Have you been overwhelmed by the influence of celebrities in your life? Have you felt a stab of envy at their money, power, fame, prestige, cars, houses, boats, or planes? Have you considered buying products endorsed by these Hollywood stars? Or have you picked up the latest issue of ‘People’ magazine just to keep up with the latest buzz in the world of celebrity? We all have.
I was appalled when I heard on the radio that Kathy Griffin was shirtless in 47 degrees on CNN New Year’s Eve special.
The cult of celebrity has spread like wildfire. It has pervaded our culture with an overwhelming influence in every facet of our lives — entertainment, politics, sports and religion.
With the advent of mobile phones and tablets, these celebrities have influenced every aspect of our financial behavior. We are addicted to the essential destroyer of our financial success — culture of consumption.
The increasing influence of cult of celebrities is evident by the fact that we all are attracted towards the fame of celebrity. Not only entertainers and the stars of Hollywood, but politicians and athletes too are all striving to win our hearts with their newfound fame as celebrities. Their increasing influence in our lives is evident from the fact that the media spends a great amount of resources to highlight stories about these stars even when the moral outcome of these stories negatively impacts our lives.
Our media feels pride in showing Kim Kardashian’s wedding for the sake of capitalizing on the drama with no focus on the moral implications on the rest of the society. In fact, divorce plays a major role in the financial stress faced by women.
It’s a sad state of our culture that we measure our worth by the status symbols to idolize these celebrities and not by substance of our ideals.
We worship the greatness of celebrities but we seldom strive for the celebrity of greatness.
We have reached another tipping point in our culture by worshiping the greatness of celebrity — We see Paris Hilton more and more in the media and the paparazzi are addicted to feed on every hysterical act of Britany Spears only because our urge to acquire their celebrity status has bamboozled our sense of true happiness. There’s a plethora of magazines that show front-page covers with semi-nude celebrities that are becoming the idols to our young generation. The ethos of the popular culture of the masses has become the new world order.
Every woman should have four pets in her life. A mink in her closet, a jaguar in her garage, a tiger in her bed, and a jackass who pays for everything. — Paris Hilton
This is the quintessential sign of a cultural decline when a celebrity espouses a way of life that can only bring misery in the lives of women who follow this advice. The underlying message is clear, “I can buy a Jaguar but you can’t”. The aim is to create a cult of worshipers who don’t see how self-absorbed and ludicrous these celebrities are who feel pride when they boast about their extravagant way of life. The underlying message makes a mockery of personal responsibility for our actions. How about trying to help those in need than aiming to have a tiger in your bed or a Jaguar in your garage – especially when you don’t have the means to pay for these luxuries?
This culture of extravagant consumerism has banished the moral compass of decency and the values of hard work, integrity and compassion for others. When was the last time you remember seeing those courageous people helping victims of Katrina in the media coverage? When was the last time you heard about the countless ordinary folk people who sacrifice everything to help a neighbor in need?
One of my heroes, Warren Buffett, hardly ever gets media publicity because only glamour sells. Ironically, those who are showing off in real life are simply acting rich and those are rich never shows off in real life.
We love freedom of speech but our expressions are enslaved by the cult of celebrity.
We all remember those fiery words of Patrick Henry, “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” The speech embodies human yearning to think and express views with freedom without restrictions. The underlying philosophy behind freedom of speech is noble – to dream and achieve our human potential only limited by the limits of our thoughts.
The same freedom of expression has allowed our celebrities to have sway over our tastes and to paralyze our sense of independence. The malady of cult behavior has given power to these celebrities to enslave our collective psyche and to shape our financial attitudes and preferences with a heavy dose of declining morals. Our ability to think and guide our own destiny has evaporated in the fumes of a pipe dream that absorbs our precious life energy and leads us to follow celebrity advice on issues ranging from the bedroom to the boardroom.
These celebrities influence our decision-making on things as mundane as what type of cereal to eat in the morning to what kind of luxury automobile we should purchase — even if we can’t afford it. We have become addicted to the cult culture to please others to carve out our identity. Celebrities have now taken over the reign of politics and public policies that define the character of our nation. Their persona — name, charm, wealth and media savviness — has eclipsed the moral character of public service.
The cult of celebrity has turned our lives into an empty shell showcasing the hysterical stampede for public glory.
One of the fastest growing epidemics is our belief that success is measured by the degree of public glory we receive. Our collective desire to seek approval from others has grown to an astronomical proportions. Have you been unhappy that you are not living in a mansion? Have you been dissatisfied with your looks? Have you entertained the notion that if you don’t look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, you are inferior? The increasing desire to live, look and feel like a celebrity has fueled the growth of the ‘reality TV’ industry into a multi billion dollar business.
We all want to be an instant celebrity to drink the nectar of fame and fortune. More is better… this is the mantra driving our economic engine. We purchase cars we can’t afford, we purchase houses that are too big, and we wear expensive clothes to create a mythical identity of fake celebrity. We have allowed the cult of celebrity to steal our conscience and sense of dignity. We adore the singing ‘American Idols’, but we seldom think about the unsung heroes who selflessly and tirelessly work to make our world a peaceful and better place to live.
The cult of celebrity has cornered every facet of our lives — our values and happiness have been seized by the growing desire to seek outer glory at the expense of inner peace; it’s posing greatest risk to our financial future.
It’s time to awaken and pull ourselves out of this cult brainwashing that has robbed our freedom to think and be proud of ourselves for who we are. It is an act of a daft fool to surrender our financial freedom and pursuit of happiness to the cult of celebrity. Do you agree?