Chrissy Teigen Made Banana Bread — Review

I think we’re all pretty fond of Chrissy Teigen. Do I know what she’s famous for? No. She just started appearing on Buzzfeed in round-ups of funny celebrity Instagrams. She’s married to John Legend. She’s a model, I think. But really we like her because she’s funny and nice and fun.

In school, funny people were mean.

Sure, he’s witty, but he’s armed

It wasn’t until university that I met a critical number of people who were as kind as they were funny. Let me tell you, nice funny people are 100% an upgrade on mean funny people, because mean funny people aren’t fun. If you haven’t met a nice funny person, allow me to introduce you to Chrissy Teigen’s public persona.

She’s pinpointed exactly the right comparison, showing both self-awareness and an intimate understanding of magazine tropes. Fun!

Chrissy Teigen’s public persona consists largely of making snide jokes about John Legend. The reason she still qualifies as a nice funny person is that a) the jokes are usually backhandedly-supportive of him and b) she’s never mean to anyone else (except for Piers Morgan and Trump. But that’s different)

A lot of the time when she is snide about John Legend, she is actually just using humour as a tool to offset bragging. Thus she manages to be sweet without being saccharine.
Because she is sweet about him enough of the time, things like this feel safe from any malice.

N.B. How celebrities choose to present themselves in public reveals something, if not everything, about how they are in private. To be able to make strangers on the internet believe they know you and like you is truly a gift of self-representation. And don’t go all “what has the world come to/in my day/ famous for being famous” because Chrissy Teigen is exercising exactly the same kind of skill as successful Renaissance courtiers and poets who would fashion their public image with wit, self-deprecation, and boasts.

“Just chilling with some of our accomplishments and a hyper-awareness of our own mortality” (Photo: The Ambassadors, 1533, Hans Holbein)

So, now that you have an idea about how Chrissy Teigen presents herself in public, we can move on to this article about her making banana bread. Buzzfeed’s Ryan Schocket conveniently narrates the story for clarity, but essentially: Chrissy Teigen wanted to make banana bread, but didn’t have any brown bananas. You can’t just buy brown bananas at a supermarket, so she tweeted her (7.5 million) followers asking for brown bananas in the LA area in exchange for “a signed cookbook, John’s underwear and a Becca palette.” (Comedy props for burying the weird thing in a list, rather than having it be the third thing listed, which would be more obvious but less funny. This violates the hallowed rule of Threes which states that the funny thing should always be the last of a three, but it works because it makes you think “Wait. What?” This is finely crafted, subtle work.) It all works out, her assistant picks up the bananas, and John officially endorses giving away his underwear in exchange for some fruit.

Crowd-sourcing on the internet always pleases me. It makes me feel as if the internet is drawing us together; making us into more of a community. I love it when people post things on Facebook like “Who do I know who’s an expert on the English Civil War?” or “Does anyone have a trampoline I could borrow for the weekend?”

By asking an abstract thing (Twitter, the internet) for a concrete thing (brown bananas), Chrissy makes the world seem smaller. Neighbours borrow cups of sugar, and Chrissy borrows old bananas, converting Twitter into a physical community. A lot of the time it can feel like celebrities are a different species, living on some distant Mount Olympus. Moments like this remind us that they occupy the same space as us. They give us a peek into what we might be like if we were famous.

It is much pleasanter to feel fond of someone than it is to resent them. So I like this story, because it makes me feel like Chrissy Teigen is a girl I wasn’t close with in high school but who I like from afar on Facebook.

Don’t underestimate how hard it is to come up with exactly the right sounds to make fun of.

Stories like this remind me that there are many people on Earth I’d probably get along with. And isn’t that a nice thought?