Celebrities

Celebrities

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The word Celebrity is defined as "the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed". The Latin root of the word, ‘celebrem' (celebrity), means quite simply, "Fame". However, with the presence of definition for the word, the questions "Who is a celebrity?", and "What makes a person a celebrity?" are raised. The answers to these questions are contained within two major points, how widely reputable a person must be, and also, what a person has done to achieve this reputation.
In many cases if the question "Who is a celebrity?" is asked to the general occupancy of a room, there will be shouts of big names such as "Pat Benetar" or "Jack Black", people who through some way have exposed themselves to the general population's benevolent reception. However, not all names that are given are familiarized with the entirety of the room, whereas an individual currently occupying the room's name may be known to all the other occupants. Unfortunately for this individual this does not mean they have achieved the much hungered for status of ‘Celebrity', simply because people whom have seen the individual day after day know his/her name. The status of celebrity seems to be achieved when a person commands a high level of media of attention or when the celebrity in question obtains a following of people or fans, whose interests are piqued with the actions of the celebrity. It is also a general thought that a celebrity is one who can be considered a role model, someone who the massive population of fans and/or followers adore and wish to make their lives similar to the celebrity they idolize. Although the celebrity is idolized by a large following, this does not necessarily mean that the celebrity is a good role model. However, despite the poor decisions that celebrities often seem to make there is still a crowd following them anticipating how they can emulate the person next. This general assumption can be given what appears to be a solid standing with such things as, Celebrity Branding. There are countless items branded with the names of those seen in the media, from perfumes to clothing to video games, these branded items sell for twice as much as their competitors and also sell twice the quantities. With this kind of example how could anyone argue that the status of celebrity is achieved through any other means than being a highly acclaimed role model for the masses?

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The answer is simple. Infamy.
Infamy is described as "evil fame or public reputation". Given the same situation as stated above, if the general occupancy of the room were asked to name notorious criminals there would be names mentioned such as "David Berkowitz" (Son of Sam) or "Timothy McVeigh" (Oklahoma City Bombings). These people are can by no means be considered role-models, nor would products branded with their insignias sell well. However, each of these people are well known for their notoriety and commands a great level of media attention themselves. By commanding this great deal of attention of the public's eye, would these people not fall under the category of a celebrity? No doubt they are someone who has generated a completely negative view in the media, nonetheless the definition of celebrity: "the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed" befits these individuals also. While we do not like to think of these individuals classified and categorized in the same section as our beloved role-models, are the notorious criminals in which the general public claims to loathe so fiercely seen in the news, papers, magazines as much if not more than the celebrities on the ‘role-model pedestal'?
In review, there are two very plain types of celebrity. ‘Good' celebrities, whom after which we try to model our lives, these people are our role-models and a class in which we as the general population try to emulate. There are also those whom are quite the opposite. This group could be dubbed as the ‘Bad' Celebrities, criminals and the notorious degenerates of society who have taken their claim to fame through wrongdoings, and could be considered the anti role-model. This can prove as an example that a label or title does not always reflect the person or persons described. Although we would like to think that a celebrity is a person to idolize, look up to, and ultimately show us the path of benevolence, the true definition of celebrity shows us quite a different meaning.
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