5 things Mariah Carey needs to retire, including her engagement ring from ex James Packer

Carly Milne
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle
Mariah Carey, wearing what is thought to be her engagement ring from her ex James Packer, at a dinner honoring Karl Lagerfeld in New York on Oct. 23. (Photo: Gotham/GC Images)

Nobody stands for Mariah Carey more than we do. The singing diva is pure entertainment on every level, whether she’s belting out a hit on stage, or bemoaning how hard it is to be her during her E! reality series (or while pregnant during her Home Shopping Network appearance). But with the news that Carey is reportedly still rocking her engagement ring from ex-fiancé James Packer, we think it might be time for Carey to retire some of the behaviors that she’s become known for. We think it might be time to say goodbye to…

1. Her old engagement ring. As we all know, Carey and Packer called off their engagement last year, culminating in a whirlwind of woman-scorned reactions from Carey, including a scorching music video in which she set aflame a wedding dress, and a reported quest to secure $50 million from Packer for the trauma she endured from the split. It was reported that Carey was keeping the $10 million, 35-carat diamond engagement ring, and now we know that to be true. On Monday, Carey attended a V magazine dinner honoring Karl Lagerfeld, with her boyfriend Bryan Tanaka on her arm and that ring on her finger.

We get it — it’s a pretty bauble. And it’s worth a mint. But isn’t wearing your old engagement ring a sign that you can’t let go? And what kind of message is that sending to your current off-again, on-again beau? If trading it in for something better isn’t an option, may we suggest re-setting the piece? Unless this gambit is specifically designed to be a big eff you to her ex, as in: “Look at me wearing your $10 mil ring with my young, hot boyfriend after you said our relationship was a mistake,” in which case, well played, Ms. Carey.

2. The secrecy about her age. Carey’s age is as hotly debated as conspiracy theories surrounding what the government does or doesn’t know about aliens. The diva herself has been cagey about her age, saying she’s “eternally 12 years old,” or that she doesn’t celebrate a birthday because she was “just dropped here,” and that she plans to remain “oblivious” about her age … but why? And also, who cares?

Is Mariah Carey 47 or 48? She’ll never tell… (GIF: Getty Images/Yahoo Celebrity)

Online sleuths put her birth year at either 1969 or 1970, which means she’s either 47 or 48. With 50 becoming the new 30, what does Carey have to be ashamed of? She’s doing better than ever, still enjoying the spoils of her storied career, and reveling in the joys of family life with her twins (and never forget, the aforementioned young, hot boyfriend). By all accounts, Carey has it all — and having it all comes with age and experience. So why not embrace her age and shout it proudly from the rooftops? Ain’t no shame in getting older, and Carey seems to be proof of that.

3. Her habit of passing the buck. Look, we know it’s hard for a diva — they have a lot of responsibility to deal with, along with the pressures associated with always being fabulous. But Carey is routinely caught up in various messes surrounding her performances — some teasingly, like when she’s called out for lackluster choreography in her shows that result in her being carried around on stage for most of her performance. And then some are more disastrous that result in the shame and blame game, such as the New Year’s Eve debacle.

Of said debacle, Carey told Rolling Stone, “I used to get upset by things. This was out of my control, and had everything not been such a total chaotic mess, then I would have been able to make something happen. Even the dancers should have stopped dancing and helped me off the f**king stage. I’m sorry. It was a mess, and I blame everybody, and I blame myself for not leaving after rehearsal.” But reports claimed she skipped rehearsal, which may have led to the drama in the first place. Everyone makes mistakes — even chart-topping pop divas. Maybe Carey can start doing a little less finger-pointing, and a little more self-ownership of her own foibles, on stage or off.

4. Outfits that don’t suit their accompanying activity. Look, nobody loves Carey’s over-the-top wardrobe choices more than we do. Seeing her latest skin-tight, barely there, sometimes Photoshopped outfits on Instagram is a source of pure joy, and Carey is endlessly delightful with some of the most oddball outfits. Witness her Hello Kitty onesie for the holidays. Or any of the outfits she wears skiing. Or her penchant for wearing bodysuits held together with strategically placed laces.

But maybe Carey can start making better choices about when and where she wears those outfits. For example? High heels and fishnets are not the most appropriate or effective workout gear — even if said heels are Fenty x Puma. Speaking of heels, do they really belong in the bath? We get the need for decadence at all times, but leather and water do not mix. (But please — don’t stop wearing diamonds in the tub. That would just be reckless.) We’re not saying she shouldn’t be sexy — it’s impossible for her not to be, at this point. But maybe her outfits can be more suited to the activity (again, diamonds in the tub notwithstanding).

5. Her habit of posting old photos on social media, and not labeling them as #TB. Carey knows how to play the social media game, and she does so with flair — she’s good at generating a heap of comments with every post. But she’s bad at labeling her shared old photos with a #TB tag. Witness the brouhaha that ensued when Carey posted a pic of her looking fabulous in a gold bikini, which eagle-eyed users turned into a debate of whether or not she was claiming an old photo was new. “Guys, this pic is at least ten years old. C’mon,” commented a follower, with another jumping to Carey’s defense, saying she always labels throwbacks.

This could be another symptom of the birthday amnesia, an unwillingness to admit that time marches on, or an innocent mistake as she posts photos of days past in a flurry of social media activity. Who knows? Regardless, Carey is awesome — whether it’s 10 years ago or last week. We wish she’d embrace that a little more, too.

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