What is a true celebrity? Andy Warhol must have been right about everyone’s fifteen minutes of fame. It seems, over time, that traditional celebrities are competing with average citizens for headlines and publicity. This means movie stars, musicians, and other prominent figures in the news are no longer safe when they reach the top of their pedestal – they can be knocked off by an amateur at seemingly anytime. While there are many factors to blame, the two primary mediums which have rocketed the seemingly nobodies of the world to fame are reality programming and the internet.
When reality programming was first introduced, television audiences sat up and took notice. Watching people as normal as the next guy fascinated us, and made us wonder about our own potential stardom. Prompted or not, characters on shows such as The Real World, Survivor and The Apprentice are discussed around lockers and water coolers on an almost daily basis.
The stars of these shows might have started filming as the boy or girl-next-door, but once the premiere hits airwaves, they are famous – at least for a little while. Millions watch their every decision or mistake with bated breath, and develop the same emotional relationship with these average citizens that used to be exclusively reserved for major celebrity fan clubs.
On the internet, websites such as YouTube and MySpace are offering even more “normal” individuals a chance to have a staring role. Clever videos or marketing schemes propel internet users to the virtual spotlight and make them a sort of online icon. Email forwards and popular videos offer folks a chance to share their talents or humorous moments with the world. Thousands or millions of viewers watch the short video or read the blog and another celebrity is born.
The trends and bursts of popularity we call pop culture are beginning to replace traditional entertainment media. Entertainment news features major musicians and actors at roughly the same rate as reality stars of the moment. Traditional celebrities anxious to hang on to the spotlight are beginning to follow the new wave of popularity and produce online videos, create interesting online fan sites, and some stars even engage in reality shows specifically for celebrities. More mainstream celebrities have also begun engaging in rather extreme publicity stunts which are becoming almost transparent as they feel the spotlight beginning to shift to others.
Websites, such as CelebrityContest.net, offer the public an opportunity to express their opinion of all forms of celebrity. Individuals now have the opportunity to build portfolios of celebrities, much like online stock portfolios. Buy celebrities when they are hot, and drop them when they are not. Available forums offer trading advice and gossip to help make investment decisions. Help your favorite celebrities regain popularity by adding them to your portfolio, and send a quiet message to others as you sell them off.
The concept of a celebrity’s value is simple. Celebrities exist only because the public allows them to. Those who enjoy being in the spotlight now have a means to get there thanks to reality programming and the internet. This is true for mainstream as well as local celebrities. The tricky part, as the one-hit-wonders and child-stars over the years can tell you, is staying on top once you get there, or at least keeping a toe in that desirable limelight.
Source by Rebecca Garland