What is it about celebrities that drive us to want to be like them, dress like them, speak like them, and look like them? Are they humans like us? Or are they aliens that have invaded our world? We love and envy them yet we all know that their perfect world is an illusion. We want to own their big mansions, wear their Prada and Gucci outfits, eat at their 5* hotels and restaurants, and even party at their most exclusive bars. We crave their fake lives, but we also love talking about their sad drama-filled, alcoholic and drug infused realities.

I, like many people, love buying magazines and watching talk shows about celebrities, but recently I wondered why… why all the fuss? What exactly am I aiming for when I fill my mind with their lives? Is my life not as important simply because I am not being interviewed on TV, radio or for magazines? Sure I might not live in a big mansion or drive a nice car or even wear designer clothes, but I am smart, educated and talented. Why aren’t millions of people following me around wanting to take a picture? This got me thinking: when did this hierarchy of celebrities begin – was it always like this or is it a new culture that we have created? And how can we as ‘normal’ people see the value in ourselves and stop chasing this small world of celebrity life?

Just to give you a brief history on Celebrity culture from Wikipedia: ‘The movie industry spread around the globe in the first half of the 20th Century, and with it the now familiar concept of the instantly recognizable faces of its superstars. Yet, celebrity wasn’t always tied to actors in films, especially when cinema was starting out as a medium. Paul McDonald states in The Star System: Hollywood’s Production of Popular Identities, “in the first decade of the twentieth century, American film production companies withheld the names of film performers, despite requests from audiences, fearing that public recognition would drive performers to demand higher salaries.”’ If they could see the celebrity culture today and their demands for higher payment just to appear for 20 minutes in a film, Paul would be shocked.

Yes, the fast life, fast money, and even fast cars, is still something that most desire, but once you have attained all of those material products, you find people still in search of the simple life. Seeking to be recognized by others can only fulfil you so far, but when you are happy and content within yourself, the material things will not hold such a place of honour in your soul.

People suffer just so they can be recognized, and we find that most celebrities do have very low self-esteem. We have seen many in the past lose their wealth and recognition due to their fast life spending. We see that self-esteem and the values one holds are what remains, and if your foundation is not strong then you will definitely suffer. Hence we see many celebrities falling into drug and alcohol addictions, because no amount of money can truly fulfil you. However if you have good moral standards, then the added recognition from others will only reinforce what you already have built within you.

Hopefully this blog did not kill many of your dreams to become celebrities. The goal of the blog is to help you understand that you need to have good values and believe in yourself. The celeb world might look appealing, but it also requires strong self-esteem to cope, especially when the fame ends.

Written by Phoebe Sibomana

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