Celebrity culture fascinates me. It’s not that I follow celebrities. I haven’t the time or inclination. In fact my lack of knowledge of who’s who is very much lacking and a considerable disadvantage when having a social conversation with young people and competing in pub quizzes. But celebrities are in our faces constantly, promoting themselves and endorsing products. And many people follow their lives, listen to what they say and buy the products they advertise. (No-one has ever seen David Beckham in H&M jeans and yet, amazingly, some will buy jeans from H&M just because he advertises them.)
My fascination with celebrities is how they ‘celebritize’ and what drives them. I recently read author Stevie Turner’s blog post on ‘how to become a celebrity’ (reflecting on the advantage of being well known in order to get a book published) and it inspired me to examine my own thoughts about what makes a celebrity.
So what is a ‘celebrity’? I suppose it’s a person who is known for being well known. But why do more people want to become so well known? Thinking back to my young adulthood, we dreamed of being famous through having a talent. In my case – a footballer or drummer in a rock band. But to want to be famous for fame’s sake just didn’t seem cool, or even possible.
But that was before social media. Now you can create your own fame and you don’t need any talent to do it. As we know, many young people do nothing but sell themselves. Their lives are dedicated to self-promotion, even though none of them seem to have anything to promote except their own desperation to be famous. But do it well enough and you’ll have the riches to go with it.
So what’s the best way to become famous if you haven’t got any real talent? Here are some suggestions on how I think you might get started…
Have rich parents.
I think this is the best and easiest way. If you can sponge off your parents and busk your way through the right circles on their status or fame, all you have left to do is to get in the news and embarrass them.
Be a victim
Be a victim and let everyone know it. Perhaps, get extensive plastic surgery and when it goes wrong tell everyone and then explain why you have to have some more. You could publicise a near death experience due to overeating, drink and drugs and then create a bizarre workout routine and diet plan. Or get someone to hit you on reality TV.
Do something really stupid to get in the news. Like hitting a celebrity. And if you have a video of you doing it, even better. Tweet something controversial or unwoke and you’ll soon draw attention to yourself.
Humiliate yourself as a contestant on a Reality TV or Talent show.
These shows always let talentless acts get to the final rounds of the show just for the laughs.
Whatever your starting point, you need to show you have the qualities listed in the ‘Celebrity’ ‘person specification’. These include:
Demonstrating stupidity is a really good attention grabber. People sometimes like you for being stupid because it makes them feel superior. Others just like to respond with ridicule and anger. Either way you get attention and get talked about. Some of the biggest celebrities have made staggeringly stupid statements which have got them huge media coverage. (Try out this link ‘30 Dumb Quotes Celebrities Would Like You To Forget’.
Unnatural Self Belief
You have to believe you are smart and beautiful and ‘special’. You have to be a celebrity in your own mind before you are ‘known’. It’s all about the confidence.
Drive and Desperation
No matter how pathetic your claim to ‘celebrity’ is, you have to work your socks off at telling everyone how wonderful you are. This involves a reasonable level of competency on social media. It also requires a commitment to taking shitloads of selfies, videos, tweets, and Instagram posts. You also have to creep to other celebrities in the belief they will creep to you. Try to acquire a basic knowledge of something (e.g. fashion, fitness, beauty) so you can impart your expert views, tips and opinions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
You need an ‘image’ to prove you are a celebrity. Wear something weird or add accessories that make you stand out. Wear oversized sunglasses inside at night or a scarf in the middle of summer. When out of the house, be overdressed or garish. It doesn’t matter how much of a plonker you look, just make sure you look a proud and confident plonker.
Ugly celebrities seem few and far between. People like to idolise good looking people far more than plain or ugly ones. Cosmetic surgery and dentistry is definitely the way to go. Let’s face it, demonstrating personality, wit and humour takes far more work on social media than posting attractive images.
The use of excessive energy and enthusiasm when in the spotlight helps to demonstrate your celebrityness and capture attention on TV and in the media. You have to be full on, i.e. loud and physically excitable. You try getting on a TV reality or game shows without being an exuberant performing monkey. (Normal people will struggle and that’s why they use actors.)
Ability to Smile
The ability to smile constantly and open mouthed to show your teeth is an essential quality. I believe there is quite an art to smiling. I tried it once and it hurts.
Ability to Pose
This goes with the smiling and whilst I’m sure celebrities do practice their ‘pouts’, ‘knee pop’, ‘hand on hip’ and ‘kick back’ poses, it’s something that should come naturally to you if you want to be successful.
Have a thick skin.
You can’t be a celebrity without your ‘haters’. I’m probably one of them. Cruel though it is, when bad stuff happens to celebrities, we doubt them or assume it’s a publicity stunt. So, it’s best if you can be arrogant and not self aware, but at least – make sure you have a thick skin.
So, if you can make it as a Celebrity, good luck to you. Of course you will want to let the world know your political and social opinions and what products you endorse – but I won’t be listening.
And whilst I think the obsession with celebrity culture is worrying, I don’t blame celebrities, or the Internet. I blame everyone.