I get tickled when I hear about people wanting to seek their “fame and fortune.” The fortune part is fine (although that brings with it a lot of problems, too) but fame? No thanks!
On the TV show TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” the fashion advisors lament the fact that they see so many young women dressing as if to fade into the woodwork, looking as if they want to just be invisible. So what’s wrong with that? Some days I just run some errands and hope I don’t see anybody I know because I look like a total mess. Of course, I wouldn’t want to live my whole life that way, but occasionally it’s just reality.
As the news junkie I am, I enjoyed watching all the reports and commentary leading up to President Obama’s election. I remember one reporter saying that he didn’t think the reality had yet set in for Mr. Obama that he can no longer remain anonymous. He can no longer blend in. He can never again run to Burger King for a quick lunch, pop into the store to buy underwear, head over to 7/11 for a Coke. Once he became world-famous, life as he knew it once was essentially over.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a celebrity. Famous people say that some parts of it are horrible. Can you imagine not being able to leave your house without photographers waiting to snap your picture? Some paparazzi even specialize in securing photographs of celebrities that reveal the stars' cellulite or wrinkles or paunches or bad hair days or faces without makeup. Every pound the celebrity loses or gains is news. In addition to invasion of privacy in the physical sense, if you’re rich enough and famous enough, and have children, you have to worry about the possibility of kidnapping. Finally, everything embarrassing thing you’ve ever done (or will do) in your life is up for grabs as tabloid fodder. Past and current acquaintances (and nasty competitors) are always willing to sell your humiliation for a price, and photographers are waiting in line to catch you in a misstep.
Of course, with your life an open book, you'd better practice what you preach. Can you imagine the publicity and embarrassment if you were Oprah, just having talked in public about your struggle to lose weight, and you were seen eating a Quarter Pounder? We've seen politicians pleading for morality being caught in affairs and televangelists preaching against fornication ending up with prostitutes. Sports heroes bemoan steroid use and then fail their own drug test. In regular life, if we slip up, we hope it's a private thing, or at least limited to our community, depending on how well known we are. On the other hand, if you're famous, all bets are off.
Some famous people didn’t start out with a desire to be famous. They just wanted to act or sing or play an instrument and be one of the best. Fame appeared as a byproduct. Others wanted to be stars from early on in their lives. Regardless of how it arrived, fame is another one of those curses/blessings that I’m glad I don’t have to deal with. If you occasionally look as bad as I look sometimes leaving the house, you ought to be thankful, too!