Celebrities: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. We’re addicted, aren’t we? I’ve got so many crushes (Alexander Skarsgård, Liam Neeson, Jamie Bamber, Morrissey, Ben Kingsley, Naveen Andrews, Josh Holloway—start with a blond, end with a blond), I can hardly begin to name the tip of the iceberg. We like to look at their pictures, read about their personal lives, complain about their who significant others are, make fun of what they wear, praise or chastise their political views and shun them when their egos get out of hand. Meanwhile, the celebrities themselves often seem ill-equipped to handle their fame, falling victim to vices of excess or blaming everyone else for what they’ve brought upon themselves. I suppose on the ride up the roller-coaster of fame, it feels all well and good until they hit the top of the first hill. Then suddenly it’s all, “How’d I get up here? Who will help me? I didn’t know there was going to be another side to the mountain!”
In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Billy Ray Cyrus said that his daughter Miley’s Disney show destroyed his family and that he would “erase it all in a second if I could.” Well pardon me Billy, but since you were already part of the celebrity machine yourself, it could have been no surprise that your young daughter got swallowed up—and for that matter you practically fed her to the wood-chipper yourself. I don’t know about the rest of you “regular people” out there but I, for one, am getting tired of celebrity whiners; “Oh, I’m all hooked on sex and porn and drugs and alcohol! I had no idea how hard it would be to make a kajillion dollars! Why must I always be followed by paparazzi? It’s so hard to live a normal life!”
Aren’t you the same celebrities who would have clawed out another person’s eyes to get your first gig? Wasn’t it you, so thrilled you couldn’t stop smiling, when your first show or movie became a hit and allowed you to earn all that cash and fame? Didn’t we see you on the cover of People magazine; read your gratitude to so and so for giving you the break that set your career in motion? I know that was you, talking to all the Weeklys about the great clothes and getting your hair and make-up done, the gift bags you scored at the awards shows and the amazing parties you get to attend. We saw you chatting on the morning shows about how wonderful it is to travel the world, promoting your latest project. Wasn’t it you that started wearing only the finest shoes, carrying the latest handbags and talking about how you just couldn’t fly if you didn’t have the best, most expensive, hydrating mist (made of rare elephant tears) with which to spray your face? I know there was something about you trotting the globe with a stylist, a make-up artist and that thousand-dollar-a-cut, hairdresser trailing along. There were the television interviews where you talked about how you had to stay in perfect shape, so you’d connected with this miracle personal trainer that comes to your house and drags you out of your bed every morning. And after that your personal chef makes your macrobiotic, organic, free-range, non-caloric breakfast shake, which is all you really need to get you through your day—well that and your five nannies and your masseuse and your home and work assistants and your bath boy. We checked out your web site, the one where you tell the rest of us just what we can do and how we should do it if we want to be anywhere near the perfection that is you. And the last time I saw you on that red carpet, bulbs flashing in competition with your sparkling, blindingly white teeth, you looked pretty damned relaxed and happy—in your element, even. So pardon me if we, the audience, take issue with your fretting over the perils of being famous. Perhaps you should have taken a closer look at the handbook before you joined up.
What’s that, you say you didn’t know there were rules? Come on now, you should know nothing comes for free, you little celebretards. Pull up a chair and read this list of the minimum requirements of becoming a famous person:
1. If nepotism allowed you to become a celebrity, you are never to complain about your line of work. Ever. Likewise, if you are fool enough to bring your child into your celebworld, you shall never wonder aloud that the machine hath devoured your precious one.
2. You shall accept, without reservation, ire or surprise that no less than seventy-five percent of your “job” as a celebrity (actor, musician, writer, director, untalented hack, celebutant, socialite, etc.) is media whoring and fan appeasement. You shall accept that every aspect of your life, public and private, will be inspected and aired, without exception.
3. If you, celebrity A, should decide to enter into wedlock, domestic partnership or other such serious relationship with any celebrity B, you may never feign or otherwise express wonderment at the excessive photography, media or public obsession with said relationship. Similarly, you shall accept with complete and utter resignation that the severing of such a relationship will bring twice as much attention.
4. If you have even dreamed of becoming a celebrity, never, ever, not for one millisecond, shall you remove any article of clothing for a photographer (professional or not) without realizing the consequences of said action. It will be made public, no matter how secretive or clever you think (or your co-conspirator) you are. Never, ever pose nude for “private” photos or make a sex tape without the full intention of them being made public. Never, ever pretend you didn’t know that would happen.
5. You will not get away with cheating, accept this fact. (You can, however, sometimes get away with murder.)
6. If you have a tendency for excess, you accept that these excesses shall be exploited for public pleasure, mockery, documentation (including written, photographic and video forms) and in some cases you may be eligible for invitation-only rehabilitation centers or reality shows. If you are the parent of a celebretard who falls “victim” to his own excess, it is your responsibility alone to yank said child from the public eye, to rehab that child by any means necessary and to accept any public criticism you shall receive without complaint.
7. If you are ashamed of your sexual preferences you should not become a celebrity. If you think you can hide your sexual preferences, you are wrong. If you can’t handle having your sexuality speculated over, you should not become a celebrity. If you enter celebrityhood regardless of these warnings and you try to hide your sexuality, you shall willingly be exploited by the machine.
8. If you have plastic surgery, enhancements made to your assets, visit doctors or therapists or gain or lose weight, you shall knowingly and willingly accept being exploited by the machine. You shall not cry or complain when you are publicly scrutinized, speculated over or mocked.
9. If you don’t care what people think of you, your lifestyle, your looks, your religion, your marital status, your parental status, your drinking, drugging or screwing around, your happiness or the lack thereof, then don’t comment on any of these things to the media. If you do comment, the machine will appropriately eat your words, chew them up, spit them out of context and you will be publicly mocked.
10. If you can’t handle being a piece of meat, don’t jump on the plate. If you jump onto the plate, you will be devoured.
In closing, if you have any designs on being famous, I hope you will print out this handy list and read it over a few times—maybe even memorize the rules so that if you do become a celebrity, you’ll be able to say, “Yeah, I knew that was going to happen. I’m fine.” You need to realize that in becoming rich and famous, you’re not only fulfilling your dreams, you’re becoming ours. It’s not all about you any more. It’s about us, looking at you and deciding if you are worthy of our time. Are you pretty enough? Do we want to fuck you? Or do we just want to make you the butt of our jokes? Whatever it is, you’ll do it and you’ll like it.
Now please, get out there and enjoy your fame.