Fame Costs

I love Chelsea Handler. I am late to the party on this, I know. People have been loving her for years, and I just started. Her new show on Netflix is BADASSfame_quote, and I completely agree with her on everything from NOT HAVING KIDS to NOT GETTING MARRIED. Honestly I think she and I could be friends except for her obsession with dogs. But, we all have our faults.

Her show is great with one exception: When her niece is on. For someone who is constantly telling everyone how obnoxious other people are about their kids, (PREACH!) she’s doing the same thing with her niece. She has her on often, and the kid is annoying. REALLY ANNOYING. The kind of kid who is only adorable to their family…like all kids. She is twelve (I think) and says she wants to be “well-known” when she grows up. She doesn’t really care how or what for, she just wants to be famous. SO NOT CUTE.

Being famous for the sake of being famous is… weird. And gross. When I was coming up you had to actually have a talent in order to get famous. Well, a talent or a scandal. But that is a horse of a different color and I digress. I bet it’s confusing for kids today. I mean, Chelsea Handler seemed to work hard and pay her dues. But there are so many “models” out there and … whatever the Kardashians are, who make being pretty sound like a talent. It isn’t. Modeling is (barely) a job, and you are lucky if you can earn a living at it. Lucky, not talented. Maybe it takes some sort of talent to model, but not the same kind as it does to act or sing or dance or sew or cook or design or direct or teach or write.

If you look at the social media of any famous pretty person you’ll see all of the “hard work” that goes into being famous for being pretty. I call bullshit. Nobody NEEDS a cryogenic freezing chamber to be pretty. And, I’m pretty sure Kate Hudson was just as pretty BEFORE her weird electro-eye treatment as she was AFTER. It’s all bullshit. All of it. The worst are the selfies from the gym. Is this supposed to show me what an effort it is for you? Tips? What? I mean really. How shallow are you that you need to post videos of your workouts? If you want to lose my respect, just post a video or a selfie from the gym.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: Shift focus. Focus on what is INSIDE. Perhaps learn a SKILL and “get famous” for actually DOING something. And here’s a crazy idea, don’t post everything to social media! You don’t need applause or LIKES for living your life. You’ll keep living even if nobody sees it. The more we encourage kids (especially girls) to “look pretty” the longer we perpetuate the myth that beauty matters; that beauty is something you can achieve. It isn’t. Nothing subjective can ever be achieved. You will never be beautiful to everyone. Sorry to burst your bubble. Sure you can have surgery, use make-up, weaves, extensions… but you will still be you underneath all of those excuses. Instead, work on being YOU. Work on thinking you ARE beautiful just the way you are. And if you STILL want to be famous, figure out what you are good at DOING and practice it. You can be famous and perhaps be remembered for something other than your face. Cause guess what… your face won’t last forever.

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The Cult of ME

There is a virus going around right now. You have probably seen it, or even caught a strain of it yourself. It thrives on your need to be seen and be a little self indulgent and it encourages you to become the vapid narcissist you always accused Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton and Madonna of being. This virus is called Facebook. And it is eating your soul.

I am no judge here, I have fallen victim to it myself, but I have now seen the error of my ways.

In the past few weeks, a harmless little not has been circulating the on line community of my “friends”. It is called 25 Random Things About You… Now, at first glance it is a cute little note in which you share with your friends some little tid-bits that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. When I posted this myself, I was happy to find that my REAL friends already knew all of my so called Random facts. Why? Because they are my friends. I wrote of some quirky habits and that I like to sing. Not real news to anyone who knows me.

Evolution.

In the past four months or so, people that I knew in high school have been “requesting my friendship” on Facebook. Again. At first it was a morbid curiosity to see who got fat, what people looked like 20 years later and see what they were doing. Now, I am a bit put off by it. I think there is a reason i am not friends with most of them anymore. I have nothing in common with them. I have realized this after reading some the random things about these people.

I now know people who: Are scared of ALL Muslims. Think Barack Obama is going to lead America into the 7th ring of Hell. Take pride in the fact that they worked as a “war Contractor” – or War Profiteer as it should be called. Think George W. Bush was someone to be thankful for. Think Global Warming is a “myth”. Belong to the NRA. Think war is the answer. Hate gay people. Have more money and “stuff” than god and complain about the state of the economy. Think that “protecting their children” means hating.

You get where I am going here. If wouldn’t tolerate these people in my “real” life, why am I doing it online? Because we have a shared past? We had the same teacher in the sixth grade? We grew up knowing the same people? I don’t know if it is enough, and I don’t know if I can keep letting myself get upset and annoyed by how ugly some people have become. I don’t claim to be perfect by any means,and i am not intolerant of a “conservative” viewpoint. I just do not understand the need people have to broadcast it to the world.

If you are stupid enough to “publish” your burgeoning relationship on the site – the world knows when you have broken up. Your friends now know that you are shit at scrabble and that you read books like “The Da Vinci Code”. You feel special because yo have so many friends. They know you are a poor speller and they stalk you daily. Possible employers look at your page and wonder about your habits, hobbies and your wife. It’s just all out there and it’s out there because YOU did it.

I know what you are thinking. “Alicia…um…what about this blog?” Well, let me defend myself by saying – FIRST: this was created because I am lazy and didn’t want to email everyone I know when I moved to Europe. SECOND: It is you choice to read it. You have to actually seek it out.

This is not the case on Facebook. I am constantly inundated with peoples every thought and feeling whether I like it or not. That is just plain intrusive. I spent years cultivating a life that is pleasant and that involves positive and uplifting people from all walks of life that share similar and opposing views to my own. Now i feel trapped in these fake friendships that i was fine living without. Sure, I have reconnected with some people on Facebook that I have missed over the years, and I have found the new friendship to be just as rewarding as the old. but, I guess you just don’t know that until you “Accept” them as a friend.

And I guess that’s the point. I don’t know that I do – accept them – that is. And maybe they feel the same way about me.