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Of Red Carpets, Pop Culture, and Plastic

Posted By Beth Terry On March 8, 2010 @ 12:24 pm In entertainment and recreation | 21 Comments

There are environmentalists who eschew pop culture for its crassness, its commercialism, its emphasis on celebrity over authenticity. I am not one of those environmentalists. Sure, our society’s addiction to overconsumption saddens me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get excited by Lady Gaga or the Oscars red carpet gowns.

Last night was the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony. In the past, Michael and I spread out a red carpet of our own for the annual Oscar bash. Of course, our red carpet was a long red plastic tablecloth. Treacherous in the rain. And equally as treacherous for the environment afterwards. We didn’t know any better.

Beth and Michael's plastic red carpet

This year, Rachel McAdams’s dress blew me away. It’s an Elie Saab made from organza and chiffon. Real silk or synthetic? I have no idea.

Rachel McAdams's 2010 Oscar Dress [1]

But these days, plastic and even the suggestion of plastic jumps out at me at every turn. I’m saddened when I see plastic revered by some of my favorite groups and shows. Here’s a small sample:

Mary Louise Parker from the show Weeds has an iced coffee in a plastic cup with plastic straw attached to her lips in almost every episode.

Weeds Mary Louise Parker iced coffee

One of the most creative dresses on Project Runway was made from blue plastic cups. Brand new ones purchased during the “grocery store” challenge.

Project Runway blue plastic cup dress

Speaking of plastic cups, the judges on American Idol drink from red plastic Coke cups during every show. Coke, of course, is a sponsor.

American Idol red Coke cups

During their concerts, the Black-Eyed Peas dance around huge inflated plastic robot guy things (whatever they are).

Black-Eyed Peas

So I started wondering… is it pop culture? Is pop culture addicted to plastic? Or is American pop culture simply a reflection of American culture in general? I really don’t know. And am I just a Philistine for liking this stuff?  What do you think?


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[1] Image: http://justjared.buzznet.com/photo-gallery/2432797/rachel-mcadams-2010-oscars-red-carpet-05/

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