Monday, February 15, 2016

Demands on Celebrity

Content Warning: assault

I feel like I'm watching Kanye West livetweet his mental and emotional decline, or at least turmoil, and I watch people continue to poke and prod him, make demands, and call him out. They believe they are still entitled to him and always will be. This prompted me to think about the demands we place on celebrities.

We, as a society, have decided that if someone is extraordinarily talented in some way that it means that we no longer have to treat them like human beings but rather like a spectacle, like an animal at a zoo.
If a person doesn't have mental health issues before they become famous, the fish bowl we force them into certainly can (and does) create them.

And we tell these individuals that that's the price they pay for being talented, for being compensated for their talent. They must sacrifice their: privacy, freedom, relationships, ability to trust easily, spontaneity, sense of safety, and often their mental health. How does this price disproportionately affect members of marginalized communities (LGBTQIAP, POC, poor, Disabled/sick/mentally ill, and intersections of them). How does it deter them from pursuing their talent and dreams?

Need I remind people that celebrities must have round-the-clock security teams to ensure their safety? That celebrities have been assaulted by fans? That celebrities and bystanders have been killed in pursuit by paparazzi and also by fans? We tell these celebrities, again, this is the risk they take, that the success, the fame, the riches, and the pursuit of their dreams outweigh the things they must sacrifice.

Average social media users (including myself) complain when we get bothered by a few trolls online, or when a handful of people target us all at once because they disagree with our content, but then we turn around and do it to celebs with no issue, with no remorse, with no awareness of the blatant hypocrisy, because we do not view a celebrity as one of us. Many of us discuss consent constantly but completely ignore consent and boundaries when it comes to celebs because we have decided that we are entitled to their bodies. They are public property and they cannot escape us or our agents that do our bidding, the paparazzi.

That's all for now!

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