The Responsibility of Fame

“For certain people fame lasts for a moment. For others it lasts for a lifetime. And for the rest it only lasts long enough to destroy them.”

-BRRIII

As a society we are obsessed with celebrities. We care more about their lives than our own as we go broke trying to emulate their posh lifestyles.

We become enamored with who they’re dating, what they named their babies and how they stay so fit and trim.

We view them as Gods and Goddesses amongst us when the truth of the matter is that we’re only setting them up for failure. Because no man or woman is better than us regardless of how attractive they are or how much money they make. We watch them so intently because we are both envious and fascinated by them. In the minds of many they are deified as the humans who did something more extraordinary than any of us ever could and will bask in the adulation of the masses.

But as our infatuation persists one has to ask: What Do They Think of Us?

It’s no surprise that a lot of celebrities believe they are entitled to a specific type of treatment because of who they are. They believe that the achievement of singing a beautiful song, flawlessly handling a ball or acting in high grossing films makes them more special than everyone else.

The sad thing is that people tend to agree with them.

But the problem with fame as a whole is that it belongs to no one.

It’s a ghost.

It is, was and always will be its own entity.

Think of how fame drove Marlena Dietrich into seclusion. Think of how it destroyed the Jackson family. Think of Kurt Cobain who was so anti-fame he committed suicide.

Yet so many people want to be famous because of the positive connotations that come along with it. For starters, if you’re famous people will treat you better and want your company. Is it fair? Of course it isn’t. But then again would anyone turn away the opportunity for dinner with the Obama’s, Oprah or Diddy?

If you’re famous in the Entertainment field more than likely you have a large amount of disposable income. More money means more “friends”, which makes you popular. Fame brings a lot of good things, but are they considered good based solely on the perception of Fame? Because even when you’re rich and popular with a whole lot of friends you can still be lonely.

Society places too much emphasis on the importance of fame but no one ever takes a look at the responsibility of fame. Fame is one of the world’s most addictive drugs. The attention that comes with it can become overwhelming for some and hard to let go of for others.

Let’s take into account the enigma of child stars who have a hard time adjusting to life after the pinnacle of their careers. Granted, some flourish well into the transition while others do all kinds of stupid shit to remain relevant. And they may have enough money to make it through the rest of their lives but The Fame is what they crave the most.  It’s similar to when a baby is born addicted to crack. It needs the drug so much that it cries at the top of its lungs during its withdrawal. For former child stars their equivalent of crying at the top of their lungs is acting crazy in public. It is simultaneously a cry for help and a cry for attention.

Reality TV Stars are another example of the desperate thirst for fame. Take any of the ‘wives’ franchises. When they were just women in their neighborhoods they were probably annoying to only a select few. Now that they’ve acquired The Fame they’ve become insufferable to everyone. They wear their entitlement like a badge of honor. As if their fame comes from years of paying dues and taking risks. These women are famous for nothing. Like the Kardashians. Why do we care about their trashy lives?

Finally when you speak of the responsibility that comes along with fame you have to mention the attitudes of celebrities. People are watching them all the time and even though they put out the ‘I’m not a role model. Don’t let your kids look up to me’ disclaimer the sad part is that someone is looking up to them. But honestly that responsibility primarily falls on the parents and guardians.

I remember once when my little cousin was about 7 or 8 years old we were watching videos on BET and the song ‘Make It Rain‘ was on. She pointed to one of the dancers in the background and said ‘I wanna be like her when I grow up’

I turned that damn TV so fast to another channel and Alicia Keys was pounding out a song at the piano with funky precision.

“No, you wanna be like her!” I stated.

The television is a magical place where everyone is beautiful, the champagne is flowing, the money is abundant and life is just one big ol’ party. The problem with believing in that illusion is it will leave you battered and scarred on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams because none of that shit is real. Celebrities are characters. They give us what we need from them because we don’t care about what’s real. Reality is paying bills. Reality is raising kids. Reality is going to work everyday. We need to have a little fantasy in our lives to escape the banality of reality. As the people on the outside looking in we know that fame is a mirage. But those who live within its prison become drunk off their own elixir and act accordingly. They never want that power to disappear and they will stop at nothing to remain famous.

Even if it costs them their lives or their sanity. The Fame is the only thing they believe in.

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