John Ames
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The Rise and Fall of Celebrity

A Double-Edged Sword?

There exists a star in all of us.

Celebrity, it has become the modern-day royalty as we clamor over the glitz and glamor. In today’s society, we hold up those among us as idols, and we give them our minds, hearts, and wallets. We idolize and love what we see, when in reality we know nothing real about any of them.

There are millions of people around the globe hoping to reach some of that prestige and fanfare. They want, so desperately, to not only be liked, but loved by adoring fans. They do not realize the immense sacrifice that comes with celebrity.

Most people think that they have everything—the nicest clothes, cars houses, friends, and lifestyle. What most never realize is the solitude that comes from being one amongst many an adoring fan.

Yes, they have money—money to buy that beautiful home, to which they have no time to spend in or privacy to enjoy. They have the nicest clothes, which is a standard that must be kept otherwise they will be picked apart and critiqued. They have millions who want to be their friends, but rarely a genuine soul to be friends with. All vying for their 15 minutes of fame by huddling around the fame of their target. Like a campfire in the dark, the glow of the fire casting light to those around it.

Their lifestyle is not really their own, but created from the blueprint that society thinks they represent. They cannot enjoy the simple things like going for a coffee in peace as a flash mob or paparazzi tries to get a picture or create an altercation.

We hold celebrities hostage in some respects, not letting them be who they are because of what we are expecting them to be. Watching their every movement and word—some with worship, some waiting for them to fail, and others vilifying them for this or that.

We accuse them at times of losing touch with society because we don’t allow them to be real. We give them everything, but at times, leave them with nothing that they need.

Celebrity does not equal consent, for have they chosen to be an influencer? To follow their dreams into the spotlight, not sign away their hopes, dreams, or privacy.

We, as a society, place far too much pressure on them to be perfect, and when they fail to meet these unobtainable standards, we burn them at the stake. Yes, they are celebrities, but they are also people with hopes, dreams, and feelings.

Society sits back behind newsprint, television, or even their keyboards in anonymity while they insult, degrade, or chastise. Like a shield between us and them like an ever-expanding gap between celebrity and society.

Some celebrities fall into the trap society has placed before them, losing who they are to what is expected of them. At times, they are placed in dangerous and degrading positions to satisfy someone's whim just to reach their goals.

No one is perfect; perfection is a journey, not a destination. We need to remember that celebrities are people too. They fail just like you and me, and most just want good lives for themselves and their families. They want clean food, nice neighborhoods, and great schools for their children. A better world that they can bequeath to the next generation.

When they step out of the mold of perfection demanded onto them, they are vilified for it. We seek to make an example of them just because they wanted a good school for their children. We try to take back all the things society has given them by pressing others to feel or think the same.

People are people, we make mistakes, and yes, celebrities have more options and more advantages, but in turn, they also have more demands and more pitfalls to err in.

We as a society need to stop placing celebrities as the end all be all for our moral compasses and our fervor faith. We need to look to society for that and in each other. We need to work together, and not only have more faith in each other, but also more compassion and understanding, which never seems to translate to celebrity.

Everyone always blames society for the ills of the world, but what most forget is that we are society. It’s up to each of us to build a better world, and not by placing our hopes and dreams on the backs of others in the spotlight that simply want to live good lives.

“You either create a world for everyone or else you will end up in a world fit for no one.”
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The Rise and Fall of Celebrity
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