Impact of Celebrity Culture: A Thought Piece

I'm going to preface this by saying I'm no expert on the inner workings of celebrity life. I write this from experiences I've lived and observations from my time working in entertainment as an assistant and in public relations.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

I'm going to preface this by saying I'm no expert on the inner workings of celebrity life. I write this from experiences I've lived and observations from my time working in entertainment as an assistant and in public relations.

Pop culture has always been something that fascinated me. How does one define celebrity? Who is worthy of fame? Are celebrities really like normal people? Spoiler alert: yes, they are. I'm still trying to figure out how society became so obsessed with celebrity. Is selfie culture to blame? Does the world suck so much that the only thing cool is meeting a famous person? Hell, there's a celebrity in the running to be our next President. When I was younger, seeing a celebrity in person was like being in the presence of some God-like figure. I'm not ashamed to admit I used to go a little crazy in their presence, but as I grew up and entered the entertainment field, I also grew a maturity that many people have yet to discover.

Every day at my office, celebrities come in for press appearances. They are doing their job while I am doing mine. My job does not have ruthless idolization and stalking these people in the description. Sure, there's a bonus of greeting them, asking them a question and if I'm lucky at an appropriate time, a quick selfie to commemorate the experience. Of course, if the proper permission is given.

There are fans who like to come in and be prepared with several pieces of memorabilia to be signed in addition to their cameras for a photo op. However, they are not there to appreciate someone's work or learn something new. They are there to garner attention and exploit the people they meet for a quick buck. I know people need to pay their bills, but there are moral and more respectable ways to do so. These "fans" clearly don't see celebrities as human beings with feelings, but as objects of affection. I've been able to easily identify people who spend their days doing nothing but follow celebrities around the city, demand attention on social media, and whine when they don't get their way.

What these "fans" don't seem to realize is that celebrities aren't robots that live to please you 24/7. They are living, breathing human beings with families, jobs and the need to pay their bills. Working in the entertainment field taught me a massive appreciation for everyone in the industry- from reporters, to assistants to publicists and, of course, to the stars themselves. When I meet someone famous, I do everything I can to separate myself from the inappropriate stalker behavior of nearby fans. I want to appreciate someone's work, let them know about it and move on. It's so important to respect someone on a human level, rather than treat them as, again, an object of affection.

One of the worst things about these people is how they have the audacity to claim that certain celebrities are mean and rude people because they won't take a selfie or sign an autograph. I've witnessed this behavior from several people. For example, an older woman tried to tell me that a certain female celebrity, who will remain nameless, is a "rude bitch." I was shocked to hear such a terrible thing and since I met this celebrity before, I asked the woman what makes her think that since I had a completely different experience. She begins by saying that she was waiting outside the celebrity's hotel for hours. Before she could say any more, I stopped her. You waited outside her hotel?! Two words: PERSONAL SPACE. These people don't understand is that even though celebrities are public figures, they are entitled to privacy just like anyone else. Do you think maybe you were denied an autograph or picture because you made her feel uncomfortable or unsafe?

The bottom line here is treat people with respect, regardless of their status in society. Everyone deserves privacy without feeling like they're being followed around mercilessly by creeps who just want to make money off of you. The obsession with fame and celebrity has reached a point that is beyond shameful. Stalking and obsessing and treating people like objects won't help you with anything in life. It will not get you anywhere, nor will it gain you any respect. I'm so sorry to celebrities who deal with this issue on a daily basis.

We can do better than this.

Popular in the Community