Paparazza/Gossip Columnist for a Day

Before launching into a post about celebrity-watching, I want to say that my heart goes out to those affected by the unthinkable violence in Norway yesterday, as well as the ongoing famine in East Africa.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

I’m not very interested in celebrities or celebrity gossip. I don’t read People or watch E! Entertainment Television. I don’t browse Perez Hilton. I wouldn’t recognize a Kardashian if I passed one on the street.

And yet yesterday afternoon, I found myself in a swank department store in Melrose Arch, elbowing photographers and trying to get a decent shot of actress/supermodel/tabloid darling Elizabeth Hurley (I’ve seen Austin Powers so I was able to recognize her) at an appearance for Estée Lauder. I didn’t mean to do it — I swear! It just happened.

Photographers jockey for position as Liz (that’s what gossip columnists call her, right?) signs autographs.

Customers strain for a glimpse of the celeb.

I don’t feel too trashy about becoming a paparazza for a day; the event was for a good cause. Liz represents Estée Lauder in its Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. (According to the Cancer Association of South Africa, breast cancer is the leading cancer faced by South African women.) Customers purchased Estée Lauder products and then lined up to meet Liz and have their purchases autographed. Fifty percent of the proceeds went to support breast cancer awareness and research.

Placard promoting breast cancer awareness.

Liz’s appearance was of particular interest to cricket fans. Her beau is retired Australian cricketer Shane Warne, one of the best bowlers of all time. Shane accompanied Liz on her trip to South Africa, providing good fodder for the local paparazzi.

Liz addresses the crowd — very articulately, I might add. Shane is in the background. 

Shane would be a handsome chap, if it weren’t for all the spray-tanning, hair gel, peroxide, and botox. (Sorry. I’m a gossip columnist today so I have to be snarky.)

My initial intention was to hang back and watch from afar. But I soon found myself swept into the spirit of the event. Everyone was having a good time. There was delicious free food, and no one cared when I pushed my way to the front and pretended to be a real photographer. TV crews interviewed enthusiastic fans, who showed off their newly autographed products. Even Liz looked happy and at ease, despite her uncomfortable-looking (albeit stunning) dress and impossibly high heels.

Liz poses for a photo with one of her fans.

Liz’s impossibly high-heeled shoes.

This gorgeous Amazon, clad head-to-toe in black leather, was Liz’s bodyguard. She was polite and friendly but did not take any sh*t. I steered clear of her.

You’ve gotta love a man who’s proud to show off his autographed exfoliator.

Stalking Liz and Shane provided a fun change of pace from my normal blog content. And it gave me an excuse to shop for new jeans. I might like to do more celebrity work.

Capturing the moment.

These girls were the life of the party.

Hey Perez, are you looking for a Southern Africa correspondent? I’m available.

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39 Comments

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough July 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Sounds like a fun day! And those heels are crazy-high!

    Also, my heart goes out to the folks in Norway. What an horrific event!

    Have a great weekend, Heather!

    Kathy

  • Reply Sine July 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    that’s what I love about Joburg – the kinds of things one gets drawn into doing and seeing are definitely more varied than elsewhere. We went from Alexandra to 44 Stanley today in the space of just 2 hours…

    • Reply 2summers July 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      So true. I was thinking the exact same thing as I wrote this.

  • Reply Richard July 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    OMG! Liz Hurley’s bodyguard! I’m lost for words….

    • Reply 2summers July 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      She was quite something. Totally kick-ass.

  • Reply Tenney July 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    You are now an official member of “the pack”. Welcome.

  • Reply Tenney July 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    You are now an official member of “the pack”. Welcome.

  • Reply Enivea July 24, 2011 at 1:01 am

    My vote goes to the bodyguard! 🙂
    On a more serious note, surely Estee Lauder raising funds for Breast Cancer awareness and research, is like MacDonalds raising funds for diabetes research…….

    • Reply 2summers July 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Well, I guess it’s better than not raising funds at all. Although I do see what you’re getting at.

