Celebrity and Fame – Some Thoughts on Their True Meaning
Celebrity is a subjective state of wide public recognition and popularity of an individual or organization due to the heightened interest given to them by the mass media. This heightened interest in celebrities is not without cause. The media regularly portrays celebrities as lovable, admirable and endearing heroines whose lives are the stuff of legends. In the midst of our highly competitive and media-saturated modern lifestyles, we have come to identify celebrities not only as celebrities but as role models for our youth, with whom we emulate and identify.
For some people, fame and recognition go hand in hand. This kind of fame is the product of one’s marketing and advertising skills. Hence, it is important that the product created by any celebrity inspires consumers to do business and also gives them an impression of the company or organization on which they are associated. This provides them with the perception of value for money that contributes to their purchasing decisions.
However, for others, fame and celebrity are altogether separate things. For them, fame is something that comes automatically when they become famous. Some critics define fame as being the product of sheer luck, while others feel that it is the product of hard work and publicity. To these people, fame is nothing more than the pat on the back of a superior class which they themselves possess.
The media loves to associate a celebrity with some sort of bogeyman or other. There is the paparazzi who pursue celebrity for payment; there is the writer who turns every now and then into a gossip and then there are the tabloids who are on the constant lookout for a juicy celebrity story. All of them enjoy the sensationalism of celebrity gossip. And the paparazzi and the tabloids derive monetary value from these stories, just as the producers of movies and television shows do. Even so, there is something odd about the way the media depicts celebrity.
When a celebrity dies, a little sadness accompanies the news about his or her death but then this is just the press pulling out all the stops. This is even more so when the celebrity is not really dead but rather on life support in the hospital. Then there is the photograph of the star with a note that reads: “We regret to inform you that our celebrity has passed away due to unknown reason.” It is as if the star himself or herself has passed on and the note is there to let everyone know. But what is really unfortunate is that the public sees the celebrity as immortal and remembers only the sad demise.
Celebrities and fame are a phenomenon that has caught the imagination of millions of people. Their lives and careers have been hyped to the skies and they have inspired literature, songs and movies. Their influence on culture is immense. And for those who love a good story, there is nothing better than celebrity gossip. There is no doubt that celebrities have helped shape our society but this also lies in the fact that all of us have benefited from their existence.