The Price Of Popularity

Justin Timberlake and a fan

Justin Timberlake and a fan

I am beginning to understand why my celebrity friends lament their status and make every effort to remain under the radar. Celebrities have to deal with complete strangers who don’t seem to grasp the concept of privacy. While it is true that being in the public eye almost requires a celebrity to relinquish a good portion of his or her privacy, it is still an invasion when a celebrity cannot even have a nice dinner without some crazed fan gushing all over him. I still recall seeing Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel at a popular Los Angeles restaurant many years ago, with poor Justin essentially trapped by two young ladies who literally stood at his table for THIRTY MINUTES talking his ear off. He was too nice to tell them to leave, but he avoided eye contact, and sheepishly responded to their queries. I have been in similar situations with my celebrity friends when we have been out in public.

Another element of celebrity status which I am actually beginning to experience myself is the impostor syndrome. Apparently, there are individuals out there who claim to be me, using my likeness, my name and my titles. I have worked my ass off to get to where I am now, and I certainly do NOT appreciate such spiritual leeches taking my good name and wearing it. The small bit of flattery which one might assume is at play is, in my estimation, completely eclipsed by the creepiness and the invasion of pretending to be someone else.

I heard an interesting comment from one of my friends today, which was: “The more successful you are, the more haters you have.” I have to admit that whenever I have to deal with a hater, I am rattled by such energy and will never understand how people can go out of their way to spread negativity. Some fans and followers (thank goodness it is the exception and not the rule) develop a very distorted perspective in which they believe that they are connected or bonded to the celebrity they are interested in. This quickly turns into an obsession, with the fan holding onto a sense of entitlement which can be dangerous. If such a fan feels disregarded by the celebrity, a cascade of psychotic behavior can ensue.

Thankfully, the vast majority of people are level-headed and rational and understand that celebrities have a right to their personal lives. Celebrities should be afforded the same respect and right to privacy that ordinary folks are accustomed to. After all, they are only human.

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