I wonder if the view on celebrity is changing. For some reason, in usual circumstances we seem to love celebrity. We have a society which doesn’t just raise up the status of celebrities but actually goes out of its way to create them. I don’t get it. Well, that’s not exactly true. I do get it in, that I understand it is a commercial tool for marketing and a way to get us all striving endlessly to be and to have things that we don’t currently. I understand that it taps into the psychology and the sociology of a society which has developed far beyond its simple beginnings, but on a personal level, I don’t get it.
I have never been much interested in celebrity, or in celebrities themselves. I don’t remember dreaming of the pop star or film star that I hoped I would be with, or be like one day. I had no posters up on my wall of celebrities who influenced or inspired me. I suppose that I had books on my shelf written by authors who allowed me to enter their fantasy world in slightly the same way, but it has never felt like the relationship I have seen others have with their idols.
For some reason, I have always been focussed more on the here and the now. More on what seemed to me like a well calculated possibility, rather than a flight of fancy. I have found it easier to relate to people who share aspects of my life, than to those who have a life which is far removed, albeit one which contains some desirable elements. I have never wanted to be famous and I have never been much interested in those who are. Their lives seem beyond mine and I find myself drawn to those who are closer, more attainable, more relatable.
in a society where celebrity matters I have tried to address this in order to fit in a bit. I have tried to watch the ‘right’ things and even went through a period of buying ‘Hello’ magazine as a means to keep up with what was in vogue. But it didn’t do it for me. It didn’t motivate or interest me, and luckily it didn’t leave me with a sense of something lacking or something missed either. I could conclude that this is because I am happy with what I have, and comfortable within my own skin, but this is not the case.
I have experienced a lot of different things in my life and at points I have been desperately unhappy, both due to outside influences and internal factors. I think it comes more from the point of having values which mean that normal everyday is what I seek. I’m inspired by the small things around about me: a word, a gesture, an action. I am encouraged by some of the everyday people I some across during my day to day life. I notice the positivity that is modelled by those who I can aspire to be more like.
The life I want feels manageable and attainable. It feels within my reach. The person I want to be feels like someone who I live with and who is never far away. I have a life which is rich in opportunities to learn and grow and develop, not from the influence of people I will never meet, but from those who I am in contact with every day. I am continually in awe and humbled by the actions, motivations and achievements of those who I get to interact with in life, and have no great desire to appraise myself on those who have a shiny life beyond my own.
It has been interesting to watch society’s view of celebrity change over the last 6 weeks or so. There seems to be a feeling of resentment towards the privilege that some can buy themselves. There seems to be a feeling of unfairness as one person’s wealth is seen as greed rather than as status, as the world falls apart around our feet. And on the other hand, some of the normal everyday people who are just doing what they have always done, are the ones who are seen as inspirational, encouraging and humbling.
I wonder if our aspirations will change as a society, even in a small way after this, or if we will just jump back when it is all over. I think many of us have looked to community as the way forward and for us, locally, our community has really come out on top. There have been so many surprises in terms of finding things which have always been there, right at eye level, when in some of the other areas, things we thought were solid have turned out to be built on air. I think for many of us, the things we value have changed and those distant figures and lives who we felt we knew but didn’t, have been replaced by people and things much closer to home.
So in terms of celebrity, I think that those who many of us are celebrating currently are not the people whose lives are beyond our fingertips, but those who walk among us. I think that this horrendous situation has afforded the time and the space for many of us to take stock of what is important and of what really matters in this world. When I look around me, I can see awe inspiring examples of people who have an approach which is really worth celebrating and emulating.
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