The changing face of famous

The changing face of famous

When I was young, I remember that you literally had to do something “special” or unique to become famous.

You were a politician, or a civil rights leader, or a sports hero, or an astronaut, or a movie star. You were recognizable because of your body of work.

Today, there are people who are famous for nothing more than “being famous”. People that have no job, no passion and have made no contribution whatsoever, but they continue to make enormous sums just because they are famous.

For some reason in today’s society, we have become fascinated with this type of people – solely because of their ability to manipulate the mediums that anoint “star” quality.

Paris Hilton is one of the most egregious examples of this phenomenon. She had done nothing – other than be the fortunate daughter of a business magnate that had worked hard to make his own mark in the world. She didn’t work, didn’t volunteer, didn’t do anything of value or import that anyone could tell.

Yet, people followed her every move – as she travelled the world, acted stupid in public, said ridiculous things – all the while creating vehicles in which to enhance her improperly acquired popularity.

This insane public preoccupation with famous-for-no-reason celebrities was closely followed by a string of new wannabes – most notably the entire Kardashian family – who have really become the epitome of the new “famous for being famous” jet-set.

The father was a legitimately famous and talented lawyer that worked hard to earn the riches the family initially enjoyed. The family took advantage of his notoriety, specifically from the Simpson case, to build an empire based on doing nothing but getting people to “look at them”. I can only imagine that he is rolling in his grave – ashamed to see what his legacy has become.

There isn’t a day that my twitter feed isn’t filled with some report about what this Kardashian said or what this Kardashian did (and by what they did – we don’t mean how they saved the world – we mean who they fought with today). Just this week, I was informed that another Kardashian had received a new spin-off TV show – so that we can follow her around in her mundane life doing nothing of value in society (and making boat-loads of money showing us she is doing nothing of value).

Here are some of the most recent headlines that were released in the news:

  • Kardashians love their bad boys
  • Khloe confronts Caitlyn on KUWTK
  • Kim Kardashian battles intense anxiety as Kanye has breakdown
  • Kim Kardashian releases selfie book
  • Pregnant Kim Kardashian silences fat shamers
  • Kim Kardashian Sex Tape
  • Kim Kardashian’s tongue makes headlines
  • Khloe Kardashian says she wants to marry Tristan Thompson
  • Is Khloe Kardashian OJ’s daughter

I understand that there is a different kind of famous nowadays – created entirely by social media vehicles (my daughter is a fascinated follower of a girl on SnapChat who has over a million followers). But really why do we care what someone is doing for breakfast? Why does someone even get famous – and rich – showing us what they do for breakfast?

Today, does rich or pretty take precedence over talented, useful and successful?

Don’t get me wrong – I love social media. But really, couldn’t we be doing more with the medium by taking the opportunity to affect the world – rather than using it to follow no-talent people like the Kardashians (unless of course, getting people to follow you is now considered a valid talent)?

What affect could we have in society as  a whole, if we could convince people to stop following this drivel and to start looking into true heroes in society, young citizens that are actually making a difference in the world? Imagine the impact we could have if we used the power of social media to track the good instead of the stupid?

For now – give me Mandela, Bowie, Montana, Freeman, Malala and their kind – over the Kardashians and those that will follow.

 

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