When I was a child, I wanted to be famous and popular. I was never quite sure of what I’d be known for. But I wanted to be well-known and much loved and highly respected by many people. Although that desire is not something I now pay attention to, I do not trust that it no longer exists somewhere deep in my heart. More importantly though, I am now conscious of the costs of achieving such a desire, and the price that follows it, including loss of privacy, heightened expectations, and the pressure to always look the part.
In our world today, there are many more avenues to become a celebrity than there were just a few years ago. The rise of technology and social media has created a whole new range of ways to become famous, even from the comfort of your room. But fame may come at the cost of authenticity. There are some authentic celebrities, with whom what you see is what you get, but there are also many whose public image is fabricated and carefully propped up to attract and sustain public interest, usually for eventual monetary gain.
What never ceases to amaze me, however, are the higher standards we tend to automatically assign to famous or popular people, just because they are well-know or well-loved. Perhaps, we project our personal standards onto them, the same standards we easily excuse ourselves from meeting up with. People may be successful and exceptional at what they do, but this does not make them a standard for anyone else. They are still as human as anyone else, no matter what even they try to make us believe.
The other thing I find very interesting with so-called celebrities (and there are a whole gamut of them these days), is the way ordinary information about them are peddled like items of precious value. “X was at the beach today in such outfit.” Okay…and why is that on the news? It is almost as though there is a media conspiracy to besiege the average person with information enough to drown out important items. It is also no news that some celebrities pay for this kind of publicity or even stage some events to generate news so they can remain continuously in the public eye.
I surely don’t have anything against celebrities or being a celebrity, especially knowing that some people are unwillingly thrust into popularity or fame, just because of their profession, or excellence in their career. I also recognize that for some others, popularity or fame is only a means to power, influence and wealth. But for the rest of us non-celebrities, we do well to think of them as mere humans like us, no matter the height of their power, wealth, or fame. Every now and then, we all need some breathing room.
That would be it for today (Day 10)… I will continue this journey tomorrow by God’s grace!