We love a love triangle, especially when one-third of it is a piece of cardboard. This week, not only did actor Ana de Armas reportedly split from her Deep Water co-star, Ben Affleck, but Affleck split from a cardboard cutout of de Armas in beautifully salty fashion:
Once upon a Spring 2020, the corrugated De Armas sat happily upon the lawn of her Los Angeles home, trolling the paparazzi in peace. Which begs the deeper question: Are cutouts a rich-people-love thing? Party City-core? How did we get here, and should we stay here?
Affleck and De Armas’ romance began about a year ago, and peaked mid-quarantine. It was an oddly comforting tabloid distraction during a trash-can-fire year. How poetically apropos that it should end in Ben’s own bin once news broke that De Armas reportedly ended the relationship?
As lovers of love, we find it to be something of a bummer. But as lovers of the many meme’d images of Affleck, we say: Welcome, De Armas.
Over the years, Affleck’s shmoods have matured into an impressive spectrum of I-am-not-OK. There’s depresso espresso Affleck, losing his Dunkin Donuts haul. There’s Affleck “smoking through the pain of existence.” There’s the back tattoo so bonkers, it inspired the New Yorker article, “The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck.” So, yeah. It was nice to see him win one.
But was also nice to see him go full drama mama with the cutout (though we still don’t know who threw it away)—gratifying, as it would be for anyone who’s ever wanted to symbolically toss their failed relationship in a bin. And it was also inspiring, for those of us who are now wondering what’s up with cutout culture. At the moment, some of the highest related searches on Google are “cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson” and “cardboard cutout of the pope,” which proves that, yes, in addition to Catholics and Twihards, cutouts are thriving-ish. According to The Los Angeles Times, Affleck’s cutout was initially a gag gift from his kids to De Armas. And for the cost of a boozy lobster dinner, you too can order a life-size, customizable cutout of your soon-to-be-ex from “Cardboard Cutout Standees” for $54.99.
Etsy’s “Build a Head Shop” also offers different customizable cutouts at a variety of price ranges, from “standups” to keychains; custom holiday wallpaper to big head cutouts:
Then there are websites like “Celebrity Cutouts,” from whence you can order Willie Nelsons of many sizes (ranging from $19-$69) for the foot of your bed:
Or zaddy Fauci on Amazon for $54:
And so on. The possibilities are seemingly endless, which is a nice feeling during a health crisis that has, at least physically, separated so many folks from their support networks. In that light, perhaps a salve for that separation is as deliciously dumb as priority shipping your face to mother.
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