Can you remember a time when celebrities didn't try and flog you something they'd purportedly created? No, nor me. Especially since the inception of structured Reality TV a few years ago where the obsession with shows such as TOWIE and Geordie Shore et al paved the way for its stars to capitalise on their new found fame and make some serious wedge.
Teens and indeed fans in their twenties, up and down the land wanted to have their own bit of glamour the cast members appeared to showcase. False eyelashes, make up, jewellery and not forgetting the endless clothing lines were just some of the many products the 'stars' have put their names to and I guess, how can you blame them?
It's likely easy money.
The viewers of these TV shows are buying into the brand that is TOWIE and the like. They watch these shows once or twice a week and are probably impressed by the way they look with their insta-perfect lives. Each episode they'll be wearing yet another new coat or another new dress, their faces perfectly made up without so much as a hair out of place and these impressionable young viewers want a piece of this. They'll want to emulate it. Like it or not, these Reality TV stars are people who teens are looking up to.
Do I agree with it? Well, that's a debate for another blog on another day. However, my bugbear is with the individuals who have capitalised on their instant fame and don't appreciate the interest into their lives that comes with that type of fame.
Let me break it down a bit.
Structured Reality TV shows are a genre of television which is based on real life. Yes, we're well versed with the line that "some scenes are made purely for your entertainment" but these people are real, their lives are real and basically we're watching a real life soap opera unfold in front of our very eyes.
We're observing as they fall out with friends, experience heartbreak or betrayal and take part in almighty showdowns with their peers. We're getting to know them as a person, their personalities, attitudes, likes and dislikes and we as a viewer formulate our own opinions based on what we see.
We as viewers are encouraged to take to Twitter and other social media platforms during the show and create discussion based on our views. Yeah OK, some people will take it too far and get a bit personal, and you won't find me defending that sort of behaviour here, however it's very much an interactive process.
The stars of these Reality TV shows have managed to carve careers out of their television appearances, some of them very successfully indeed. The likes of Amy Childs, Mark Wright and the Faiers sisters are now multi-millionaires. A status you could argue wouldn't be the case were it not for The Only Way Is Essex coming along 6 years ago. They have offered up so many areas of their lives to the general public, you have to wonder is there anything else left to give?
Taking all of the aforementioned into consideration allow me to now (finally, you're thinking eh?) reach the pertinent point of this article.
I was flicking through a glossy magazine a few days ago and came across an interview with former Made In Chelsea cast member; Lucy Watson.
Lucy made a name for herself when she joined the 'sloaney series' back in 2012. An instant hit with many fans of the show, her 'don't give a fuck' attitude was as infectious as it was hilarious (to me anyway). She instantly became one of the stand out stars of the show.
The reason for her interview with Star magazine last week was for her to promote her newly created make up range entitled "Basic Bitch".
Now, considering Lucy's background is a Reality TV show where she documented her love life, her rivalries with other cast members (and trust me when I say there were loads) and didn't even attempt to hide her often prickly side, you'd think she wouldn't shy away from a few questions that were, how shall I word it, probing.
Journalists have a job to do. Especially when it comes to the ones who write for celebrity magazines. As someone who is slightly obsessed with celebrity culture (sue me), if I wanted to read about the colours Lucy had chosen for her make up collection, I'd buy a beauty magazine. I want salaciousness. I want scandal. And above all I want GOSSIP. This is why I buy a magazine of this nature.
Lucy would've been aware of the line of questioning when she was approached by Star magazine to set up an interview. I'm assuming she would've received a fee for her time and of course not withstanding the promotion "Basic Bitch" would be receiving.
So, when she was asked the question "Who's the bitchier sister - you or Tiffany" I scoffed whilst reading her response. Offering up a "probably me", she followed up with "Look, I'm not really feeling these questions. I don't want to get into who's a bitch...."
You've released a make-up range called "Basic Bitch". You undertook the 'role' of the bitch on Made In Chelsea, a part you appeared to revel in. The show; Made In Chelsea, is a Reality TV show where we've all watched you and your sister fall out, make up, gossip about people etc, so please don't insult us by suddenly adopting this shy persona we're not previously acquainted with.
That shit just don't wash with me.
If you've openly criticised people on Twitter, on a TV show, in publications, how can you suddenly decide you don't want to answer questions along those lines?
"Could an engagement be on the cards?" next asks the journalist. For reference, Lucy was in a relationship on Made In Chelsea with a fellow cast member.
"I'm not comfortable answering personal questions"
Your personal life was heavily featured on the show that made you famous. You know, the show that catapulted you into a position where you are able to release make up ranges and jewellery lines. The show that made people interested in you as a person, the show that means you're able to grace the pages of a Celebrity gossip magazine.
I came away from reading this interview with the word hypocrite circling my head.
Can a person who flaunts their personal life so blatantly on social media, on a TV show, in magazines really become protective over a line of questioning, that basically embodies the product they're plugging? Because personally, I can't help but think it's all a bit rich.