Since my patron demographic is adolescents, it is important to keep abreast of pop culture and other topics in their sphere of interest. This portion of my career duties I greatly enjoy, of late I am a bit mustified.
I struggle at times to penetrate the minds of my students that not all press is good press, yet they insist on persuading me being famous is a legitimate occupation. I tell them there is no Famous booth at the Career Fair. Despite appearances celebrities actually work. The adolescents seem unconvinced. Inferring from our conversations the root lies in the belief that work is not enjoyable and thus if one is having fun then they are not working. While previous generations have made this true, it is not the case with the succeeding one or my own cohort. When I convey this, they are disbelieving. As far as they are concerned, everyone may be a celebrity and celebrities in the end, are just people too, citing YouTube sensations and the rise of fans stealing moments of fame. At this juncture, they do have a point, albeit not a solid one. Those mere minutes when a commoner’s name is splashed across the headlines does not make “a star.” I believe in a small manner the pedestal of celebrity is slowly being torn down by the notion any person can “make it big.” This is actually a positive viewpoint. Of course, after which I saw a headlines some celebrity got bangs. Even the celebrity commented saying there are graver and more important issues going on in the world for the multitude to obsess over her hair choice.
As much as I would like to lament these obsession is wholly modern, it is decidedly untrue. “Celebrity worship” has been around since the beginning of civilization. Victorians had their own luminaries who were stalked for the demanding public and it was not always the Monarchy. They had their stage actors, artists, aristocracy, and famous authors, who, by the way, are not the ones that have endured as classics in modern day. Even certain ladies of the night were routinely in the headlines, in part due to their client list, and sometimes due to their notorious personalities.
My adolescent students are correct of course, anyone could be a celebrity, but not many stay that way. I fear I can only encourage and sensibly guide their passions and hope for the best. I believe Louisa May Alcott said it best . . .
It takes very little fire to make a great deal of smoke nowadays, and notoriety is not real glory.