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Public Profiles and Paparazzi: Does Celebrity Ever Get Old?

How many among us of dreamed about being rich and famous? How many of us have entertained the desire to make an indelible mark on the world? Perhaps it is part of human nature. Most of us want to be liked and respected. We have a habit of equating celebrity with those two things. But on the other hand, one cannot help but wonder if celebrity ever gets old.

With celebrity status comes the responsibility of maintaining a public profile. You have to live up to the image that everyone has of you. One slip-up and your star could come crashing back to Earth. Then there is the paparazzi. They will do anything to get a good shot. Unfortunately, their cameras can cause big problems for any celebrity.

I would imagine that some celebrities find it all very tiring. I know of a few who purposely left the spotlight because they had reached their limits. Actors Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Phoebe Cates come to mind. So do musicians MC Hammer and Al Green. There are dozens more, perhaps hundreds.

Recognition on the Street

The thing about being a celebrity is that people recognize you on the street. You cannot go anywhere without running into fans. On the one hand, you want to be nice. You want to shake hands and pose for photos. On the other hand, you have places to go and things to do. You could also use a little bit of privacy every now and then.

Imagine going into a restaurant as a celebrity. You want nothing more than to enjoy a peaceful dinner with a friend or spouse. Because of your celebrity status though, dining peacefully is tough. Even when fans are not asking for your autograph, you always feel like everyone is staring at you. Saying it feels awkward doesn’t really do your emotions justice.

Seeing Your Own Face

Not being a celebrity myself, I am not exactly sure what it’s like. However, I can imagine that seeing your own face plastered everywhere is kind of odd, too. Imagine being Harrison Ford or Mark Hamill. You can’t take your family to Disney World without seeing your own face in the Indiana Jones or Star Wars attractions. You cannot turn on Disney + without seeing yourself.

It is no different for professional athletes. They see their names and numbers plastered all over replica jerseys. They see their faces on bobble heads and coffee mugs. And if you are a legend, like A-Rod or Jorge Posada, you might still see your image plastered on somebody’s T-shirt long after you retire.

Plurawl, a New York City LatinX clothing brand, sells A-Rod and Posada T-shirts. They say it is less about capitalizing on celebrities and more about giving customers what they want. And actually, that gets to the root of what celebrity is all about.

Our Modern-Day Heroes

A big part of being a celebrity is being a hero to someone else. There are a lot of weekend warriors who do their best A-Rod impressions on the softball diamond every weekend. They would give anything to be as good as their hero. Likewise, legions of sci-fi and action film fans dream of saving the day like Indiana Jones or Luke Skywalker.

Celebrity is more about fantasy than anything else. Following celebrities gives the rest of us an opportunity to live vicariously through them. Whether it is right or wrong, it is human nature. Celebrities have been around for as long as humankind. But celebrity status probably gets old pretty quickly. At least those are my thoughts.