Is your private life a forfeit for fame?

Image curtsey: Political Hot Wire

If you crave the spotlight and eventually become famous, spent some time being chased by the world’s media can you then turn around and say ‘nope, i’ve had enough of the intrusion and want my private life back’? Is there a point in fame where this right is completely striped from celebrities and the choice of whether or not they are followed and photographed is no longer their decision?

Clearly there is an appetite to know what your role model is doing and there is certainly a market for it. Magazines and tabloids pay a lot for juicy gossip and scandalised photographs because when they get a ‘scoop’, it sells. I feel as though the public believe they have some sort of ‘right’ to know what their favourite celebrity is getting up to as a result of how far the media go to get this gossip. A lot of marketing campaigns of celebrities gives an image of perfection, of a person who seems to be holding everything together and who couldn’t possibly be any more perfect than they are (although quite a lot of them go on to get even more cosmetic surgery!) This fabricated, almost ‘god-like’ portrayal of celebrities in controlled marketing campaigns I believe has made the public (well those who care) crave stories and photographs of celebrities acting as humans or even in scandalising situations. There is some sort of fulfilment, a more level playing field if the everyday person can see a celebrity act like a fool, look fat, see celluilte on their so called perfect legs or be at parties taking illegal drugs. Everyone literally glued their eyes to articles and new stories about Britney when she decided to shave all of her hair off. No one could understand why she did it, but still wanted to know that she is capable of having a break down; to see her as a human and not the perfect barbie doll she was portrayed as. For all we know, she felt that it was a way to gain control of the situation or she could have just wanted to have no hair… we’ll never know and that’s why we, as a public, like to be intrusive and speculate on the so called glamourised lives of celebrities.

Because only a select few can be part of the celebrity world earning millions and having a life of luxury, is the cost of this life for them then, forfeiting their personal lives? It feels like it – not many celebrities can escape the media’s attention. Literally everything a celebrity does, from going to the local supermarket to a red carpet event is captured and documented. I can only think of a handful of celebrities that get away with their personal lives not in the public eye – Beyonce is definitely one of them. I never hear (or well rarely hear) anything scandalising or ‘human’ about her. She seems to be able to manage the media and keep a personal life. I am sure every celebrity craves this at some point when the rosy glasses come off – but to what extent does Beyonce have to go in order to keep her private life separate from her public image? It seems as though there is a cost to fame, no matter whether you manage to separate private from public or not.

Lastly, what I feel really fuels the frenzy on the public clinging to every little detail about celebrities is the fact that the majority of gossip magazines and tabloids end up making up a lot of outrageous facts and stories. A lot of what is published simply isn’t true or the truth of the story has been far exaggerated. While it can make for a good read and a bit of indulgence, isn’t this bordering on defamation? Or are magazines and the media alike just creating ‘entertainment’ for the masses simply to make money? Are we, the masses, the puppets in all of this? Fuelled by the media, with celebrities the subject of scrutiny and surveillance? Is the media in fact the evil dictator creating permanent headaches for celebrities or is there something more going on here? Think about it, if the media published true stories about celebrities with their permission and weren’t intrusive, would there need to be a division of a talent agency that solely deals with minimising the impact of scandals? Would PR agencies who deal with crisis management be out of a job? Could the revenue generated by crisis management actually mean that the media is just the scapegoat to this whole issue?

I think you could look at this in very complex ways but without fully understanding the inner workings of the industry, it’s all very speculative isn’t it? How Ironic!


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