Celebrities today seem to be up for grabs. Photographers and tabloid writers feel free to spy on celebrities and follow them constantly. Celebrities seem to have different feeling about this. Some celebrities play along with the paparazzi and seem to tolerate the intrusion in exchange for good publicity. Others are constantly embroiled in battles with the relentless photographers and often end up in court. The question undercutting all of this however is who, in fact, actually owns these celebrities?
Despite the pleas on some tearful celebrities, the answer is the people. The same individuals who made ordinary actors, singers, and politicians into celebrities in the first place actually hold the deed on celebrities. So long as celebrities stay in favor with the public, they continue to live a blessed existence of fame and fortune. But if a celebrity loses favor and begins to fade away, they simply cease to exist for much of the world. In some cases they might retain some of the fortune, but the fame is certainly gone.
An audience creates a celebrity. Many individuals have starred in movies or performed at concerts without gaining celebrity status. It is only when the world begins to sit up and take notice of an individual that true star status is obtained. This is how stars are born overnight. If people care about the comings and goings of an individual and the media picks up on this interest, news and tabloid coverage will increase. This creates a celebrity. If nobody cares about a singer’s shopping trips or political message, it is a safe bet that individual will not be stalked by paparazzi and won’t be gracing the covers of magazines. Simply, celebrities are selected.
Human beings are fickle creatures. The general population may hold a singer in great esteem one year and have moved on completely by the next. In fact, certain television stations and websites have a made a market out of finding these former celebrities and marveling at their now “normal” lives. Other websites offer members the opportunity to demonstrate their flightiest tendencies on a daily basis.
Certain websites have constructed an algorithm to demonstrate the popularity of celebrities. This algorithm and the celebrity’s popularity equate to a market price, much like a stock price. Members of the site are able to buy and sell celebrities for their personal portfolios and if the celebrity increases in value – both popularity and price, the portfolio value increases. If a celebrity begins to lose value, he is undesirable and dumped.
There can be no clearer message about not only the value of celebrities, but also the ownership of celebrities. Just as celebrities in a portfolio can create a return for investors, those same investors take the time to research the celebrities in forums, news articles, and blogs. This research and drive for information increases the celebrity’s popularity and price. When a celebrity fails to generate news, or generates too much bad publicity, the public will simply lose interest, the celebrity loses value, and stardom begins to fade.