Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cut the C$#@ : "Celebrity"

She might have musical talent, BUT that certainly is not how she got famous.

The Ever Expanding Definition of the Word, “Celebrity”

Samantha Salis
               Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the term, “celebrity” has now become synonymous with “Fame Whore,” “Rich B*&%*,” and “Reality Show Contestant?” Would you assign the same title to Morgan Freeman (the voice of God!) and as you would Snooki? If so, the Real Housewives finale should be playing every other hour on Bravo. If not, read on.

              In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “Celebrity” is defined as “the state of being celebrated,” or equivalent to fame. “Fame” is subsequently defined as “The condition of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements.” Since when has the appearance on a tasteless reality show become a notable achievement? It seems like the term “celebrity” has now become a title you can buy-- or earned if you would really submit yourself to willingly partake in something idiotic/offensive/repulsive on national television. I put the misusage of celebrity under the same category as the misusage of the standing ovation. A standing ovation is defined as “standing up from a seated position after an extraordinary performance of particularly high acclaim.” The significance and value of the standing ovation as an evaluation of a show’s overall performance has been crippled by its all-too-often usage. 

                To be honest, I am really not a stickler for word choice and grammar; however, I wonder what effect the liberal use of “celebrity” has on the new generation of children who eat, sleep, and breathe television. “Celebrity Apprentice” features contestants that are more well suited to the title of “washout” then “celebrity.” VH1’s “Celebreality” show stars were more reminiscent of the gossip scene in 1990 than that of today. Will children see “infamous” behavior as equivalent to talent in achieving national recognition and fame? Who knows…I’m too busy watching “Bad Girls Club.”

The "Is This Real Life?" Column, Samantha Salis:

Sam is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her insider perspective on the world around us, backed with thorough research. Enjoy!


ofilbrandt said...

I really appreciate this insight into the changing connotation of the term celebrity as it illustrates its many fluctuations. I forsee these changes to continue in the future and more role specific titles for celebrities to arise in coloquial conversation of the future.

I do have one point of contention and that is with the picture accompanying the article because it has yet to be reported that Lady Gaga, despite her diverse clothing, purposefully exposed herself. Accompanying this picture with the article suggects that she is on level with the housewives and reality stars who volunteered to become famous for such things.

Samantha Salis said...

I agree that Lady Gaga is not at all in the same category is who I am discussing (ie: Housewifes and other reality show contestants). Consider the picture as more of a "filler" than as an accessory to the content.