Likes, followers, shares, retweets – we all understand this term, don’t we? A world of attention, right at your screen and our fingertips to control it. Notifications have taken over our world- from a missed call to checking our emails.
You might be having the worst day at work but put up a status or a pic on Facebook, share a snap or story on Snapchat and Instagram, your focus will shift to how many likes, shares, comments have you received on it. Social media has become an escape for most of us.
Coming to the worst of it, people buy followers for that satisfaction and suddenly everyone is a celebrity in the world of social media.
I keep asking myself ‘’Who is a celebrity?’’ and I have gotten weird responses for this statement. So who are they? Are they someone we see on TV or the front page of the paper? By that definition, it could be someone who has gunned down people to a person who’s had the big fat wedding or an artist with a smashing hit, actors with blockbusters.
According to Barry King, celebrity is a person who is known for well-knownness. So, if a celebrity is a creature of publicity, a star could be defined as a heroic performer.
‘Celebrity Culture’ really took off in the late 20th century and has only accelerated in the age of social media, where people can use a variety of platforms to speak directly to their fans, wherever they are in the world. These people may not have anything very profound to say or any remarkable talent, but what they have in common is that people want to listen to them.
So who defines this term and who decides if a certain person is a celebrity or not because on Social media anyone with a huge number of followers is a celebrity even if the account holder is barely 2 years. In short, celebrities are the popular kids in high school. We watch them because it served a very real evolutionary advantage for our ancestors to collect as much information as they could about those at the top of the hierarchy. It was the people at the apex who took actions and made decisions that sent out ripples of consequence for everybody else. High status also ensured that you got to eat and choose the best mate(s).
Celebrities in Nepal
Everyone here is a celebrity – from actor, artist, YouTube artist, directors, beauty queens, CEO’s, Instagrammers, sportsperson, VJ and RJ – Media personality in general just because they are rich and they can be a celebrity by a definition.
I have come across people who are genuine and the celebrity status suits them and they carry it pretty well and at the same time, there are people who need to learn to be humble. There are certain media personalities who have let success go to their head. If someone fails to recognise them, they take it to a level where they will make sure that you never forget them ever again. To them, all I have to say is for someone like me who’s stayed abroad for years, I don’t really know if you have become popular overnight with your TV shows or video clip which went viral and you’re just internet famous or famous and not a celebrity. There’s a difference.
Of course, there’s no clear path for a celebrity to take to the top. Some are born into fame, some find it on the runway and others start as beauty queens. With Miss Teen Nepal to Miss Nepal and respective ethnic group beauty pageants, if we start labelling everyone celebrities oh boy, we’d run out of pages. Unless they make a career in a respective field like Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra, Dia Mirza the rest are good as forgotten, no? But, it’s opposite it Nepal. The worst has to be the media exposure they get for their personal lives. Nepalese media needs to take a look at their journalistic quality when it comes to covering news.
I’d take most famous Priyanka Karki for example, she is now an actor but before that she was just another participant in a beauty pageant and she got equal attention then too for no reason because she was famous and not a celeb then. Now, with her relationship with the other male actor has dragged their family into this mess. Do we really want to know if they kissed each other or lifted or even did a nude photography? Not just her in particular, any other celebrity couples for that matter. Do we know anything about love lives or relationship status of other celeb couples like we know theirs? Some things are best to be kept under drapes. Hats off to Nisha and Sharad for being able to keep it away from the media exposure and taking a stand where you both had to.
We don’t crown or give celebrity statutes to just everyone. If you’ve got it then respect it, you’ve got an immense power to influence the crowd. Why not do that instead?
Not everyone can be a celebrity, and not everyone should. But we all should have someone to love us. Success isn’t fame. And fame is hardly ever success. Success is about more than superficial standings or the number of Twitter followers you have.
Redefine the term
There are people who are envious of the lives celebrities seem to have just to be famous or to earn attention? How about starting small with stardom? Why not live a life worthy of praise from your friends and family before you try to appease critics?