The very dark side of fame. Why it isn’t worth it

The very dark side of fame. Why it isn’t worth it

Stalking and Stress

“Kendall Jenner: MAN THREATENS TO SHOOT HER DEAD” screams a recent TMZ headline

We certainly know that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But ‘being famous’ still tops many kids’ dream job list. We know the downsides of fame – lack of privacy, media bullying, but how dangerous is it?  

Kendall Jenner was recently granted a temporary restraining order after a man allegedly travelled to the US with a plan to shoot her dead. But the weekend proved to be a double security scare after a man broke into her property, stripped naked and tried to swim in her pool. 

Kendall is reportedly suffering ‘severe anxiety and stress’ over the incidents, and it’s not the first time she’s had to deal with stalkers and dangerous situations. The model has blasted TMZ as they allegedly published her home address. 

Her sister, Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris back in 2016. The gang made off with millions of dollars of jewellery reported the Washington Post.  

The thieves tied her up, eventually leaving her in the bathroom, “badly shaken, but physically unharmed,” as her rep told CNN. But in those first few minutes, the reality star was convinced she was going to be killed. “While I’m being tied up, I’m like, ‘Are we going to die? Are they gonna kill us?’ And I was just crying and like, ‘Tell them I have babies. ”

The very dark side of fame. Why it isn’t worth it
The very dark side of fame. Kendall Jenner has faced stalker issues

Murdered by their fans

Because of their high profiles, it’s easy for people to get obsessed with celebrities they don’t actually know. And because celebrities’ whereabouts are often public, they can be an easy target. 

There are many high profile celebrities who were murdered by stalkers and fans. The most famous perhaps being John Lennon, who was shot by Mark David Chapman in 1980. Chapman waited outside of Lennon’s apartment all day. It was common for fans to wait outside Lennon’s apartment for autographs, and he frequently obliged them. 

A more recent example is The Voice star Christina Grimmie. Time wrote that her murder tells us a lot about Youtube influencer culture

the desire of obsessive fans to harm famous people is not new… but YouTube can stoke that obsession even further

Time says one of the issues YouTube creates is the apparent closeness of the relationship between star and fan – with creators throwing out mentions in their videos/social media and staring directly into the lens. 

There is also the belief that YouTube celebrities are more accessible than conventional celebrities – with more common meet-and-greets and smaller security efforts than a megastar. 

In recent years, in part due to some high profile murders, stalking laws have become more intense. 

The very dark side of fame. Why it isn’t worth it
The very dark side of fame – Youtube fame is stoking celebrity obsession 

Paparazzi and the Princess 

Princess Diana’s 1997 car accident death is perhaps one of the most famous examples of paying the ultimate price of fame. She had spent many years being chased and bullied by the paparazzi and press.

The day after Diana’s death, her brother Charles Spencer said he had always believed the press would kill Diana in the end. 

“It would appear that every proprietor and editor of every publication that has paid for intrusive and exploitative photographs of her, encouraging greedy and ruthless individuals to risk everything in pursuit of Diana’s image, has blood on their hands today.

When Diana died and jurors ruled at her inquest that she was “unlawfully killed” by both the reckless driving of their chauffeur and the paparazzi who were chasing her, it was a wake-up call for Britain’s press. A Gallup poll conducted in 1997 found that 43% of the U.K. public held photographers “extremely” responsible for the fatal smash, whereas 33% of the country found the chauffeur to be equally culpable. 

The public mood turned against paparazzi and the media, and as a consequence, British tabloids the Sun and the Mirror recorded their lowest sales figures since 1962. Eight days after Diana’s death, presumably in a bid to retain popularity, the Daily Mail pledged to ban paparazzi photos from its pages – a promise which is not reflected in the paper and its affiliated website 20-odd years later.

“There was a new breed of photographers and they certainly hadn’t learned any lessons from what happened to Diana in 1997.”

The very dark side of fame. Why it isn’t worth it
The very dark side of fame – Princess Diana paid the ultimate price of celebrity 

Have they learnt their lesson? 

TIME says in the years that have passed since Diana’s death an unseemly culture of media invasiveness still exists, but the battle lines have been redrawn. British press generally respects what is dubbed the ‘red carpet rule’: an unofficial agreement that photographing the royals is fair game on official engagements, but an expectation of privacy reigns during the interim periods. 

Stringent privacy laws mean paparazzi are wary of snapping the younger royals for risk of receiving an IPSO warning or fine, so much so that unofficial photos of the family no longer have a market.

