Home Opinion The Shame of Fame

The Shame of Fame

by Brian Rooney

The nature of the American celebrity has taken a frighteningly dark turn within our culture. The amount of weight fame carries has reached a point where conformity is promoted and creativity is disparaged.

I hate to be the “we’re so buried in our phones” guy, but I would rather hang out with that guy than with the 100 millionth person who posts their results from the celebrity look-alike app. Oh, you have a slight resemblance to Russell Brand? I truly do not care.

It’s this new, instantaneous access to celebrities through social media that has made us very easily manipulated.

You don’t have to do FaceApp. No one cares what you will look like when you’re 80. Judging by the “let’s drink wine” t-shirt you’re wearing, your liver probably won’t let you make it that far in life.

People even repost a celebrity’s Instagram story to their own account. What message are you trying to communicate, exactly? Is it “this already incredibly wealthy and famous person deserves more attention” or maybe “I like and approve of this aesthetic, but my lack of talent and drive will not allow me to reach this status?”

These people you throw your affection and attention toward have no idea who you are. They do not care. When we watch these actors, pop musicians and other “influencers” playing a game with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” and they seem cool, grounded and genuine, we must realize that they are only there to promote.

Whether it be their latest film that’s the fifth remake of a once creative idea, a new album featuring yet another basic four-chord pop song designed to feed off of low self-esteem, or just to remind the world that they exist, they are all wearing makeup. Every single thing these people do has a multitude of dollar signs behind it.

In the days leading up to the season 45 premiere of “Saturday Night Live,” a video was released of guest host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish speaking on the importance of the youth of America combating climate change.

Multimillionaires, calling on us, the financially struggling, to fight a trillion-dollar problem caused by multimillionaires. Believe it or not, telling your waiter that you don’t need a plastic straw is not going to save the inevitable expiration of this planet. However, what might help deadlock climate change is taking the hundreds of billions of dollars made from the 20 plus seemingly identical Marvel movies and utilizing that instead.

I realize that people probably do not make the conscious choice to not put their money towards environmental justice. Our economy, domestic and global, does have structural flaws. But calling on college students, already riddled with the combined pressure of staggering student debt and a bleak future, is not only deeply unfair, but it is also selfish and weak.

I do understand the value that celebrities provide. It is important to have someone to look up to and become inspired by, someone to try and emulate. Maybe just loosen the connection a little bit, and remember that conformity is boring, one dimensional is boring and mindlessly praising people for inhabiting those qualities is boring.

Life is difficult, but complicated problems do not have simple solutions. A pop singer saying you are perfect for dozenth time will not make your problems go away. Obsessing over the benign details of celebrity romance will not solve your problems, either.


There is nothing wrong with having a role model. Just do your best to realize that in the case of most modern celebrities, the only thing on their mind is checks, whether they’d be in their bank account or next to their name on Twitter.

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