Amy Schumer is, once again, everywhere.
The multi-hyphenate entertainer has her first book out, an episodic memoir called The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo and a summer stand-up tour kicking off Aug. 26. So, par for the course, she’s making the promotional rounds, hitting the likes of Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and The Howard Stern Show, to name several stops that couldn’t be more tonally different, in rapid succession.
With Inside Amy Schumer having not that long ago concluded its fourth (and perhaps final) season on Comedy Central, and Schumer sharing snippets on social media of her summer spent in Hawaii shooting an as-yet untitled action comedy with Goldie Hawn playing her mother, it’s not as if she disappeared-disappeared.
So why does it feel like she was gone for awhile?
And we’re guessing she may have intended as much, being savvy enough to know that over-saturation is not a star’s best friend.
The flip side is that, when a celebrity does make what, in this day and age, has to be a conscientious decision to go away for awhile, it’s a popular pastime for everyone else to take it exactly the wrong way.
Instead of making the easily assumed assumption that someone’s busy working, or doubling down on privacy or merely cutting down on Instagram posts, more troublesome scenarios are dreamed up to explain away the change in routine.
The most dreamed-up scenario of all has to be relationship problems. Almost always. If a celebrity and his or her significant other haven’t been spotted—in life or on Instagram—lately, then they must have split up. Or are headed for a split. Never mind that most stars’ lives take them all over the world, pretty much ensuring that they’ll spend considerable amounts of time apart from their boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, et al.
Perhaps Schumer, who’s been dating Ben Hanisch for more than nine months now, wasn’t entirely aware at first that would be the case. (Not that she didn’t guess, but you don’t know until you’re in it.) As all over the social media hot topics as she is, tripping up body-shamers and otherwise fighting the good fight for sanity, the head-over-heels actress and comedian may not have anticipated that so many random people would be so interested in the status of her relationship.
That may be because every pic of the couple to date has fetched so many comments from fans about how happy they are that Amy has found love, what an adorable couple they make and how in love they look. No pressure, you two. You just have the hopes of a nation riding on your ability to see this through.
But before anyone had a chance to float a split rumor, up popped the pics of Hanisch and Schumer at a wedding, one per Instagram account. And then, maybe just to hammer the point home before she hit the road, came the pic of them in bed.
At least social media has made it easier for celebs to set the record straight with the flick of a thumb. No more needless trips to a hot-spot restaurant, no more formal statements. Instead, it’s “hey, while we’re lying here, I may as well bring everyone up to speed on what’s what….”
It’s can’t be easy keeping your fans happy and everyone else off your back.
But with her first miniature hiatus from being ubiquitous now behind her, it will be interesting to see how Schumer juggles all of the other departments of her life once she’s everywhere again. (Not that she owes anyone a juggling act, but she’s an A-list celebrity who’s in a relationship and is simultaneously an icon of female success and empowerment. There will be juggling.)
Ironically, her first handful of appearances re-proved that celebs can keep things private—or at least dictate the narrative—should they so desire.
As she told Stephen Colbert last night, apparently Schumer got so sick with bronchitis in Hawaii that she ended up in the hospital, having fractured a rib while coughing. And she did share a pic of herself in the hospital, with an IV in her arm but wearing normal clothes, about six weeks ago, though she joked, “So excited for my calve implants #prettyhurts #worthit #balmain.”
The pic with sister Kim Caramele was reminiscent of the image that goes with the It’s So Easy production credit at the end of episodes of Inside Amy Schumer, the siblings and best friends looking exhausted and just not having it.
Not much was made of it at the time because Schumer laughed it off, even following up with a picture of not-her-calves, captioned, “I love them!” So she committed to that bit.
Point being, celebrities can get caught up in an unwanted paparazzi scrum or a tabloid firestorm through zero fault of their own, without inviting any part of that into their lives by doing anything other than being famous. It happens constantly. It’s happening right now.
But as we’ve also seen time and again, it’s possible for them to help prolong the silence as well. Celebs have managed to do things in peace, be it file for divorce, seek medical treatment or, on a less dire note, date.
We’ve seen that very little of a celeb’s disappearing and reappearing act isn’t strategic, even when it’s for the greater personal good and not just good for business. It’s not a coincidence that Taylor Swift is practically in hiding while Tom Hiddlestonmakes the rounds as Emmy voting gets underway. Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx have managed to be on camera at the same time in the same place, in the same frame, exactly three times ever (and that includes a pic from when Holmes was married)—and that’s how they want it. No one has ever seen the face of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds‘ daughter, James. We’re assuming they have.
But there you go. Utmost privacy is possible and, while celebs as much as anybody have every right to it whenever they want it, they do know how to tip the odds in their private favor. And they also know what they’re doing when life gets a little more public.
Amy Schumer is at an unfamiliar stage of her celebrity life: She’s navigating the landscape as a huge star—one whose public persona has historically ensured that her conversations on stage and off veer toward the graphically revealing—and as one-half of a serious couple for the first time. May the constant scrutiny—the great equalizer that turns everyone in Hollywood into a variation of the same person—ultimately leave her unfazed and unscathed. And the same goes for her boyfriend.
Besides, at least half of all the impertinent curiosity in this case is just because people care.