, setting up a holiday residency two years in a row in New York City and nailing that song, and every song, each night. When a Village Voice writer turned up at each night of the residency to review the experience of Mariah overload, Carey had enough humor to give a shout out to Hilary Hughes, the writer, during a show and say she loves it.
Its all fun, which is what a diva is. In solidarity, I will cue up Daydream while I scarf down my Chinese food tonight on my lumpy couch. Its not Capri, but its what I got. I hope you will join me.
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