Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2012 2:12:29 AM
Fame is an interesting concept. In some instances, it brings power and fortune. Celebrities who can manufacture their fifteen minutes of fame might have created the gateway to a lifetime of fame. In others, fame is a notoriety that can either fuel or destroy a career. These celebrities are crafty at creating fame, but it is society that ultimately magnifies and glorifies it. The fame that envelopes the Hollywood starlets or the objects of sensational headlines is most often undeserved.
Hollywood can be separated into two classes of celebrities: those who worked their away through the entertainment business and those who stumbled upon a persona that America fell in love with. There are talented actors and musicians, but there are also celebrities like Kim Kardashian. She bursted into the spotlight through a sex tape with a famous football player, and now she has reality television shows and an obscene number of product promotions. She has nothing that would get her into Hollywood by way of talent (her fiasco of a music single is a testament to that), yet she is one of the highest valued celebrities to date. Think also of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore, where a group of overly tan pseudo-Italians have managed to become one of the largest cultural phenomenon of our generation. If this fame is based on talent, then it is the talent of being so ridiculous that America somehow drawn to them.
The aftermath of the Casey Anthony trial showed how even 'bad fame' benefits the subject. After Anthony's trial and not guilty verdict, most of America was convinced she was guilty. Anthony's fame was a notorious one, but look how far it has propelled her. Anthony has been offered an $8 million book deal, and her asking price to appear on talk shows is riding high. Anthony, despite being one of the most hated women in America following her trial, is reaping benefits from this 'bad fame.' It's almost as if society is rewarding her for this awful persona she's developed.
There are subcultures devoted to the guidos of Jersey Shore. People of all ages subscribe to gossip magazines and keep up to the minute on their favorite celebrities. Fame drives pop culture, even if people are famous for the wrong reasons.