Priscilla Chan Is A Doctor, Not The ‘Princess Of Silicon Valley’

Taken from here.


Priscilla Chan has been on our mind ever since photos surfaced of a simple ivory gown, covered with lace, designed by Claire Pettibone.  Next to her stood a freckled, green eyed man, the enigmatic founder of Facebook, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.  While Chan speaks three languages and recently graduated from the UCSF (one of the top five medical schools in the nation), Buzzfeed’s Shift recently called her “The Kate Middleton of Silicon Valley” for marrying one of the most intriguing public figures of our time.  And for doing it in lace. Why can’t we let Priscilla Chan do her job instead of turning her into a celebrity?

Chan is no billionaire’s arm candy.  She’s accomplished in her own right.  She speaks English, Spanish, and Cantonese (according to her Facebook page), recently graduated from one of the top five medical schools in the country, and will soon begin work as a pediatrician.  And yet America seems to focus only on the elements of her celebrity that also apply to Kim Kardashian, like the price of her engagement ring.  Kim’s ring, by the way, cost a whopping $2 million, and this is something we gossiped about for months, despite the fact that her marriage lasted 72 days.

The press has been fixated on the young couple—from their wedding to their Italian honeymoon—posting updates like how Zuckerberg finally wore a suit, to how he didn’t tip at a restaurant in Rome or—sharp intake of break—how the pair had lunch at McDonalds.  It’s unclear why this information is considered newsworthy.  This does not make an interesting celebrity couple.  Chan’s not sun bathing topless and Zuckerberg’s not picking fights with Italians.

I would ask America to, “leave them alone, please,” but I understand that’s something we’re incapable of doing.  No matter how ordinary her life is, Priscilla Chan remains bride to the world’s youngest billionaire.  Zuckerberg was even named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2010.  He’s a billionaire we feel personally attached to, at least a little bit.  We have a Facebook account, we post multiple status updates a day, and we saw the movie.  We’re curious.

But the nitpicking didn’t just start with the honeymoon.  Obviously the wedding was fodder for ample discussion.  Chan and Zuckerberg may have known each other since 2004, but her custom designed engagement ring is rumored to have cost only $25,000. How could Zuckerberg be so cheap?  This is something we need to know.

The wedding itself was a shock.  Guests thought they were attending a graduation party in the backyard of the couple’s $7 million dollar home, but surprise!  It turned out to be none other than Chan and Zuckerberg’s “special day.”  Maybe the couple was trying to create a relaxed and intimate setting for their impromptu ceremony, but we were not pleased with being the last to know.  The wedding menu included sushi and $7.50 burritos, something else we’ve found unacceptable.

It’s obscene that we’re critiquing Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg for not being over-the-top-enough, especially given the state of the American economy.  Most of us can’t afford Chan’s ring or wedding, but judging it is something we can do for free.

It’s possible Chan would have more favorable press if she did, in fact, speak to the press.  She’s known to be private and frequently declines interviews.  She refuses to play the celebrity game, and it’s made outlets like TMZ all the more vindictive.  They recently ran a headline, Priscilla Chan’s Dress Store:  NO ONE Is Buying that Wedding Gown

She met Zuckerberg at Harvard in 2004, before Facebook dominated everyone’s free time (and Zuckerberg’s bank account), yet people joke about how she married for money, that she changed her Facebook status to “jackpot.”  This is noteworthy given the rumors that their wedding intentionally fell after the Facebook IPO, so that their joint marital assets wouldn’t include his new fortune.  Of course the couple claims the event was planned months in advance, timed to occur after Chan’s graduation
Favorable press has described Chan as “A New Brand of Billionaire Bride,” while her more formidable descriptions include “Little Chubby Girl from Nanjing.”  You could be glib about this entirely.  Say something about how this is all just part of the package, part of living a public life.  But I think we should give Priscilla Chan a break.  She doesn’t want to be famous; she wants to be a doctor.

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