Fame is what many people pursue with hopes that it will bring them happiness, prosperity, and personal growth. It is, indeed, a powerful tool that could bring benefits to you. Increased visibility may boost your career while opening many doors to the world and connecting you to more people and a larger audience.
But fame can have its drawbacks. Fame can result in you feeling the need for more personal space, it can also add emotional stress and unrealistic expectations from the audience, even while providing you with benefits such as exposure. This leads celebrities to find ways to balance and deal with it either positively or negatively. Some jump to drugs, others get help from therapists.
How is fame bad for you? How does it affect your life? And is what celebrities use for handling the weight of popularity useful?
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Let’s admit it, you have, at least once, questioned what it would feel like to be famous. At least once a specific celebrity has crossed your mind and made you think what it would feel like to be them. Human curiosity is what drives us to pursue things such as fame. The desire and curiosity lure many people into chasing fame without taking into consideration the ugly side and the responsibility that comes with it. This is how the desire for fame becomes one of the greatest human weaknesses. So what is the price of fame?
The increased visibility can boost your exposure, which could be potentially useful if you are looking for career development or growth in other areas of life. It can give you more options and a sense of freedom. But through the exposure and fame, you may also notice something else you experience from others’; jealousy and hate.
Being in the public eye means that you will have to deal with lots of different people, who may have many and diverse opinions about you, which they may share whether you like it or not. So even if you have thick skin and are not concerned with what others think, you may still become vulnerable to the pressure from others’ opinions.
You have probably come across jealous people or ‘haters’ at some point, or you will for sure at some stage during your lifetime. As a celebrity, you will experience hate on a very different and larger scale.
Megan Fox has this to say about fame and hate,
“I don’t think people understand. They all think we should shut the fuck up and stop complaining because you live in a big house or you drive a Bentley. So your life must be so great. What people don’t realize is that fame, whatever your worst experience in high school, when you were being bullied by those ten kids in high school, fame is that, but on a global scale, where you’re being bullied by millions of people constantly … Not everyone understands that that’s the deal.”
–Esquire, February 2013
So the idea of fame is beautiful until it becomes reality because that is when you face the enormity of it. You know that you influence many people, who may idolize you for your success and that you may be developing a growing number of haters who will never be happy with who you are. That knowledge can make you feel pressured into trying to be perfect. That pressure for perfection could be too much for a single person to handle.
Too Much Mental Pressure
As mentioned, hate and people with crazy expectations from you can be draining and emotionally challenging. This extreme exposure causes mental pressure which hinders self-growth and the sense of fulfillment. Many famous people realize that they are just humans who cannot handle endless stress. If you feel enough pressure from society without being a celebrity, imagine how many more times this pressure would increase if all the attention and expectations were put on you.
Does Fame Cause Depression?
Unfortunately, one of the effects of fame is that it can cause depression. The thing about fame is the more famous you are, the more intense the weight of fame can be. This brings emotional pressure, decreased personal privacy, and limited time for connecting to yourself. The most popular celebrities have very little time they can spend on themselves and their personal lives due to their careers, which have taken over their lives. This often forces these people off balance.
In reality, many celebrities continue their attention-attracting careers with hopes for future development, even if they risk harming their mental health from the unhealthy amount of attention they get. Fear of failure or other fears is also among some of the reasons celebrities do not change their lifestyles. Permanent unhappiness can force the famous to search for unhealthy ways to deal with fame, such as, taking drugs or indulging in addictive activities that distract them from the problem, instead of facing it. If left untreated, it can result in clinical depression, addictive or sometimes even worse.
Fame Feeds The Ego While Reducing True Happiness
It is not always the case that people are not able to handle the pressure. We are all different, some have a greater capacity for dealing with stress than others.
Some love attention so much that they need it and do not feel any pressure from society. If they impulsively act on their need for attention, disregarding how their actions affect others, it is easy for them to justify it and ignore their own sense of responsibility for their actions. Their end goal is getting as much attention as they can. Those who crave attention for the sake of it, don’t care whether they portray a good or a bad role model, often without realizing that they have so much influence over others or their possible negative influences. These people only see fame as a number of followers or likes on Instagram, or attention they get, which feeds their sense of confidence and self-esteem. They do not care about who is behind each of those “likes” or “comments”. Not only do they take for granted everything that they receive from the people who follow their example, but they also become addicted to it. Wanting more and more, they start becoming dependent on others for their happiness, ignoring the fact happiness is within us all not delivered from others.
Fame comes with responsibility, and if you are not able to take personal responsibility for your actions, fame will probably not serve you well or those you influence.
Before wishing fame for yourself, ask yourself the following, are you able to handle the stress from having so much responsibility for how you influence others? Are you ready to take responsibility for becoming a role model for people? Do you consider yourself to be more introverted or extroverted? And are you ready to feel judged by society for the littlest mistake you make?
Some famous people cannot find a way to deal with fame in a healthy way, but others do.
There is no reason to quit the limelight if you can handle it well and still manage to live a balanced life. Some celebrities are able to handle it well because they set boundaries and find time for themselves and limit their personal time to a close circle of people they trust.
Here are a few tips on managing fame:
You Cannot Meet Everyone’s Unrealistic Expectations
As a popular person, you need to be prepared to handle the pressure from many people who impose their numerous and different expectations upon you. They may want your time, money, or to benefit from your talents. Even though famous you are still human with only so many hours in the day. You cannot be everything to everybody. Perfection is just an idea, not a reality. Stop chasing it.
Take the Opinion of Others About You Lightly
Accept that people will always have different points of view about you that you cannot control. If you wish to be a celebrity, you need to have or develop a really thick skin and learn to not prioritize the opinions of others about you as much as you prioritize your own opinion about yourself.
Stay Grounded and Down to Earth
Your success is not a reason to feel superior to other people. Fame can often confuse people and make them think they are one of a kind and everyone else is inferior. Do not fall for this trap, it will cloud your thinking and perception of true self-love.
If Needed, Get Help
Some celebrities deal with the stress of fame through seeking therapy. This is a possible solution if the previous steps are not working for you. It is one of the best ways to deal with the negative effects of fame. Therapy allows you to take a deeper look inside yourself and it can make you more aware of how to tackle celebrity issues.
Fame affects our lives in so many different ways, from giving us opportunities, getting special treatment, making us richer, but also attracting fake friends, causing stress, and many more complications in life. Many of us crave attention, but after we get it, we notice that being famous is not all roses and rainbows. Celebrities who face those drawbacks, deal with fame in various ways, some of them are productive, others – not quite so.
Are you able to take the positives with the negatives? If yes, then maybe you are ready to become a celebrity. If not, then simply take a moment to be grateful for what you have in your life, having the benefits that celebrities do not have, and to enjoy where you are in the present.