Bright lights and misery: Why being famous is overrated

We’re living in a society that overemphasizes the existence of celebrities.

We get hysterical when Vogue releases videos on Taylor Swift’s home or Katy Perry’s makeup routine. We buy pretty much every single product endorsed by the biggest Instagram influencers. Even entrepreneurial figures like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Tesla’s Elon Musk have joined the march of fame as every move they make, every marriage and affair, are closely watched by an army of zealous fans.

We’re hungry consumers. The more we are fed, the more voracious we become.

It’s easy to associate famous people with the limelight, red carpets, expensive dinners, couture outfits, million dollar villas, and a lifestyle so surreal it makes us scream with rage. Then we wish our lives were only 10 percent that good.

They have THE LIFE, right?

Well, not really. In fact, you probably enjoy your life a lot more than they enjoy theirs.

Stripped off from all that glamour, being famous can really suck. Just imagine the energy and time you’d have to spend on satisfying people who you’ll probably never meet and utterly don’t care about.

For example, let’s say you’re a movie star. Opening weekend is around the corner. Instead of just doing your job — acting — you’re turned into a marketing pawn for people such as studio heads that, believe it or not, are making more money than you. You have to fly here and there, away from your family — hey, you missed your toddler’s first steps the other day, but at least the nanny saw it! — and are forced to stay in another hotel. No, sorry — granite countertops, a California King bed and two flat screens with an open bar inside a five-star hotel don’t cure loneliness.

You get up at 5 a.m. every day, are shuffled through the media junkets, “car wash” interviews — where you make 7-8 pit-stops in one location such as New York — and say the same rehearsed narrative over and over and over and over again. And this is all AFTER you spent six months working 17-hour days being told “your scene was no good” and you have to redo your work.

Oh, but it’s worse. When you’re a public figure, all eyes are on not only you, but also on your friends and family, your pet, your closet, your babysitter, your latest failure, your recent mishap — everything and anything people can think of when they’re bored and desperate. Imagine having to run to the grocery store really quick because you ran out of milk — but then having to say “ugh, I really don’t feel like being nice to strangers who want a picture with me.” Let’s be honest. Celebrities are humans, and they say and feel the same things you do at times.

Once you become famous, suddenly everyone wants to be your friend. But finding a true friend is like Cinderella’s luck with going to the ball. It’s equally difficult to find a partner who’s in it for who you’re, not because your bank account is fat. Imagine saying to yourself, “I wonder if this person actually likes me for me.” That’s miserable.

When things are going well, it feels like a dream. When things get tough, the amount of judgements and criticisms a celebrity receives grows exponentially. And here’s the biggest problem with being famous: Your life is under never-ending scrutiny, with an outrageous verdict “You ALWAYS have to be perfect.” Remember when Mila Kunis caught flack for wearing sweatpants to grab her morning Starbucks?

Nobody is perfect. Celebrities are human. And, truth be told, they probably yearn for the dose of reality you have every single day. 

Photo credit: Creative Commons.

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