  • Reply Enivea July 24, 2011 at 1:01 am

    My vote goes to the bodyguard! 🙂
    On a more serious note, surely Estee Lauder raising funds for Breast Cancer awareness and research, is like MacDonalds raising funds for diabetes research…….

    • Reply 2summers July 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Well, I guess it’s better than not raising funds at all. Although I do see what you’re getting at.

  • Reply lisa@notesfromafrica July 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    This must have been fun and a huge contrast to your visit to Diepsloot. You get to do some interesting things. Liz’s bodyguard is indeed impressive! Did she guard Shane Warne too – or did he have to fend for himself? 😉

    • Reply 2summers July 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks Kathy 🙂

    • Reply 2summers July 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Ha! I’m guessing the bodyguard would have stepped in if Shane fell under threat…But Liz was clearly her priority. By the way, she must have been their bodyguard for this trip only – Joe heard her speaking Afrikaans.

      • Reply 2summers July 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

        So true. I was thinking the exact same thing as I wrote this.

  • Reply lisa@notesfromafrica July 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    This must have been fun and a huge contrast to your visit to Diepsloot. You get to do some interesting things. Liz’s bodyguard is indeed impressive! Did she guard Shane Warne too – or did he have to fend for himself? 😉

    • Reply 2summers July 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Ha! I’m guessing the bodyguard would have stepped in if Shane fell under threat…But Liz was clearly her priority. By the way, she must have been their bodyguard for this trip only – Joe heard her speaking Afrikaans.

      • Reply 2summers July 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

        She was quite something. Totally kick-ass.

  • Reply laurenbarkume July 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Nice photos! They tell a story 🙂

    • Reply 2summers July 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

      Thanks! That’s a very nice compliment.

  • Reply laurenbarkume July 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Nice photos! They tell a story 🙂

    • Reply 2summers July 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

      Thanks! That’s a very nice compliment.

  • Reply jackie hulme July 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    gotta admit – she looks awesome for 46 and has that Jackie Bisset look

    • Reply 2summers July 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      You’re right – she looked gorgeous.

  • Reply jackie hulme July 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    gotta admit – she looks awesome for 46 and has that Jackie Bisset look

    • Reply 2summers July 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      You’re right – she looked gorgeous.

  • Reply Jane Dunne July 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Is that a price tag on the bottom of Liz’s shoes??? Zoom in…we all NEED to know how much they were… 🙂

    • Reply 2summers July 26, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Way ahead of you on that! We already checked. Sadly, you can’t see the price.

  • Reply Jane Dunne July 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Is that a price tag on the bottom of Liz’s shoes??? Zoom in…we all NEED to know how much they were… 🙂

    • Reply 2summers July 26, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Way ahead of you on that! We already checked. Sadly, you can’t see the price.

  • Reply amblerangel July 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Love the shots Heather! I just got a new camera and I*m now trying to figure it out. My favorite was the bodyguard- interesting to have a female bodyguard.

  • Reply amblerangel July 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Love the shots Heather! I just got a new camera and I*m now trying to figure it out. My favorite was the bodyguard- interesting to have a female bodyguard.

  • Reply clouded marbles August 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Must say I like your brand of gossipping, Heather! 🙂

    I’m not into gossip or celeb watching either, but this was a fun read. I have to ask though – did you get the “scoop” on those shoes? Somehow I just can’t imagine a man being interested in taking a photo of that. 😉

    • Reply 2summers August 11, 2011 at 9:02 am

      No, I didn’t get any details on the shoes, I just noticed they were very tall! I’m not sure what made me squat down and take that pic. Female instinct, I guess. Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • Reply clouded marbles August 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Must say I like your brand of gossipping, Heather! 🙂

    I’m not into gossip or celeb watching either, but this was a fun read. I have to ask though – did you get the “scoop” on those shoes? Somehow I just can’t imagine a man being interested in taking a photo of that. 😉

    • Reply 2summers August 11, 2011 at 9:02 am

      No, I didn’t get any details on the shoes, I just noticed they were very tall! I’m not sure what made me squat down and take that pic. Female instinct, I guess. Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

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