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Katy Perry and Russell Brand, Heidi Klum and Seal, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher – these are just the most prominent victims of the recent wave of celebrity break-ups and divorces that have been hitting Hollywood. Leaving the judgment over our society’s (and definitely our) obsession over celebrities behind, relationships are something we are all familiar with, and seeing how the rich and famous deal with the spotlight on them, and extra scrutiny as couples can be endlessly intriguing and entertaining. This Valentine’s Day, to lift the gloom off the break-ups of so many adored (or maybe not-so-adored) couples and to restore our faith in Hollywood couples, Jessie Koh has put together a list of our favourite celebrity couples that are still going strong.
|1. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi|
|With the persistent stigma against homosexuality, there are few ‘out and open’ couples in Hollywood, with many instead forced to hide their sexual orientation in fear of alienating both current and potential fans. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi are one of the most prominent gay couples, and their married status makes them an even more rare example. Ellen and Portia began their relationship in 2004, with Portia recalling: “I ran into Ellen at a photo shoot [in 2004] and she took my breath away. That had never happened to me in my life, where I saw somebody and [experienced] all of those things you hear about in songs and read about in poetry. My knees were weak.” How sweet is that? The couple married in 2008 with the overturning of Proposition 8 (a ban on gay marriage) in California, and the media has generally covered their relationship positively. Ellen and Portia have hence been significant in giving media representation to gay couples, and although there is still a long way to go before homosexuality is no longer stigmatised (Ellen was just recently called to be fired as J.C. Penney’s spokesperson due to her sexual orientation by a conservative organization in America), their contribution is evident and it is heartening to see the support and love for them as a couple.|
|2. Victoria and David Beckham|
|Posh and Becks started dating in 1997 and married in 1999 – one of the longest lasting couples on this list – and have endured their fair share of drama. There was the backlash from the media and public due to Victoria’s key role in the emergence of the WAG (Wives and Girlfriends) phenomenon in football (that was seen as distracting to their significant others’ sporting pursuits) and David’s well-publicised alleged infidelity with Rebecca Loos in 2004. However, they have definitely come out of these issues strong, and are now very much a model couple, with four children: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper. Their longevity as a couple is all the more impressive with the amount of scrutiny they have faced over the years from the British and American media – both well-known for their relentless paparazzi and tabloids. They are certainly an iconic couple that we have grown to love.|
|3. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt|
|Probably the most prominent couple in Hollywood, both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are major A-listers and considered some of the most beautiful celebrities in the world. Although the alleged accusations of Brad Pitt cheating on Jennifer Aniston on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith do sour public perceptions of the couple, the many displays of their blissful family life, together with their charitable work, have more than endeared us to them. Since the start of their relationship in 2005, the duo has continually used their combined fame and fortune to do good – examples include their refusal to marry until equality of marriage is granted to all, the establishment of the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, and of course, their adoption of children (Maddox from Cambodia, Pax from Vietnam and Zahara from Ethiopia). Their prominence and fame have clearly been put to good use, and we think even Jennifer Aniston fans would begrudgingly agree that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are indeed an admirable couple.|
|4. Kate Middleton and Prince William|
|The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are not in the strictest sense ‘celebrity’, but their marriage was undoubtedly one of the most memorable events of last year, with heavy media coverage and the marriage ceremony viewed by tens of millions all around the world. Although royalty is much less in modern society, there is still very much an allure surrounding royal families, in addition to their status as significant representatives for their nation. Prince William’s love life has thus always been under much scrutiny by the media, and the public has been privy to the ups and downs of Kate and William’s relationship – from their beginning as a couple in 2003, their brief split in 2007 and of course, their eventual marriage in 2011. There have been inevitable comparisons of Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, and while Kate’s romance with Prince William cannot be said to be as fairytale-esque and dramatic, the steadiness of their relationship is admirable, and we just love how classy they are as a couple.|
