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Why surprise celebrity gossip is the best celebrity gossip

Give me all the secret babies and secret weddings.

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IF THERE’S ONE thing I live for, it’s good gossip. Gossip that makes you exclaim, ‘Gway.’ Gossip that must be shared with the Whatsapp group immediately. Gossip you didn’t see coming at all.

Over the past year, we have been treated to a heap of genuinely surprising celebrity gossip. Pregnancies, relationships, and weddings have been kept private only to then be unveiled to the public like a new bronze statue. 

‘Surprise! Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias Just Had Twins’. Twins, you say? They won’t be able to hide, run or escape their love! ‘Amy Schumer Is Married! See Photos From Her Surprise Wedding’. A surprise wedding and photos? Click. ‘How Rachel McAdams Kept Her Pregnancy a Secret Before Welcoming Baby Boy’. For the love of God, tell me!

The last few months have been even more exhilarating. First came the bombshell that not only was Michelle Williams dating musician Phil Elverum, but she had in fact married him in an intimate ceremony in upstate New York. Then came the news that Rashida Jones had ‘secretly’ given birth to Ezra Koenig’s baby. (A boy, Isaiah.) While I was still recovering from that revelation, I learned that indie film darlings Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano had also welcomed a secret baby. (A girl, Alma.)

Now I know that this is all rather niche stuff and that I am probably one of about seventeen people who truly care about Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano’s baby girl. (Side-note: can you imagine how many prairie dresses this child already owns?) But it does point to a trend: namely that more and more celebrities are making a concerted effort to keep their  business out of the public eye. 

In February of this year, Kylie Jenner announced that she had given birth to daughter Stormi. For months prior, she had kept people guessing as to whether she was even pregnant, throwing fans off the scent by posting old photos of herself on Instagram. Following the birth of her daughter, she posted a statement outlining why she had chosen to eschew publicity and keep her pregnancy private.

“I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark through all the assumptions,” she wrote. “I understand you’re used to me bringing you along on all my journeys. My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world. I knew for myself I needed to prepare for this role of a lifetime in the most positive, stress free, and healthy way I knew how.”

Jenner’s decision to withhold news of her pregnancy from fans was unusual in that it seemed at odds with how she had lived the rest of her life. After all, this is a young woman who spent her formative years on reality television and was later such a powerful social media user that she managed to kill Snapchat with a single tweet. That she consciously chose to keep that sweet pregnancy content from her adoring fans was commendable, if perplexing.

But there was method in her madness. After keeping everyone on tenterhooks and allowing wild conspiracy theories to percolate for so long, her birth announcement turned out to be a genuinely surprising and satisfying ending. “So that’s why she was hiding from us!”

In an age where celebrities are more accessible than ever, there is something refreshing about stars going off the grid only to emerge months later with a newborn baby or a wedding ring. Even more impressive is when they have been tweeting or Instagramming away in plain sight without once alluding to their pregnancy or engagement. (I still have the utmost respect for Busy Philipps not spilling the beans on Michelle Williams’ marriage.) 

Plus if Rashida Jones and Ezra Koenig are out here secretly dating and procreating, then who knows what else is happening right under our noses? Maybe Jenny Slate will step out with someone from Bon Iver. Maybe Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak are happily married. Maybe Grimes will break up Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall. Who knows? The possibilities are endless. 

God, I love gossip.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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