Celebrity – Who is a Celebrity?
Celebrity is a word that has become synonymous with glamour and publicity of a person or group, and sometimes just the recognition of an accomplished character or personal trait, as a consequence of the sustained interest lavished upon them by the mass media. The media’s fascination with celebrities has grown increasingly severe over recent years. The tabloids, which were the mainstay of British newspapers until about sixty years ago, now devote a vast section of their front pages to features on celebrities, often drawing the attention of people around the world. Even the most obscure celebrities have their own fan clubs, with people waiting anxiously at the entrance to the theatre or the cinema to catch a glimpse of their latest film star or actor.
The celebrity phenomenon is deeply ingrained in the language. We regularly refer to celebrities, their achievements and talents, in the way we speak of great athletes or political personalities. It would be difficult to find a person who does not know the names of Michael Jackson or Donald Trump. Similarly, it would be hard to find somebody who does not make a note of the fates of former reality television star Bette Midler or her much-ballyhooed husband, Carl Baranow. The celebrity fever has spread into the language, with people casually referring to the latest contestant on Dancing with the Stars as a favourite or the latest person of interest in a popular programme as a celebrity. Even the term celebrity is now widely used to describe those who excel in public areas such as acting, writing, sports, politics, business, or journalism.
So why do we regard celebrities so negatively? One reason could be that the modern meaning of celebrity has been radically expanded from what it used to be in earlier years. In ancient times, a celebrity was a man who had specialised in some profession, such as medicine, or art, or perhaps had distinguished athletic ability. In modern days, a celebrity is someone who effortlessly competes in high profile events such as the Olympics or the Golden Globe Awards, or has an attractive and intriguing body size.
This view of a celebrity as an artist or a performer, however, is extremely narrow and is only held by a portion of our population. For example, just because a celebrity performs well in a musical or soap opera does not mean that they will also succeed in acting, write a novel, or even play a good game of golf. As well as this narrow view of celebrities, there is also the problem of “fame”, which can be defined as the accumulated reputation over time that a person develops because of their success. This definition is most often used when speaking of celebrities, but can equally apply to political figures or business leaders.
Celebrities are also often described as persons who have achieved great success or notable status, regardless of how well they perform in their given fields. This broad definition of celebrity, therefore, provides an opportunity for those who might be dissatisfied with their celebrity status to claim them if they have something to show for it other than their fame. Celebrities are also often discussed in terms of financial matters; in other words, if a celebrity makes more money than they need to, this becomes a matter of great debate, especially since no one knows what will happen to these movies celebrities in the future. This is especially true with celebrities who have very large collections of property or other assets. If a celebrity dies, their entire estate is often put into an auction, with the general public bidding to try and claim the property.
Celebrity is a term that is increasingly being applied to many different aspects of life, but there is a clear link between celebrities and their own celebrity status. Without their celebrity status, many of today’s well known people would not be able to pursue the careers that they have. The internet has provided us with an excellent resource for finding out more about today’s well-known people, and some of their most famous habits and traits can also be found through the use of this popular search engine. The public are now aware that there are things beyond money that celebrities do in order to enrich their lives, and so they are eager to find out more about these. The public will pay dearly for their curiosity.