Celebrity is a word that conjures up many things for people. The list is not limited to those mentioned above but also includes the likes of politicians, athletes and singers, actors, models and numerous other personalities who occupy the limelight on a day to day basis. However, celebrity is not confined to the realms of film and television. For instance, there are people like rock musicians who have managed to create a craze out of themselves and become the faces of a sub-culture, if not an industry. They are celebrities in their own right.
The word celebrity is more often than not used pejoratively, indicating something pretentious or elitist, but this etymology seems to hold good with some of its meanings and applications, especially when it comes to l. celebritas. Celebrities are also sometimes termed as l. exultatores, which according to sources, means “a lover of celebrity”. Celebrity is a status of wide public recognition and a certain amount of popularity that a person or group holds, thanks to the constant attention given to them by various media. It usually refers to those people who occupy the highest levels of public visibility. In the past, just being famous was enough for a person to be a celebrity but since the turn of the millennium, the mediums for self-expression have grown more flexible and celebrity has become one of the most widely recognised forms of expression.
Just what is it about celebrities that allow them to enjoy such an exalted place in our culture? Well, for starters, fame is the driving force behind almost any celebrity, and this applies to all genres of entertainment. From there, to music to film, from publishing to advertising, from politics to sports, from literature to fine arts, from dance to motor racing, fame is ubiquitous. The media magnifies even the littlest of celebrities, turning them into sensations that are par excellence. Thus, fame in itself is a very powerful and intoxicating thing. This explains why celebrity families always surround their stars and lavish them with all the trappings of celebrity status.
For example, there is the Louis Vuitton Celine Dion tour, which sees famous personages flying into a private jet, taking from one airport to another around the world and into various countries. The tour is accompanied by a huge publicity campaign, complete with photogenic pictures taken by professional photographers and widely distributed via the internet. Such is the power of global recognition that it has become possible for a single famous personage to command the entire world’s attention.
So why does fame have such a hold over the present day? For starters, we are social animals. The need to belong is central to all our psychology. In fact, the need to belong is what makes the modern human being want to imitate and follow the stars, even when it may not be their cup of tea. This need to belong is what fuels the phenomenon of celebrity worship.
Finally, fame today is very easy to acquire. There is no physical barrier to becoming a celebrity. All that is needed is a very good personal image, a sizeable bankroll and enough charm to attract people and win their awe. So the only thing stopping a famous person from achieving a celebrity status is his or her own will. Only then will he or she get the kind of recognition that will make them famous.