Be Careful How You Introduce Yourself to the World
By Melyssa Ford
We all know what it means to have fame or to be famous, right? You would think that the definition of fame or being famous would be something we could all agree upon. Just to be sure, I looked up the definition of both in Oxford’s dictionary, because it seems, these days, just about ANYONE can be famous!
Here is how it defined fame: widespread reputation, especially of a favorable character; renown; public eminence. Similarly, the definition of someone who is famous, is defined as this: having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated.
Let’s take Beyonce as an example; she is incredibly famous, and for good reason. She is beautiful and has a laundry list of talents, from song writing and singing to dancing and acting. She, alongside her equally as talented and famous husband, Jay Z, is celebrated worldwide for these talents and for her beauty. On the other hand, another example of someone who’s considered to be famous is Snooki, aka Nicole Pilozzi, from MTV’s Jersey Shore. By all accounts, she certainly enjoys the perks that are bestowed upon the famous: big endorsement deals, walking red carpets, front row seats at award shows, tabloid appearances, even speaking engagements at prestigious universities! But, if we’re to compare Beyonce to Snookie, we quickly see where the lines have been blurred and the concept of fame has become quite convoluted. Snookie doesn’t sing or dance (unless she’s on top of a bar, inebriated), she doesn’t act and I believe her NY Times best selling memoir was ghost written. She’s become famous for her foul mouth, intoxicated antics with her friends, her irresponsible nature and her seeming inability to resolve conflict like an adult and a lady. Basically, she’s rewarded heavily for behaving badly.
Far be it for me to judge anyone; we all have to live with the choices and the mistakes that we make. But what I find to be most troubling is the constant examples that the casts of reality shows set for all of you, and the hefty reward they seem to be paid for their toxic behavior. The notion that fame can be achieved, simply by releasing a sex tape or finding other provocative ways to draw attention to yourself has consequences no one seems to ever want to discuss. I have a phrase that I use, whenever I am asked about the path of my own career and how I looked at the concept of fame and visibility: “Fame used to be a by product of success, hard work & longevity; now it’s the ULTIMATE goal.” What frightens me most about the younger generation is your willingness to disregard your sense of privacy by posting your every move and personal photos on social networking sites; that you spend more time texting and less time TALKING and cultivating strong interpersonal relationships and that the constant barrage of negative imagery on TV is creating a sense of apathy within you.
Your personal sense of self-worth, the cultivation of strong relationships, the ability to articulate thoughts and ideas eloquently and the ability to positively promote your greatness; these are tools you NEED in the real world as an adult, and all of the photos and bad mouth postings you put out now can come back to haunt you in the near future when you set out upon the job market or start applying for higher education. It’s ultimately YOUR CHOICE how the world will perceive you; it is YOU who makes that initial introduction. And trust me, first impressions last a lifetime.