I know that creating sensational stories and scandals will definitely boost my mag's circulation. We're doing very well, sure, but stories like "Stars and Their Cellulite Revealed!" will get people's attention and their money. But I have directed my staff that we will never print anything ugly. For some celebrity watchers, this means we're not showing the whole truth. But do we really need to see these people naked in every possible way? Well, if you do, there are a lot of magazines out there that will satisfy your curiosity.
Every day, we get photos of the stars and a lot of them are not flattering. Some of them are alarming. I've seen some stars naked or canoodling with someone they shouldn't be canoodling with. These never see print. Do we Photoshop? Yes. A stray hair, a powdery armpit, a sanitary napkin that got displaced, a pimple, a visible panty line. My policy with Photoshop is if it's not a permanent feature, then we can gently remove it. But if she's really fat, wrinkly, veiny, then we choose the photos that show a star's best angle.
Sometimes we really do need to report on something ugly (panty-less outings anyone?) but we carefully choose photos and we carefully choose words that will still treat the star gently. If we must raise an eyebrow or tease, we draw attention to the star's choice. For example, "The red dress is not flattering on her" is loads different from "Her fashion sense is clearly terrible."
Why do I do this? In Spanish/Tagalog, it's called delicadeza. Conchita Razon defines it as thus:
DELICADEZA is a Spanish word. It derives its almost intangible quality from the word, "delicado," which means delicate, fragile, easily broken, irreplaceable, precious.
Delicadeza was once enshrined in Philippine culture. Like a precious diamond, the word has many facets. When it applies to how we handle objects, it denotes “care.” The Spanish synonyms are "cuidado" or "miramiento."
"Miramiento" is closest in essence. It implies consideration, a deliberate effort to forego one’s pleasure to avoid someone else’s pain. It can also mean circumspection, a quality totally alien in today’s society.
When dealing with people, delicadeza is kindness or attentiveness. It suggests gentleness – the exquisite qualities of sensitivity, tactfulness and refinement. All these virtues are born from a sense of propriety and decency.
At the very foundation is character: doing the right thing when no one is looking.
A deliberate effort to forego one’s pleasure to avoid someone else’s pain. When I look at an incriminating photo, the question is "Do we print this, destroy this star and sell copies or do we protect our investment?"
Investment. As you all know, I earn my living from these stars and their work. Yes, I also make money from their lives. Some people think my job is despicable. They're certainly entitled to their opinion. My opinion, however, is to treat the stars with respect. As public figures, they've allowed us to pry and, yes, we do see some things that are not for public consumption. When this happens, we respectfully withdraw. For allowing us access, our response should be respect.
In today's society where ravenous curiosity cannot be sated thus the popularity of venomous celebrity blogs, reality shows and tabloids, it seems the response should be to satisfy the demand. My response is, OK!'s response is: Dear celebrities, thank you for letting us in your lives. For that, we repay you with the respect that you deserve.