I think that almost everyone at one point in their life has had a hidden dream of becoming a celebrity. I know that I find myself sometimes picturing what life would be like if I had millions of devoted fans, assistants and managers waiting on me hand and foot, and more money than I could count. At a glance, being a celebrity seems pretty easy. Everything is virtually handed to you, and whatever isn’t you can probably buy anyways. It seems unfair in some cases that people like the Kardashians, (who many say are famous for essentially nothing), get to enjoy this luxury. However, what is the true cost of fame in one’s life? The obvious answer would consist mainly of the loss of privacy in one’s life, but what else is sacrificed in the making of a “celebrity”?
I recently encountered an article on Psychology Today that discussed the psychological burdens of being a celebrity. The article refers to psychologist Dr. Ganz Ferrance to dissect the mental stresses involved with fame. According to Ferrance, in order to be a healthy and functioning celebrity, you must be able to handle immense negativity in your life. If you are not the type of person that can fall down seven times and stand up eight, being a celebrity may not be a viable career choice for you, (apologies for any crushed dreams). According to research from marketing Professor Marlene Morris Towns at Georgetown University, being turned down and vehemently rejected by professionals and the public alike are a key factors in the foundation of a celebrity. One’s mental ability to handle opposing forces and backlash is essential in the make-up of a sustainable celebrity. With the overwhelming presence of social media in today’s society, this ability to handle denial becomes even more relevant. Today, rejection and internet “hate” floods different social media platforms every minute, this alone demands celebrities to adapt and to develop less sensitive mental processes.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner, two of the most famous teenagers in the world, continually complain about their lost chances on being “normal” kids. Both of the teens were practically born into the spotlight. Kylie in particular seems to constantly bemoan her lost opportunity on being a regular kid. At the age of 16 the star began getting cosmetic surgery on her face, starting with lip injections. The plastic surgery continued for the teen up until not too long ago at the age of 18. The reality TV star seemed to go through a complete transformation due to cosmetic surgery throughout the years where her body was still growing and developing. Whether this was simply a personal choice or a coping mechanism to deal with the rejection that coincides with fame is up for debate. But, Jenner does have one of the strongest social media followings, with over 74 million followers on Instagram alone, making her an incredibly easy target for daily online backlash and hatred.
So, what is the real cost of fame? Is mental stability a pre-requisite or must it develop as your celebrity status culminates? And even when you are born into fame, does that still mean that you must train yourself to ignore the constant rejection and persevere? Whatever the case may be, psychological toughness most definitely is a factor that can attribute to the rise or fall of any celebrity.