April 23, 2018
The Loneliness of Fame
A common principle displayed in American popular culture is admiration for entertainers. Actors and musicians are usually the most familiar faces seen promoted to consumers and the general public within the United States of America. Aside from the artwork these individuals produce there is also an underlining about the social status they claim. The majority of these celebrities have fans that assume that their life is perfect due to the popularity they have among ordinary people. However, if one were to look further than the surface, they would realize that a lifestyle as such can be dangerous. This is due to the fact that they are expected to be perfect at all times. When a person at a power positional makes a mistake it often haunts them for their entire lives and taints their careers. This further illustrates how entertainers are held to unrealistic standards of expressing emotion due to their profession.
A well known misconception about people in these powerful positions is that once they become powerful their problems disappear. While increasing financial stability can be a major benefit, they are still capable of frequent human emotions such as sadness and loneliness. The material benefits can often be hazardous because they can attract fake friends who take advantage of them and exploit them for wealth. Aside from this it can also create a materialistic mentality where their happiness is dependent on buying expensive things. It becomes a lifestyle where their own self worth is determined based upon what they can afford to buy. A specific example of an entertainer mentioned his troubles with materialism is musician, Tyler, The Creator. A major theme of Tyler’s 2017 album, “Flower Boy” deals with the reality that a life full of luxury was meaningless to him because he still felt a disconnect from his peers. In his own words he stated, “Full tank of the gas but that don’t mean nothing, nothing, without you shotgunning the passenger. I’m the loneliest man alive, but I keep on dancing to throw ‘em off.” What this essentially implies is that having remarkable tangible items is worthless if there is no one to admire them with him. Predicaments such as these prove that mental and emotional fragility happen just as frequently with entertainers, despite the social status and financial excess. In that song Tyler also shows that celebrities faking happiness since it is implied that their life is great by the general public. This is what he was referring to when he mentioned being lonely, but still forcing himself to have a good time because every famous person is imagined as having a perfect. When in reality, Tyler’s status made him have a detachment to those around him due his uncertainty of whether people appreciate his personality, or his popularity.
Another destructive assumption about famous people is that their extraordinary talent results in extraordinary mental stability. There are few examples of this, but the most notable examples are from Kurt Cobain and Kanye West. Both have been acclaimed for their creative visions and revolutionary minds in music. However, the media and general public seemed to turn their back on the problems these men faced. West had traumatic experiences prior and after becoming a full time rapper. His first traumatic experience was from a nearly fatal car accident that resulted in him being on life support and getting his jaw wired shut. The aftermath of this was a more ‘on edge’ version of Kanye West due to the stress of that situation. Several years later he confronted an emotional tragedy after his mother passed, to which West blamed the death of his mother on himself by saying, "If I had never moved to L.A. she'd be alive,". Despite this, most of the focus on Kanye West is about his impulsive award show comments, instead of the problems that led to his irrational behavior. Similar things can be said about Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain. In just 27 years he helped push grunge rock into the mainstream while also having personal lyrics in the songs. Although he became a superstar in his 20s he was still not able to escape the pain of his personal demons. A large portion of this had to due with the shallowness of the media that only cared about his talents and not about his emotions. Cobain had a troubled life where he was mostly an outcast by his peers and family. After accomplishing stardom, the emptiness within him caused the tragic death of him taking his own life further proving how stardom can damage a person even more than living an average life.
While fame may seem attractive to average people, they must also understand that position is not for everybody. The stigma of stardom resulting in a perfect life emotionally is naive and has been proven false on several different occasions. It takes a massive amount of bravery for someone to put their lives on display, which can result in vulnerability and resentment just from one mistake. Many people do not know any famous individuals, but usually have opinionated thoughts about them. Unfortunately, it is routine for one to hold entertainers to the same standards as a god when they are just as capable of making mistakes as anyone else.
Why this was my best 2fer possible:
This is my best 2fer possible because I followed the basic guidelines such as: MLA formatting, having 2 pages at 700 words, and no 1st or 2nd person pronouns. This time I included I conclusion paragraph which I sometimes don’t do if I’m already past the minimum word count. However this time I wanted to include a conclusion to make the paper feel more complete. I was also working on not repeating phrases so much because it would make the paper boring. For instance, in the last paragraph I had already said people a few times so I decided to say “one” in order to switch it up.
“Tyler, The Creator (Ft. Frank Ocean & Steve Lacy) – 911 / Mr. Lonely.” Genius, 30 June 2017, genius.com/Tyler-the-creator-911-mr-lonely-lyrics.Marcus, Stephanie. “Kanye West Still Blames Himself For His Mother's Death.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 June 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kanye-west-mothers-death_us_558cbd8be4b081449b4c91e5.