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The image I see in my head when I close my eyes

| Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Ellis Riojas | The Observer

The image in question.

GQ was the first to post the picture, but by the end of the day, April 6, it was shared on half of all Notre Dame students’ Instagrams and countless other fan accounts. “BREAKING,” stated Irish Chicks — Notre Dame’s premier social media account for breaking campus news — in an Instagram caption of the picture, “Some things are meant to be. ND loves Leo (heart emoji).” Attention all college-aged “chicks,” Leo loves you, too

After first glance, it seemed as though I’d be able to process and dismiss the picture easily. It was simple — Leonardo DiCaprio, a seasoned Hollywood actor, a Notre Dame hat, similar to many sold at the bookstore and a phone — and, more importantly, incredibly trivial. Both then and now there were much, much bigger things happening in the world that would gnaw at my attention and lead to sleepless nights. But far too often, and still to this day, at some point in the unending livestream of my consciousness, that picture of Leonardo DiCaprio wearing a Notre Dame hat makes an appearance. It’s infuriating.

Hat aside, Leo’s outfit is trash. It’s worse at the bottom and gets slightly better towards the top. In 2020, there are no excuses for wearing cargo shorts. None. See 2019’s Letter to the Editor “The cargo shorts problem” for a full explanation of why, but the short explanation is this: They’re unattractive, and nobody needs that many pockets. End of discussion.

The shirt isn’t all that bad, although from the angle, it doesn’t seem to be the most flattering. But I get it, you’re an aging celebrity who the paparazzi follow every time you go out, so there are bound to be some pictures that don’t turn out all that well. Credit where credit is due, the green of Leo’s polo shirt plays well with the navy of his cargo shorts, creating a solid color palette that works even better when the hat — and Notre Dame’s colors — are taken into consideration.

There’s not much to be said about the sunglasses. The lack of a mask is acceptable given the timing of the picture, early April, and his outdoor setting, although if you’re trying to hide from the paparazzi, the hat-sunglasses-mask combination is unbeatable. 

Alas, I cannot avoid it any longer; the Notre Dame hat, the piece meant to tie the “fit” together and the reason this picture hit so close to home, is the most frustrating part. A quick Google search reveals that Leo’s been photographed wearing a Notre Dame hat on multiple occasions, while feeding animals, boating with Blake Lively and even vaping! But it’s not just Notre Dame. DiCaprio has been spotted wearing a hat from about every popular college and university that you can think of. Unbeknownst to me, there have been think-pieces, entire investigations and even a bracket breakdown on DiCaprio’s hat collection. Unthinkable for any Notre Dame fan, DiCaprio has worn the emblem of one of our University’s greatest rivals, that school in Ann Arbor, as well as ACC enemies such as Florida State University, University of Louisville and University of Pittsburgh. The man has absolutely no loyalty.

And he also has so many hats, the reason for which eludes me and also contributes to why the image is seared in my brain. Perhaps he just can’t get his hair right or he’s too lazy to even style it some days. Maybe he loves messing with people, me specifically. Or by wearing college apparel, he’s attempting to come across as younger, clinging to the strands of youth while also trying to attract a new fresh-out-of-college girlfriend. The answer is nowhere to be found. 

The only antidote I’ve found for this seemingly incurable disease is focusing on other photos of celebrities. Give me Ana De Armas updates and pictures of her out with boyfriend and failed Batman Ben Affleck. Send me Paul Mescal, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Andrew Scott going to church together and picnicking under a nice tree. As the world around me falls apart, I cling to photos of celebrities going about their days in their structurally sound worlds, but I just can’t stand that photo of Leo.

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About Ryan Israel

Ryan is the Former Scene Editor (2020-2021). He is currently washed up. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryizzy.

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