Secretly there might be a bit of wishful thinking in many of us. As they say ‘aim for the moon and you might hit the stars.’ I see no harm in thinking big and having ambition. But what is it about being a star that people are looking for?
I suspect it’s the attention, the perceived lifestyle, the status. Deep down don’t most of us want to be noticed? Wouldn’t we like heads to turn and get the best tables in a restaurant? It looks very attractive to be in the public eye. Except of course it comes at a cost. Gemma Collins, an ex-pupil, was recently interviewed by Piers Morgan. She’d certainly been on a journey and learnt from her experiences but if she was starting again would she choose all that public attention. Er yes, I think she would. That level of attention is a drug and one that’s hard to break especially when it can also be so lucrative.
But it begs the question what is a star? Who gets to decide? These days is it the number of likes or followers? Well, it’s a measure of some kind of popularity. A star of what though? This is where I think Gemma is clever. She doesn’t perform a set of performing skills. She adopts a persona and rides on the edge of the controversial aspect of her life – where publicity meets cheekiness. And in that place, she meets head on the kind of people who tried to bully her in the first place. We applaud her for outsmarting them. The power is in not caring what they think and being happy in her own body. You can write your own script for what you think she is really like but I think what you see is what you get. To that extent Gemma was what she is now when she was 14.
Meanwhile I have sometimes glimpsed the world of people who are talented performersand realised that they do something similar – they adopt a persona for work and another for a private life. When you are recognised every time you leave the house, when you receive shedloads of letters every day (most of them wanting something from you) and when the paparazzi come to call, where does that line between you and the persona get moved to? It would surely alter your perspective.
No wonder many stars prefer to get on quietly with their work. In fact, they often deny being stars at all. They may twinkle, but they are not going to let us know who they are. And I don’t blame them for that at all.
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