Mariah Carey appeared on HSN last night (and will throughout today) to "celebrate" the first anniversary of her HSN debut last year. It was full of yet more moments and love. Facts were learned all around (did you know that Mariah Carey didn't know that there are 26 letters in the alphabet until last night?). But also, as you can see in the video above, there was an added layer of self-consciousness, one pronounced even for a person who won't be filmed in elevators because of the ill effects of "elevator lighting." She came to the fold referencing the fact that her appearance would be edited and put on the Internet (she had previously shouted out to Gawker for Matt Cherette's edit of her July appearance). How...disappointing.
Look, far be it from me to suggest that anyone on earth should refrain from laughing at Mariah Carey, even the woman herself. But this knowingness (the presumptuousness, even!) that people will be obsessively collecting and presenting her appearance to their liking means that it at least behooves her to act goofily. The kind of eccentricity she offers works best when there is a degree of ambiguity ("Oh no she didn't!" becomes a point of rumination), and her being in on the joke turns unintentional comedy to comedy. Truthfully, she didn't feel much less herself, but her awareness of the scrutiny makes the sport of hunting and gathering a little less exciting. I like my food to be moving.
But good on her for having a sense of humor about herself. It's undoubtedly driven by narcissism (Mariah has long been obsessed with those who are obsessed with her), but she's a good sport about such things in a way that someone like Tyra Banks isn't (the only jokes at Tyra's expense can be made by Tyra, and then they aren't jokes they're auto-cunnilingus).
So Mariah is wacky, hyper-self-conscious and better than Tyra Banks. Eh, tell me something I don't know next time.