Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I wouldn't be a celebrity for quids...

I've always been a voracious consumer of celebrity gossip but lately I've been wondering if our obsession with people in the spotlight has gone far beyond what's healthy.

Is a photo of someone getting an iced coffee really that exciting? Do we get enough of a kick out of it that it's worth invading Chris Pine's Sunday afternoon? Methinks no.

I can't imagine what it must be like having to fend off hordes of paparazzi every time you pop out to the shops. It must be horrifying for those celebs with children to not be able to take them to the park without being followed.

About 10 years ago I was the presenter and producer of an online corporate news show, PCTV, watched by about 3,000 staff around the country (so, not a huge audience)...and I got a small taste of what celebrities must endure on a day to day basis. I had emails from people telling me they didn't like the jacket I had on or that they preferred my hair longer. When I went out on a Friday night I had people yelling "PCTV Chick!" or pegging snide remarks at me.

It's as if, once people achieve any kind of profile they become public property. We, as consumers, have the right to know what they are doing at any given time and criticise how they look while they're doing it. We forget that they are real people with real feelings.

And, yes, I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to this behaviour...one just has to look at my Fashion Smashion posts to see that. At the time it seems like just a bit of fun but, after reading Myf Warhurst's tweets post-Logies and realising how crushed she felt, it makes me feel a little guilty.

And, a couple of weeks ago, someone had the audacity to leave a comment on Mia Freedman's blog, MamaMia, calling her 'someone with no tertiary degree who spent years editing bimbo magazines'. What gives someone the right to pass judgement on someone they've never met and insult them in such a personal way?

I'm just not sure why celebrity seems to give us permission to forget our manners.

What's your take? Do you think celebrities need to accept the intense scrutiny of their everyday lives as a necessary evil? Or are they entitled to their privacy?


Bells said...

i've grown ever more uncomfortable with my celeb obsession lately, in the last year or two. I try to limit my attention to it, and how much I talk about it. I just think it doesn't put me in my best light. And no, someone going to get a coffee is just silly media exposure.

Paula said...

Hi, just came this way from mamamia... I am like you, I've become uncomfortable in recent times with my interest in gawking - and passing judgement - at celebs. I call it a growing social conscious. My mother calls it growing up (finally)

bugmum said...

More and more I find myself shaking my head at "headlines" like People's current poll "Who Pulled Off Their Pink Wig Best?". It's just so inane...

Rachel said...

I was obsessed with NW for a period, but stopped buying it after I realised they were panning someone for putting on weight despite the fact that the same magazine had criticised the person for being skinny only a few weeks before...it's getting out of control! I couldn't give up cold turkey at the time so I switched to OK as it has more interviews and a little less straight out gossip. Now I limit myself to glimpsing at the headlines while waiting in the grocery line. I like to get a glimpse into the myseterious celebrity world...it's interesting and distant to me...I don't want to know their every movement and don't think photographers have the right to follow them around. My view is that it should be restricted to interviews on the celebrity's agreement (so we can get glimpses of their personalities) and photos at industry events. You're right Amanda - these people should be able to take their kids to the park without being stalked.