FMS85C Week 7: Is there Authenticity in Celebrity Stardom?

(via rcauilanfms85c.tumblr.com)

The entertainment industry is something we all can’t hide from. All societies known have created, shared, and consumed the pleasurable products we call culture or the arts, as Larry Gross writes. We ourselves most likely bask in this grand spectacle of a culture ourselves! In his article entitled, “Privacy and Spectacle: The Reversible Panopticon and Media-Saturated Society,”  he comments on the idea of celebrity stardom in the beautiful art of storytelling we find in entertainment. There are such powerful forces and emotions that can be emitted, whether verbal, visual, or musical, and, with the performance, expressive-side of any entertainment comes the act of “putting yourself out there–” with some even becoming what we call stars.

I find that the entertainment industry has both its perks and downfalls (as with anything, one might add). The idea of losing one’s own privacy becomes the greatest downfall for any artist because–as some of the greatest artists are truly introverts–finding personal, private time becomes a rarity. Those who strive to be in the spotlight sometimes do not create the best of work (for that’s the movie producers, directors, and writers’ work in the end). I can vouch that some people just know how to work the idea of being a “star,” while others do what they love and deal with the consequences.

What becomes particularly intriguing to those obsessed with celebrity culture is the search for the truth, or better known as the “rhetoric of authenticity.” Gross comments, “Show business celebrities quickly learned the rules of the game, cooperating with the studios and the media in the construction of public facades and the covering up of potentially embarrassing glimpses of hidden backstage realities.” The idea that a show business celebrity, who, for one, plays a fictional role, and two, plays another “real-life” role that is “although often equally fictional” is quite disturbing. I think this plays into a great critique that could be done on the disturbances of celebrity stardom and how figures have to even fake their own real-life, just to get tabloids, fans, and photographers away. It’s a desperate attempt to get away, but, we still do not quite know who that person really is (and who knows if we ever will?). All we can infer is that the media has taken a toll on them, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse (but mostly for worse, I can say).

In an interview with DP/30, Jennifer Lawrence comments, “I mean… Fame is such a predictable, simple thing that it’s hard to be awestruck by it. It doesn’t impress me at all, it’s a very predictable thing—you put somebody’s face on a billboard and everybody thinks that, you know, they’re an alien, and treats them differently and thinks that they’re special and they’re not. You know, if we put your face everywhere and you came out with a movie and everybody started, it would be the same thing for you. Like, it’s not… I’m not special. It’s just–that’s how fame works.”

As one of the few humbling and unaffected young “stars” who has recently garnered much fame, she finds that the “stardom” in Hollywood is just something to deal with. The sad thing, I find, is that we can never quite get to know these “stars” without them remaining cautious or on-edge on what to say or how to be. Where’s the authenticity in that?


(Video linked from rachelannc.wordpress.com)

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