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Why stars regret coming here

Elle MacPherson at Wellco Lunch
Elle MacPherson at Wellco Lunch

OVER the course of one week, Australia has taken it upon itself to knock Elle Macpherson down a notch and make her regret returning home.

It has been decades since Elle has lived in Australia. Right now, she spends her time in Miami inventing weird green smoothie powder and selling it in fancy jars. I'm totally not detracting from her success with that description. I'd consume anything Elle sold in a fancy jar in the hope it made me look like her and somehow allowed me to pull off a cowboy hat on the beach.

We love Elle. We're extremely happy for her success. But for some reason, we couldn't help but slap her down when she came home for the Melbourne Cup this week.

It's like when you move away for uni and then you come home for Christmas and your grandma takes it upon herself to relentlessly criticise everything about you - from your outfits to your new fringe.

Australians are a pack of judgy grandmas. And Elle absolutely regrets coming home to visit us. She was in the country for about a week and we all ensured the experience was as unpleasant as possible for her.

From the moment she touched down in Melbourne, we were waiting at the baggage carousel to criticise the way she moved her hips when she walked through the arrivals lounge.

Then we noticed she was wearing an all-white ensemble and we labelled it an absurd outfit to wear on a long haul flight. I can't wear an all-white outfit on land without spilling on it let alone in the air for 26 hours. And when Elle casually revealed that she doesn't eat on flights, we got all up in arms because what kind of nutjob catches a flight without eating one of those tiny cans of Pringles?

Elle's dressing down didn't stop all week.

At Derby Day, she rocked up to the exclusive Birdcage wearing a very expensive white dress. As we drunkenly rolled around on the grass in the general public area wearing Portmans and Tarocash outfits, we yelled out that her dress looked like the sartorial version of a mullet.

The trolling continued days later when she flew into Sydney and made her driver stop by a florist in Sans Souci to pick up a bunch of flowers. As she was walking back to the car, she somehow tripped and stacked it in the gutter. To be honest, even she has to think this was hilarious because walking is literally her job.

The incident was a total nightmare and she has probably been replaying the moment in her head over and over. Anyone would be humiliated. It was quite the tumble. Still, we offered no sympathy. Instead of wondering if she was OK, we all laughed at her even though slumped-in-a-gutter-outside-a-florist-in-Sans-Souci Elle Macpherson is still more glamorous than any of us.

I’d kill to be Elle Macpherson. Even slumped-in-a-gutter-outside-a-florist-in-Sans-Souci Elle Macpherson.
I’d kill to be Elle Macpherson. Even slumped-in-a-gutter-outside-a-florist-in-Sans-Souci Elle Macpherson.

Australians don't let you forget your mistakes. And just when Elle thought she was back on top, she got torn down again. Arriving at Bondi Icebergs on Thursday for a product launch, she looked glamorous and made it through the whole event unscathed. Almost.

As she was leaving the event, she approached her waiting car and hoards of fans watched on. Flashbacks from the Sans Souci gutter stack flooded her mind as she opened the door and negotiated the kerb. "Relax, everyone's forgotten about it," she whispered to herself.

But we certainly had not. "No falling today!" some random yelled at her, almost causing her to collapse in the gutter again.

The lady can't catch a break and she's not the only one. It's a certain kind of celebrity who we do this to. Kylie Minogue dodges this treatment because she lets us replay footage of her looking like a bogan on Neighbours and she just laughs along. Same with Nicole Kidman when we bring up how bad her hair was in the '80s. Kylie and Nicole let us do this and we think they're wonderful for it.

It's the kind of celebrities who try to distance themselves slightly from their past who we take aim at.

For a long time Melissa George disliked coming home because she hated that we kept asking her about Home And Away and making fun of that time she said she'd rather be sharing an espresso with her french bulldog. I'm paraphrasing the quote but that's basically it.

For years, Tina Arena was running around Paris in a beret and avoiding coming home. But there's only so many times you can do a duet with Andrea Bocelli and now she pretends like she's perfectly happy being back home, playing Madonna in Evita: The Musical.

So Elle's in good company. And we ensured she was tortured right until her final hours in the country. On her last day in Sydney on Friday, we all ran down to Bondi as she was trying to go for a relaxing bike ride and we proceeded to berate her for not wearing a helmet. "That's a $330 fine!" we yelled at her down Campbell Parade.

For what purpose? We don't even know anymore. But that doesn't matter. Your grandma doesn't need a reason to criticise your fringe.

Regular grandmas probably also wouldn’t like this dress.
Regular grandmas probably also wouldn’t like this dress.

#UNHAPPY, #NOTBLESSED

Hashtags are useful things. Stitch a lot of them together and they almost hide the truth.

Like Vogue magazine and pay TV shows about expensive houses, hashtags are aspirational - a way of feeling like we have the life we want.

This week, someone noticed a bunch of bozos from The Bachelorette tagging their photos with hashtags like #MaleModel instead of the more accurate hashtag #ApprenticeElectrician.

At the Melbourne Cup, the most used hashtags included elegant keywords like #dapper and #sartorial and #champagne even though most people were slumped in puddles drinking watered-down vodka out of plastic tumblers. But it wouldn't have matched the glamour of the day to go with more realistic hashtags like #WheresMyShoe, #JustPeedInABin and #StoleSomeonesPicnicBlanketAndWoreItAsACape.

#Dapper.
#Dapper.

Instagram hashtags have to strike a weird balance between superficial and holistic - like #Happy and #Blessed.

These hashtags are the biggest lie. No one's happy and no one feels blessed. Most of the time we feel #bitter and #ScrewedOver.

If people wanted to be more authentic on Instagram, #jealous would be the most used hashtag.

Jealousy is the most real, common emotion but for some reason we all feel so ashamed to admit we're jealous.

Being jealous is the biggest compliment you can give someone. I'm #jealous of other people's lives and houses. I'm #jealous of their boyfriends and jobs and perfect hair.

I'm #jealous of Elle Macpherson and her skin and cowboy hats and ability to not feel hungry on a 26 hour flight.

I'm #jealous of everything about her. I'm even #jealous of the gutter she stacked it in.

Twitter and Facebook: @hellojamesweir

Topics:  celebrities editors picks elle mcpherson james weird