An Open Letter to People or Machines or Software Who Now Know I Looked at Pictures of Mila Kunis

Dear data collectors and metadata scrapers and other invisible peepers,

You can know that I spent less than an hour, but more than half an hour searching for pictures of Mila Kunis and looking at a tumblr page that she’s the star of.
You’ll know this.
But you won’t know whether or not I have a crush on her or just think shes hot.
Or if I think she’s funny, if I like her movies, like her acting, or just have a passing
curiosity at somebody who looks exotic yet friendly and down to earth.
You won’t know what drives me and millions of other men (and women) to feel this way.
You won’t know that I’m secretly wishing to bump into her later in life.
Maybe she’ll stumble upon one of my writings and become a fan.
And maybe I’ll never know if she does or doesn’t; the odds are against me.
What I didn’t know was that she’s dating Ashton Kutcher who
played her fake-life dumb boyfriend but looks like her real-life business-savvy boyfriend.
What you don’t know is the jealousy and envy I felt at finding this out, even though I fully understand that my thoughts of bumping into her are all mere fantasy anyway.

You won’t know how I thought about the importance and significance
celebrities have on culture, how I typically avoid trying to learn about them
or care about their lives, but invariably fail from time to time.
You won’t know that I came to the hopefully mature conclusion that
celebrities are people too.

People who, like all of us, come with some assembly required and batteries not included, who carried locked boxes full of talent and/or hard work and then luck handed
them the key they needed to open the box for the world to see. Others are just recognizable attention-whores with an established name, be it theirs or family.
Once their boxes are open to the world, they find themselves constantly at the end of another box meant to be pointed at people to capture a flat, 2-dimensional box of what he or she looked like in a particular moment.
These boxes can be found and looked at by people like me by typing in their names in text-accepting boxes on the internet.
There are entire businesses and professions devoted to collecting and sharing these flatbox captures of celebrities.

You and you and you can all know who I searched and what I clicked. But you won’t know if I skimmed or perused. Or if it was even me searching at all.

You won’t know that I’m parasocially attracted to Mila Kunis in such a way
that if I were to meet a girl who looked like her or reminded me of her
I would struggle to hold myself back from falling instantly in love. No matter how or who the girl was, the mere resemblance would be enough for me to be pulled to her like a screw to a room-sized magnet. I would assume any thoughts,
actions, and behaviors would be how Mila might be like in real life.
It would be the “perfect” girl based on my fantastical ideas.

You won’t know that I felt bad about imagining the destruction of a girl’s potentially fragile sense of identity
and security all because there’s a something-I-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on quality
about this particular celebrity who tops my list of celebrities who I dig from to top to bottom.

You don’t know about my anxiety of thinking I’m some sort of creepy celebrity stalker,
like the subject of a tragic song or movie written by celebrities who are rightfully scared of attention from people they’ll never see or meet or even consider exist. I worry despite the fact that this is not the stuff I think about most often. This is rare.
You won’t know my hesitation at searching her name in the first place.
Or my hesitations at writing and deciding to share this letter.

I don’t know if she’ll ever know I exist, but you know that I know she does.
And that’s all you’ll know.

Tyler Ray



  1. Reblogged this on Louder Words and commented:

    Mila Kunis is in the news and off the market, so now’s a good time to rehash this open letter I wrote during the summer.

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