On the most recent installment of Architectural Digest’s “Open Door” series, Shonda Rhimes takes us inside of her New York apartment. We see her living room that doubles as an office, her dining room/library where a TV is mounted on a Murphy bed, her kitchen, and a guest room. Much like when watching her television shows, I enjoyed having her explain everything to me while also thinking, “Damn there’s a lot going on in here.” But there was one issue: amid all the clashing textiles and statement chandeliers, what we pointedly do not see is her bedroom.
When a celebrity would show us their bedroom on MTV Cribs, the common refrain was: This is where the magic happens. Well, the magic has died. Not enough famous people giving tours of their houses want to show us their bedrooms, and it’s a real bummer for nosy people like me.
Last month, when Gwyneth Paltrow invited the public to gawk at her enormous Montecito home, we got several stories about her time in London as an “ex-pat” but nothing about how a bedroom is a space for healing or whatever. A tour of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s all-glass, oceanside mansion included a piano performance from Keys and a plug for Bang & Olufsen televisions, but denied us what is probably the breathtaking view from their master suite. Dakota Johnson would rather tell a lie about how much she loves limes than show us where she’s counting sheep at night.
What are they hiding in there? Or is it some kind of “boundary” they’re trying to set with the public? We’re already in your literal house — just show me the bedroom. The only way I can justify these bedroom omissions is to imagine that these freaks are hiding some weird sex thing they have prominently featured in the boudoir. Perhaps a swing, or a man in a gimp suit who gets paid to stand in the corner all day. Oh, that sounds unlikely? Prove it.
When celebrities on “Open Door” do show us their bedrooms, they are mostly boring, which I think lends credence to my sex thing theory. The most interesting aspect of Kendall Jenner’s bedroom is that my colleague Darcie Wilder’s book is prominently featured on a bench.
Whatever the case may be, I need it to change. Some of my most indelible memories of watching MTV Cribs as a child were seeing that Missy Elliott had submarine doors that led to a bedroom with a racecar bed and that Shaq was so big that he needed to have a custom bed made (it was a circle, too). Now that’s what I call a revealing tidbit.
Perhaps celebrities just want to be more guarded. In an era where what counts for vulnerability is posting an Instagram story about menstrual cramps, why would they need to show us their most private space? I don’t care — I still want to see the bedrooms. And you know what, while we’re here, I want them to be cluttered. Representation matters.