I'll be the first admit that I love keeping up with celebrity gossip. I check TMZ at least once a day, and have no problem going on long tangents with my coworkers about whatever story is trending that day. I'm also what I would call a celebrity cynic, as I believe that more often than not, publicity, money and fame are the driving forces behind the many things celebs do. I suppose that's what makes it so entertaining, but that's beside the point. If I've learned anything from this not-so-guilty pleasure of mine, it's that I am really, really happy that I'm not famous.
The latest trending gossip story over the past couple weeks revolves around Meghan Markle, otherwise known as the Duchess of Sussex. It all started, at least on a globally talked about scale, when The Sun published a piece with information from a secret Palace source claiming Markle and Kate Middleton were feuding as a product of Markle's rude and demanding behavior. It got so bad that Kensington Palace even addressed the rumors, and you know the royals don't usually touch on petty commoner-matters such as this.
Regardless of my personal beliefs about the rumors, I can't help but think how terrible being famous must be. Whether or not she really is the abrasive and unreasonable Duchess they claim, it doesn't really matter, because people are going to talk about her no matter what. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty miserable.
Right now there's an obsession with being famous. Of course fame is nothing new, but with social media, reality TV, and the simple fact that the internet runs the world, fame has become accessible to a wider range of people. And it seems like everyone wants a piece. But should they?
I hate to be cliché and mention this family, but I can't help but point out the Kardashians/Jenners. Kylie Jenner has absolutely staked her claim in the makeup world, but where would that girl be without her family's reality TV show and her Instagram account? We all know her world would look a whole lot different. While I'm sure she loves her stardom and where it's already propelled her at such a young age, it doesn't take away from the cost associated with it. So many young girls want to be the next Kylie Jenner, but they forget that along with those thousands of Instagram likes or follows, comes a complete lack of privacy and an open invitation for judgement. No matter how pure your intentions may be, the sad reality is that someone will always have something negative to say about it.
Growing up I was an avid watcher of the Real World. While the castmates were far from any Meghan Markle or Kylie Jenner, their lives (though alcohol-fueled) were still on display. My friends and I would watch, psycho-analyzing everyone and forming opinions that didn't have much, if any, validity. I remember thinking I would never want to go on a show like that, because as much as I thought I was a "good" person, there would always be people, like me and my friends, watching and judging. Situations that would normally be reserved for only the people actually around me at that moment, would be on global display. Everything from my mood, to my love life, to what I wore, would be up for public scrutiny. Yikes.
I understand that some fame in unavoidable, like if you're an Oscar-winning actor or if you're married to the Prince of England (casual). I mean, if I hit it out of the park as a writer I wouldn't turn down an opportunity just because I didn't want people to know my name. Yet, despite their lavish lives and access to pretty much anything they want (which would undoubtedly be pretty nice), I do not envy Meghan Markle or really any big-name celebrity. I do not envy having your every move viewed though a microscope, and I certainly do not envy having to defend yourself to the world. When it comes to fame, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, and that sounds pretty exhausting.
From that perspective, you could say I'm pretty content flying under the radar. I guess there's nothing quite like a royal scandal to remind me.