To me, a celebrity is someone who has a mass following, someone who for whatever reason has gained notoriety and a crowd of people willing to declare them ‘famous’. Despite this, there are many up-nosed snubbers ready and waiting to broadcast to the world that a celebrity is not worthy of the status. Most commonly, the snubbees include those who are ‘famous for being famous’, reality TV stars or people who have gained popularity through social media or YouTube.
Take YouTubers as an example. Pewdiepie, the worlds most subscribed to YouTube channel, has 27.1 million subscribers and 4.5 billion views; an undeniable celebrity. Still, despite his gigantic following and impressive stats there are many who would jump to dispute this. You see, being a YouTuber is still seen as child’s play, as a hobby that yields a laugh but nothing more.
Whilst YouTube stars may not be rolling in gold or cruising around in Ferraris, they certainly earn their keep from view counts and merchandise. Not only that, many of them scoot off around the world for meet ups and conventions and get to experience far more interesting things on a day-to-day basis than the rest of us do all year.
Social media stars also have power as they are instantly accessible at any time. The beauty of YouTube is the intimacy felt by the viewer when watching their idol talk directly to them, creating a bond that cannot be matched by TV stars or musicians.
Tanya Burr, a 24 year old make-up artist and beauty guru, has her own cosmetic line which is selling out in every store it’s in. Her success lies with her 2.1 million subscribers many of whom are young teens, eager to be just like her and seeing a lip gloss or nail varnish as their gateway. Regardless of her success, Tanya can still be seen as a ‘YouTube make-up artist’, which although true, down plays her achievements and gives her job a novelty title.
Kim Kardashian; another famous star not on the guest list because being a reality TV star isn’t seen as a reasonable entry to fame.
Despite being one of the most recognisable celebrities in the world (as well as the poutier half of Kimye) Kim is the butt (pun intended) of almost all anti-celeb jokes and has become the poster girl for ‘famous for being famous’.
Kim Kardashian rose to fame when her family starred in their own reality TV show which documents their rich, celebrity lifestyle. By gossiping about her online, by watching interviews of her just so we have details to bitch about and by scrutinising every decision she makes, we have given her leverage and have enabled a much wider audience to be aware of her. We, the people who despise the talentless pretty-girl, have made her famous and so the hate directed towards her fame is, I feel, completely unjust.
Just look at the backlash from when Kim and Kanye were on the front of Vogue. If it were Beyoncé and Jay Z on the cover it would have been all, “Queen B and her bae Jay killin’ it on Vogue” but keep a rapper and replace the singer with a reality TV star and there’s outrage!
Regardless of the fact that both couples are undoubtedly power couples, there is still a stigma towards reality TV stars. You could be forgiven for thinking that a homeless drunk had graced the cover by the way people were talking about Kim and the fact that she was invited to be on the cover of Vogue had personally offended people right across the world. No-one seemed to care that she looked flawless or that the dress she was wearing was beautiful, instead all shots were fired at how she’s not ‘Vogue material’ and how the editor of Vogue must have been drunk/drugged when the decision to invite Kimye was made.
Regardless of how a person became famous or whether or not we agree with their fame is irrelevant to their success. Kim Kardashian is one of the world’s biggest stars and is much more famous than most mediocre singers or one time film stars which given her following and influence is entirely reasonable.
It appears that often celebrities feel threatened by other celebs who make much more money for doing something that they consider much less talented. As always, by creating a stir they are in fact just perpetuating the fame of the other and unknowingly handing them a first class ticket to stardom.