The Dark Side of Fame

Eleni Cheng, Editorial

In this generation and society, we all dream of the desire for fame. Fame by definition is “the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements.” Like many celebrities, fame comes with gaining followers, fans, and money. It’s a perfect life. At least, that’s what it looks like to us from the outside. 

Fame comes with many struggles. This includes the lack of privacy, paparazzi, rumors, stalkers, and the constant pressure of being in the public eye. Despite our perceptions of fame, the reality is far from what it truly is. 

According to a 2014 study by University of Sydney psychology professor Dianna Kenny, the lifespan of pop stars is 25 years less than non-famous people. Her study also showed that the chances of death from these causes are greater than the US population. Accidental death rates were between five and 10 times greater. Suicide rates were between two and seven times greater, and homicide rates were up to eight times greater than the US population.  

According to psychologist and author Pamela Stephenson, “fame [is] extremely bad for your health.” Many celebrities struggle with their mental health, including anxiety, depression, body image issues, and other mental struggles with their health.

“I feel like, when people label people as famous they take away a lot of substance that they have as a person,” Harry Styles says in a 2013 interview, according to Quotes for Bros. 

Being labeled as “famous” means losing what makes you a person. Fame comes with the complete inability to function as a normal human being. Nothing can be normal. Everything you do is being watched, photographed, and questioned everywhere you go. It’s as simple as going to the grocery store, getting gas, or grabbing lunch. 

Another celebrity who struggles with fame is Kristen Stewart. “Fame is the worst thing in the world, especially if it’s pointless. When people say, “I want to be famous” – why? You don’t do anything?,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.

We crave fame and this celebrity lifestyle as it seems very much appealing to the eye. We think that with fame comes everything we can ever dream of wealth, being known and seen, being surrounded with paparazzi, giving autographs, taking selfies with fans. However, being famous comes at the expense of losing privacy, constant judgment, and scrutiny.

The solution is not easy, but it is simple. We’ll always want to be known and be seen by others. But rather than encouraging fame, we should be known and seen by the people we already have, not by strangers, fans, or the media. Don’t spend your life feeling miserable or unsatisfied with your own life just because a celebrity has a “better” or “perfect” one. Having fame does not guarantee happiness.

Be satisfied with your life and what you’re given; this way, you won’t be thinking about getting rich and famous, but you will be living in the present. So now, do you still dream of fame?

  

Work Cited:

Kenny, Dianna Theadora. “Stairway to Hell: Life and Death in the Pop Music Industry.” The Conversation, 26 Oct. 2014, https://theconversation.com/stairway-to-hell-life-and-death-in-the-pop-music-industry-32735. 

Stephenson, Pamela. “Pamela Stephenson Delivers a Devastating Reality Check: Trust Me, I’m a Psychologist – Fame Is Bad for Your Health.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 14 Apr. 2012, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2129722/Pamela-Stephenson-delivers-devastating-reality-check-Trust-Im-psychologist–fame-IS-bad-health.html. 

Bros, Quotes for. “Quotes from Celebs Explaining Why It Sucks to Be Famous.” Quotes For Bros, 17 Mar. 2016, http://www.quotesforbros.com/why-it-sucks-to-be-famous-quotes/. 

UK, Harper’s BAZAAR. “Kristen Stewart Is Bazaar’s June Cover Star.” Harper’s BAZAAR, 2 May 2015, https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/fashion-news/news/a34269/kristen-stewart-interview/.