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Dec 22

On Being a Celebrity and the Objectification of People

Posted on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 in Theories

The American culture is dependent on the possibility that anyone can make it big. It’s the illusion that keeps the poor in line and the rich in power. The American rich 1% holds more wealth than the bottom 90%. That is hardly fair and Americans are addicted to the idea that they can become the 1%.

Due to wanting to be wealthy and not having it, America settles for the next best thing: living vicariously through celebrities and the rich. The rich and famous become objects – not people – as portrayed by the television, magazines, and news. They become a name – a brand – to be packaged, bought, and sold like any other commodity in our capitalistic system.

This is a system of control. The poor are appeased by having the rare possibility that they too – with their talents and uniqueness can also make it big. The rich and famous; who are also inmates in our cultural prison who have more privilege, are treated like gods.

For example, I just went to see a concert a few weeks ago and during the show the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars walked into the crowd. People went out of their way to run up and touch him (it was really bizarre) to have bragging rights. To touch a celebrity or have an object that they were associated with is like touching divinity in our culture.

This is a really weird aspect of American culture that I don’t really understand because in my understanding of humanity – we are all equal. I wouldn’t want to touch another human unless I was close to them but for it to be socially acceptable to forcefully touch another person without consent on the mere fact they can sing, act, or dance is ridiculous.

This living vicariously through fame is destructive to celebrities. The latest example being the Tiger Woods incident and how people just can’t seem to mind their own business. Who cares? I have my own life to deal with and I don’t have time to be focusing my life on people I never met.

Even in death, celebrities can not escape their fame and be given an ounce of peace. Grave robbers if given the chance, will steal famous people’s remains. The Hollywood cemetery is now a tourist attractions where you can visit your favorite dead residence. Even a corpse is marketable.

People need to stop worshiping celebrities and the rich. People are people, not objects.  People need to learn to live and let live and mind their own business. Here’s a secret for you: The rich and famous only have “wealth” and “power” because you give it to them. If you would stop giving them power, they wouldn’t have any. If we spent more time empowering ourselves for our own beauties and less time drooling over our fellow apes – we’d have a much healthier society.