Lately, I have been seeing so much emphasis on famous people in the news and social media. Some fans even view fame as a utopia. After thinking about what life is like for these people, I came to the conclusion that they must truly envy the rest of us. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking fame. There are some individuals who have accomplished great things, and fame is a natural evolution, and there are some who thrive on it. However, fame is a double-edged sword.
First, famous people lose a large portion of their privacy. Many cannot leave their home without being hounded by fans and paparazzi. Think about your day. What would you do without privacy? Imagine sitting at a restaurant with friends and being unable to enjoy some relaxing social time. While the first intrusion or two might be fun, the repetition would quickly grow old and tiresome.
Because of my father’s job, I was occasionally in the public eye, and while my examples are not as extreme, I remember several occasions where our vacations plans were drastically changed because we ran into someone who knew Dad. When we packed for vacations, we were not allowed to bring any clothing with our college’s name on it because family time was special and meant to be private. Though I failed to see how Dad wouldn’t be recognized when he was 6’3”, was always tanned, and had a head the size of the Elias Brother’s Big Boy.
Some also argue here that high incomes would more than make up for the lack of privacy. While most of these folks make a great deal of money, they also have a high overhead to maintain. They have agents, assistants, handlers, security, and the endless line of people who think they should pass on the financial love. Incomes also don’t stay so high. As strange as this sounds, famous people often have a hard time finding new jobs.
Famous people also tend to work away from home for long periods of time. Being separated from a spouse or child can make relationships difficult to maintain (Ever heard of the Hollywood marriage?). Children also struggle with the continued absence of a parent. I was told that I greatly underestimate this amount, but I figured my father was on the road for at least three months throughout each year. There were many things he missed, and there were many times I would have benefitted from his presence or words of wisdom. While I had a wonderful support network growing up, those father/daughter moments are just gone.
Finally, famous people must worry about the safety of their families. I could not fathom the stress they must be under to protect their children from crazed fans and paparazzi. I’ve heard of fans showing up at schools, children’s sporting events, and family outings. Think of your own family. How would you handle such an intrusion? If you think about it, being an Average Joe “ain’t a bad gig.”