My absolute favorite thing about Celeb Staff magazine is that it exists. My second favorite? That it's not a joke.
If you are unfamiliar with the title -- which I imagine most of us are -- this is an actual bi-monthly magazine addressing the domestic staffing issues of celebrities and the filthy rich. In theory, this is where Shaq goes to decide whether it's time that his staff start wearing uniforms. This is how new mom Christina Aguilera can learn about the advantages of "mannies" versus nannies. This is, and I am not even kidding here, where serial cell-phone-chucker Naomi Campbell can learn how not to end up dead at the hands of a disgruntled personal assistant, a la "realtor to the stars" Linda Stein. Can someone tell me why we're not all subscribing to this absurd little gem?
My only minor quibble with Celeb Staff is that it is absolutely terrible. The writing? Atrocious. The design? A monument to poorly chosen stock photography. (A shiny nickel to the first person who can explain to me why a feature on bad clients is illustrated with a photo of one man trying to help another man out of a giant bottle). The feel? Well, actually the paper stock is rather nice -- thick, glossy and expensive, like a magazine intended for the super-rich should be. But these are all details, and discussing them merely distracts from the main point: That we apparently now live in a country wealthy and ridiculous enough to support a magazine like Celeb Staff. This is totally why Lee Greenwood wrote that song.
I do, however, have questions. The first of which is this: Does the mag really target celebrity readers? In many ways, the answer would seem to be yes. Many of the articles address them directly -- "If errands, shopping, and chauffering are a regular part of your employees' job, you need to provide a vehicle" -- as do "official" things like the Editor's Note. And kudos to the ad sales staff for maintaining that illusion with the advertisers. Sotheby's International Realty, Trump Park Avenue, Versace, Mont Blanc and The Corcoran Group are just a few of the luxury brands hawking their wares within, supposedly to people with Bentleys full of moola to burn.
But drill down a little deeper, and one suspects that this magazine may not be for the "celeb" so much as the "staff." The majority of the articles, such as the aforementioned "The Difficult Client" and an offering of top-notch dinner ideas by hulking Food Network star Robert Irvine, are clearly aimed at the staff themselves, and occasionally the staffing agencies that place them. And most of the articles are written by staffing agency people themselves. And did I mention how absolutely horrible the writing is?
But for me, the real evidence that celebrities are not reading Celeb Staff comes on page 96. Here we are treated to a photo spread from the magazine's second anniversary party at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. The fact is, actual celebrities are hard to come by. "Hey, is that Julie Newmar, TV's original Catwoman? And look -- 'Valerie' from 'Knot's Landing'!" You'd have better luck finding a Mexican at Lou Dobbs' Christmas party.
But hey, why ruin a perfectly good illusion when the fantasy is so much more fun than the truth? And regardless of Celeb Staff's actual readership, its insider perspective on staffing issues affecting the sloppy rich does ring true. So my final analysis is this: Americans spends millions every year reading magazines like People, In Touch and Star trying to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the celebrity lifestyle. But the fact is, they're not "just like us!" They have people who cook their food, chauffeur their dry cleaning, play with their children and deflect cell phones with their heads. Want to know what that world is really like? Read Celeb Staff.
Published by: Golden Eagle Publishing House