“This process didn’t necessarily start immediately after Diana’s death but evolved because of it

“These days, picture desks will ask photographers and newspapers will ask agencies certain questions about celebrity photos; the circumstances of how the pictures were taken, where the photographer was standing, what lens they were taken on,” said Down. “This process didn’t necessarily start immediately after Diana’s death, but evolved because of it.”

The very dark side of fame. Why it isn’t worth it
The very dark side of fame – Justin Bieber has been open about his struggles with childhood fame

The phycological issues

There’s no storage of pop stars and actors coming forward to discuss the pitfalls of life in the public eye. One of the most obvious is the impact on mental health. Particularly for people who come into the spotlight at a young age. 

Back in 2019, Vogue wrote about former child star Justin Bieber opening up about the challenges of dealing with Childhood fame.

The singer posted an in-depth reflection on his early life yesterday, talking about some of the “bad decisions” he’s made in the past, including damaging important relationships and participating in heavy drug use.

He was thrust into the spotlight at the age of 13. The singer explained that bearing that responsibility and stress at such a developing age had a huge impact on him, and likely on some of his peers as well. 

‘Insane pressure and responsibility’  

“Have you noticed the statistics of child stars and the outcome of their life,” Bieber wrote. “There is an insane pressure and responsibility put on a child who’s [sic] brain, emotions, frontal lobes (decision making) aren’t developed yet…. You notice a lot of touring bands and people end up having a phase of drug abuse, and I believe it’s due to not being able to manage the huge ups and downs that come with being an entertainer.”

The singer added that at the age of 18, he found himself “with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted.” The new combination of freedom and resources, he wrote, led to some dark times: “I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all my relationships…. I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry. I became distant to everyone who loved me…. By 20, I made every bad decision you could have thought of and went from one of the most loved and adored people in the world to the most ridiculed, judged, and hated person in the world.”

The very dark side of fame. Why it isn’t worth it
The very dark side of fame – Lindsay Lohan was a child star who imploded 

The problem with child stars

USA Today asks ‘Why do some child stars implode?’ saying Lindsay Lohan has come to personify the woes faced by child performers. She was asked by Oprah Winfrey what it feels like to be both an adjective and a verb for a child star gone wrong.

It’s a legitimate question, with no simple answers. For many child stars who taste blinding fame and potentially mind-blowing fortune before they hit puberty, the gauzy, magical exterior of their lives is at odds with a far grittier reality.

“You’re a child who is working. You have a job. That job is a hard job. Everybody thinks being a child star is glamorous. But when you’re on a show, you are often carrying a whole show and you know that. You have to pull it off. You have to know your lines. People are making money off you,” says Tia Mowry, who co-starred on the series Sister, Sister with her twin, Tamera, at 16.

 “And then, you have to go to school. You miss out on a lot of things. I had to miss my prom. You see these kids on Disney and it seems like so much fun. At the same time, it’s an 8-year-old with a J-O-B. It’s a lot of pressure.”

DEEP DIVE

CONS OF FAME

Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Celebrity – Reel Rundown

11 Awesome Things About Being a Celeb That Are Actually Kind of Dark – Distractify 

The Downside Of Celebrity – Forbes

The pros and cons of fame as understood by a non-famous person – Hello Giggles 

PROS OF FAME

What’s So Great About Being Famous? – FOX News

Positive Effects Of Fame: The Influence On People – ICL

5 Reasons Fame Is All That Really Matters – Backstage

Quick Facts

What is the best thing about being famous?

The greatest advantage of being famous is that celebrities are usually very rich so they have easier life than other people. … Secondly, when you are famous, your name is known by everyone. Then, you are invited to the best parties and meet other celebrities.

What is the meaning of being famous?

 
famous, renowned, celebrated, noted, notorious, distinguished, eminent, illustrious mean known far and wide. famous implies little more than the fact of being, sometimes briefly, widely and popularly known. a famous actress renowned implies more glory and acclamation.
 

How does it feel being famous?

“At first, the experience of becoming famous provides much ego-stroking. Newly famous people find themselves warmly embraced. There is a guilty pleasure associated with the thrill of being admired in that participants both love the attention and adoration while they question the gratification they experience from fame.

What does it mean to be famous for being famous?

Famous for being famous is a pejorative term for someone who attains celebrity status for no clearly identifiable reason (as opposed to fame based on achievement, skill, or talent) and appears to generate his or her own fame, or someone who achieves fame through a family or relationship associated with an existing celebrity. 

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