Fame is in the eye of the beholder | PostIndependent.com

Fame is in the eye of the beholder

April in Glenwood
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April E. Clark

I never want to admit I’m a hypocrite.

But lately I find myself wondering if I’m part of the problem when it comes to society’s 24-7 obsession with celebrities. Pick up a People or Us Weekly magazine or go to seemingly reputable news-source websites such as CNN or MSNBC, and stories on Jon Gosselin’s guys’ weekend in the Hamptons are bigger than health care reform reaction. At the same time I shake my head wondering how Jon Gosselin even became famous in the first place, I’m clicking on the story to read about his latest relationship shenanigans. For those who have no idea whatsoever who Jon Gosselin is, he’s famous for being the father of twins and sextuplets on the reality TV show “Jon and Kate Plus 8.”

Who knew procreation could make a person famous?

Monday’s headlines also screamed news of Octomom Nadya Suleman, who signed a reality TV deal where her 14 kids will make $250 each per show in the name of entertainment. I thought child labor laws were created for a reason, but then again we’re talking about Hollywood. Money talks and parents with plenty of kids seem to speak the language. Hopefully this money will go straight to their trust funds. I always wanted one of those.

If only my mom would’ve had 12 more kids …

I guess I feel like a hypocrite because on one hand I love entertainment – television, movies and music – and the entertainers out there with real talent. On the other hand, I’m annoyed to see their every move plastered all over gossip magazines and websites. What makes it all so hypocritical is when I’m standing in the grocery store check-out and I see some headline about Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo breaking up, I can’t help myself. I have to pick it up and read it. I should put myself in Jessica’s boots and think how I’d feel if everyone and their mothers read the intimate details of my break-ups.

Of course I’ve never dated a professional football player or boy band star, so the intrigue’s not quite there.

Apparently I shouldn’t be so hard on myself for falling victim to celebrity gossip. In a June 26 Discovery Health story on the psychology of celebrity worship, HealthDay reporter Margaret Farley Steele interviewed psychology experts who basically explain that humans have glorified people with celebrity status since ancient times. News traveled a little slower in 30 BC, but I’m sure some folks gathered around the water well to talk smack about Marc Antony and Cleopatra.

They were a hot couple back in the day.

Steele’s article also mentions that we are social people, and obsessing about celebrities helps us feel more connected. I’m about as social as they get – which isn’t always great for my relationships – so I’m constantly seeking connection with others. I’m usually disappointed when I don’t make a connection, which might explain why I tune into Tori Spelling’s reality TV show on the Oxygen Channel to see her life with two babies and husband Dean McDermott. I’ve never met Tori, and have a hard time imagining I ever will unless I somehow become famous, but for whatever reason I like to see what’s going on in her world. She does live fabulously, with stints on “90210,” tours to promote her newest book, “Mommywood,” and appearances on the Home Shopping Network for her jewelry line. I can’t be the only one who watches with a tinge of envy that she has so many creative outlets.

Although I wouldn’t trade my relationship with my mother with Tori’s for anything.

Not everyone reads the endless amount of celebrity gossip out there in support of their favorite actors, comedians or musicians. With celebrity status comes the haters. There are people out there who enjoying reading that Kate Gosselin is no longer wearing her wedding ring. They’re stoked she’s divorcing and Jon is dating women all over the world. That’s because they’re happy it’s not happening to them. I’m sure it’s the same psychology that causes people to stare when they’re driving past a car accident or watch You Tube videos of supermodels tripping on catwalks.

I’d be a hypocrite if I said I haven’t done either.

I am, after all, only human.

April E. Clark feels bad for the Gosselin kids and will be skipping the new season of “Jon and Kate Plus 8” after reading some of the day’s headlines. She can be reached at aclark@postindependent.com.

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