From the outside looking in, everything can seem glorious to the eye. There is a reason why one of the most well-known sayings in the English Language is that ‘grass is greener on the other side’, because people tend to be aspirational and therefore, always ascribe more happiness and success to people who are on the other side of their own circumstances.
From afar, the life of the celebrity can seem to consist of little more than this – constant adulation from fans, living the ‘dream’ life that everyone else wants but cannot have, driving the best cars and moving in the highest of circles, wielding power and influence over the powers that be and many other ‘lovely’ things.
In such circumstances, it’s easy to classify celebrities in a different category to everyone else and to be able to do things to them that would be unconscionable if done to anyone else.
Celebrities, afterall, are enjoying life, I imagine the rationale goes. They are living the good life and are not attune to the problems of the common man. If they have a little trouble to deal with, who cares?
If it holds that celebrities are different from everyone else, perhaps this mindset can be justified as an inevitable, if not a tad morbid bit of schadenfreude. The same way humans often see others as having a better life than they are, in that same way humans tend to derive satisfaction from seeing those ‘others’ who perceive themselves to be better than them getting their just desserts.
If celebrities are enjoying whilst everyone else is suffering, it stands to reason that everyone else would not shed any tears whenever a celebrity also has a little scandal they have to deal with, whether the facts of the case are true or not.
But the actual fact is that celebrities are no different from anyone else, and the lives we lead are in real emotional terms no different to anyone else’s. We are humans, like everyone else; we laugh, we cry, we bleed, and we sweat, just like everyone else.
Celebrities are human beings too.
Every day in the traditional media, on social media and largely on all corners of the internet, our lives are put on display, dissected, scrutinized and bastardized with no mercy, all in the name of free speech.
Free speech is a wonderful thing. As a concept, it is the bastion of any truly free society and thus cannot be infringed on in any way in a system that purports to be a liberal democracy.
But like everything else, it has its limitations, and it is these that are preyed on to constantly denigrate the life of the celebrity in a way that is barely acceptable.
Things that could not be said in person are written with no remorse online. Lies are propagated with alacrity and through it all, not once are the feelings of the celebrity in question considered.
In the eyes of everyone else celebrities have been dehumanized, our pain and struggle only an afterthought to those who destroy our lives word by word, every single day.
But there is absolutely no reason that a celebrity should not react to a situation the same way anyone else would. If a ‘normal’ person’s reaction to being maligned would be to show anger, why should a celebrities’ reaction expected to be any different?
If a ‘normal’ person’s reaction to losing a loved one is to get depressed, why should a celebrity be expected to react any differently?
If a ‘normal’ person’s reaction to being ‘dumped’ is to crawl in bed and cry nonstop, why should a celebrity be expected to react any differently?
Celebrities are ‘normal’ people too.
On every single day, celebrities have to deal with their normal everyday problems, and they have to do so whilst under intense public scrutiny. Every dress worn, every building entered, every call made or every post typed is everyone’s business and is interpreted a million different ways.
Through this grinding process, our humanity is forgotten, and our tears are disregarded. We are not giving the time to react to the constant nonstop drip of stories, mostly untrue, and every piece of emotion we show is further proof that whatever piece of libel is flying out there is true, when in actual fact it might just be the normal human reaction to being maligned, misrepresented or misunderstood.
There is the need for the public to undergo the realization that celebrities are people too, and invariably react the same way to any given scenario as anyone else would do.
That is the only way that the open warfare that is sometimes launched on us without any remorse can be pushed back. If our very human feelings are considered before some words are uttered, we could be saved a lot of pain.
Afterall, in the long run, we are all in this together. No one is a robot, and everyone is fighting to build the best life they can for themselves. For the outsider, things might seem all rosy and peachy but trust me, we all have our demons to deal with and we all have our problems.
Whatever happens in your life, happens in my life. That’s all we all need to remember; celebrities are people too.
Source: Sandra Ankobiah, Lawyer, Executive Director at The Women’s Institute, P.R.O. FIDA GHANA, Entrepreneur and Humanitarian