Just Voicing My Opinion: You Never Know Other People and the Enigma of Celebrities Essay

You Never Know Other People and the Enigma of Celebrities            It really is true: you can never know other people and no where can this be said to be truer, than in the case of celebrities.

We, the public follow the events in their lives more closely sometimes than the events in the lives of our own family members.  We want to dress like them, look like them—and in the back of our own minds, many want to be like them.  Simply put, we idolize them.  How can we like, even admire people that we don’t even remotely know? That’s the enigma of celebrity.  The more you think you see, the less you know.There are two cases in point I’d like to focus on: the Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe and the contemporary singing stars, Chris Brown and Rhianna.  If history can teach us anything about these celebrities, it’s this:  we do not know them, no matter how much the media claims to have access to the “inside story” about them, to help us understand just who they are as human beings.

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The best example is Marilyn Monroe, whose real name was Norma Jeane Baker.  If you know anything about her career, you know she is probably the celebrity with more books written about her, than any other. She is probably the single most photographed star, too.  Have you ever seen a picture of her?  It’s ironic that the majority of her photographs don’t show her sad, or even distressed.

  If you know anything about her life however, you know that the smiles she gave for the camera were mostly lies.  By all accounts, she had a sad—even miserable—life.Let’s look at the facts behind the photos. She never had a real family, didn’t even know her father.  Her mother tried to raise her and spent her time trying to get into the movie business but only got as far as working as a “cutter” or in the movie studios cutting film that wasn’t going to be used in a particular motion picture.  Stories also say that she would bring men to her home and sleep with them, in the hopes of furthering her career or of getting a father for little Norma Jeane.

  Early on, Norma Jeane’s mother was committed to a mental institution.  Norma Jeane spent time in at least six foster homes.  It gets worse.  Norma Jeane wanted to be a movie star and became one of the biggest and the indignities she endured to become a star are the stuff of speculation and legend.Yet, if you check the Internet, or pick up any book and look at the smiling image of the glamorous movie star, who they claim finally committed suicide at the age of 36, one thought comes to mind:  you don’t really know her.What about the celebrities of today?  A case in point is the popular young singing couple Chris Brown and Rhianna (real name Robin Fenty).

The photos and tabloid captions reported them as a,“sweet young couple in love” and we all believed it—that is until a couple of weeks ago.  Suddenly, a report surfaced that Chris Brown had assaulted his songbird.  Now, depending on the stories you hear, your own personal experiences and what you choose to believe about the incident, you feel differently about the couple.What do you think?  Is Brown a troubled teen, or a demon?  Is Rhianna a shrew who “had it coming”, or a victim? What’s the truth? It’s that photos lie and that celebrities are like us. They have poor family histories, they do things to achieve stardom that can affect their lives—sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Here’s the real scoop about Marilyn, Chris and Rhianna: the pictures and the captions and the “exclusive interviews” can never tell the whole story; we can never really know these people.ReferencesA ‘Saddened’ Chris Brown Releases Statement, People Magazine.  Retrieved February 25, 2009, http://www.people.

com/people/article/0,,20259349,00.htmlSummers, Anthony. (1996). Goddess: the secret lives of Marilyn Monroe.

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