|5. Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka|
|The fact that Neil Patrick Harris – who is most well known for playing Barney Stinson, the penultimate womanizer on How I Met Your Mother – is gay is one of the most often offered trivia when talking about the popular sitcom. Loyal fans of the show might remember Scooter, Lily’s ex-boyfriend from high school. Scooter was played by David Burtka, and his appearance on the show was also what sparked the rumours that they were a couple – that was in 2006, and now in 2012 they are happily engaged with two adorable toddlers (twins at that!) to boot. The twins (Gideon, a boy and Harper, a girl) were born in 2010 with the help of a surrogate mother using both their sperm – and till today, they are unsure of who the biological father of each twin is! Their romance is highly enviable, and here’s an aww-worthy quote from David Burtka to end this entry: “We talk on the phone at least eight times a day and text at least 25 times a day. He’s my lifeline, in an amazing way. Without him, I can’t breathe.”|
|6. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield|
|Meeting on the set of The Amazing Spider-Man, news of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone becoming a couple only emerged in October last year, but they’ve quickly drawn much adoration from fans as one of the new ‘it’ couples of Hollywood. The star of both actors has been rising in the past few years, with Emma Stone starring in the Oscar-nominated movie The Help and appearing in the well received comedies Crazy, Stupid, Love and Easy A, and Andrew impressing us in The Social Network. The highlight, however, is definitely Andrew as the title character and Emma as Gwen Stacy in the Spiderman reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, due for release in July this year. Anticipation is high for the reboot, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that this adorable couple will last!|
|7. Beyoncé and Jay-Z|
|Although Beyoncé and Jay-Z have shown a preference to remain private about their relationship, their immense success in the music industry and the ensuing power and wealth ensures that the media is relentless in prying into their affairs. The birth of their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter sent the media into frenzy last month, reaffirming the couple’s position as a power couple in Hollywood. Beyoncé cites her husband as one of her influences, calling him “a great man and a great artist”, and their collaboration on “Crazy in Love” made it one of the biggest hits in the early 2000s, demonstrating their chemistry and combined power. It is also admirable that both Beyoncé and Jay-Z have continued to further their careers independent of each other and remained influential in their own right, not letting their fame as a power couple define them. In short, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are simply too well matched for us not to see them as one of the best existing couples in Hollywood.|
|8. Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow|
|“She came home from the hospital after her father passed covered in tears. I started crying and kept asking her ‘What can I do for you? Tell me how I can help’…And she looked up at me and said ‘Just hold me..’cause you’re the only thing that can fix me right now.”
– Chris Martin on the inspiration for ‘Fix You’
Need we say more? Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow are another couple that are notoriously private, and the fact that Gwyneth was the inspiration for ‘Fix You’ is still relatively unknown. To add to that, Chris has revealed that Gwyneth is his first and only serious relationship in his life, and he also describes his marriage with the actress as ‘winning the lottery’. The little they’ve opened up to the public about their relationship is more than sufficient for us to love them, and their position on the list is more than well-deserved.
|9. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck|
|Despite recurring rumours of divorce and marriage trouble, even of Ben Affleck getting back together with Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner’s recent pregnancy has all but alleviated the public’s doubts about their marriage. Their whirlwind romance and marriage in 2005 has remained strong, and they are frequently photographed on various family activities with their children, Violet and Seraphina. They consistently display themselves to be a stable, loving family and there’s hardly enough of that in Hollywood, giving us more than enough reason to include them on this list!|
|10. Barack and Michelle Obama|
|To round up the list, we have yet another couple that can’t quite qualify as celebrity, but are too beloved to leave out as well. As the President of the United States, every aspect of Barack Obama’s life is prone to public scrutiny, and his wonderful relationship with his wife, the First Lady Michelle Obama has contributed positively to his image. Despite their many commitments and obligations, they continually organize ‘date nights’, and in his election acceptance speech in 2008, Barack Obama acknowledged, “I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady, Michelle Obama.” Together with their two children, Malia and Sasha, they are indeed the picture-perfect family, and we have no doubt that their marriage will continue to be strong and an inspiration to all of us.|