The Status of Status

I’m an American. I’m not ethnocentric to that cause, but I do love my country as many of you do, as well. But over the past 10-15 years there has been this increase, or surge, of “upping your status” in the world of the celebrity. And the trend is quite disturbing.

I know there are countries out there completely devoted to making people either into celebs, or just taking their current celebrity and boosting it a whole lot. And these people have quite the finger on the trigger for making it happen. They know what works and what doesn’t. They have stats, figures, and can name off thirty other celebs that have done different “tricks” to boost their image in the world of being a celebrity. And sometimes those tricks include things like making a sex tape, going beyond the ordinary (think Miley Cyrus at the VMAs in 2013), or pulling a stunt that will put that person into the limelight. And the basic consumer eats it up in the form of pushing that person to the front of the news, who ALSO has no problem with upping that person’s status by broadcasting their shenanigans. And that is what disturbs me so. Because it comes down to one, simple thought:

THERE ARE NO MORE SUPERSTARS.

I challenge you to select one actor that has become famous in the last ten years who is considered a superstar by any stretch of the imagination. Someone who came out of left field, rose through the ranks in a “wholesome manner”, and is on the tip of everyone’s tongue when it comes to their household credibility. When you see a movie or TV show starring this person, you are compelled to watch it, simply on name recognition alone, and not because of some awkward “crush” or “love” for that individual. And I’m betting that you can’t do it.

See, the days of superstars is completely over. Days when Clark Gable or Marilyn Monroe were listed as top billing and folks flocked to see whatever they were in. Even as close as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jack Nicholson could be considered still in the “stardom” range, but began waning in their last years of true acting. (Now it’s just nostalgia to see them in something, and not so much of a draw as it used to be.)

So what’s to blame, you wonder? Technology. And different forms of it, too. Media is so fast now that you can practically learn about the antics of so-and-so before they even do it! And since the paparazzi have increased about 3000% over the last two decades, it’s harder and harder to see people for who they are and not every possible negative thing they’re doing. (When’s the last time you saw a TMZ story about someone (actress or celeb) being a great mother to their children? Oh, sure, you hear frequently about this person or that visiting the children’s hospital to meet sick and dying kids, but don’t you think that’s a star power increase propagated by the celebrity machine I was talking about earlier? Wholesome stories are BOOOORING, and the “fans” (read:audience) are not interested in those, even though they should be. And I personally think they need to create an anti-TMZ site for just those occasions. Because all of the negative in the world is doing one thing: Corrupting the fans into accepting the bounty of dumb things/mistakes people make. It’s quite unacceptable to me and it should be to you, as well.