My Minute Millennial Minute: Celebrity Idolatry

Being in the age of social media, we are all able to further relate to our favorite athletes, actors, singers, rappers, YouTube Personalities, etc. And I think that it’s a great thing to be a part of.

Celebrities today are more open with their lives when the camera turns off. And this makes our favorite celebs more…relatable. Before the dawn of social media, celebrities were placed upon an insurmountable pedestal compared to the common man. Most people saw their lives as a 24-hour paradise full of perfection, endless happiness, fame and fortune.

In order to achieve that level of success before social media seemed, damn near impossible. Like you had to be in the right place at the right time, and know the right people. And how often does that happen for the common man?

Very rarely.

Then came the birth social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram in the 2000s. We as fans received a glimpse into the everyday life of of our favorite celebrities. We then discover that they live through the same struggles that we do, and they’re just like us.

Except the fact that their bank accounts are much larger than the majority of us.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are still a few celebrities that flaunt their fame and wealth as if their life is perfect.

Like Floyd Mayweather Jr., when he flaunts his two Koenigsegg Ageras that he spent well over $2.5 million for each one. Or the fact that he carries a duffle bag around with millions of dollars in cash in it.

Hate that guy.

But anyway, back to my point.

Our lives in the digital age, which is centralized around the life of celebrities comes down to one simple point: they have what we want.

Take my example, I follow Ryan Reynolds on Twitter. I am a fan of the majority of his movies, he’s a talented actor, he has a hell of a sense of humor, and a gorgeous wife.

All in all, he’s a seemingly likable guy. And there are times that I want what he has: the looks, the talent, the personality. And for most fans, it makes them want to work hard to get to the position where he is.

Another example I will use to hit closer home for me is sports personality Stephen A. Smith.

There are probably millions of people who don’t like him for his opinions or antics, but as he will tell you, he worked his ass off to get to the position where is today as demonstrated in this clip, with the instrumental of Meek Mill’s hit song “Dreams & Nightmares” playing over his speech.

 

Hearing that speech will light a fire under anyone who wants to be a sports writer, like myself. Which is why it was such an honor to meet him in person when he gave a speech at the University of Cincinnati.

PS: anyone who wants to make a comment about my polo, keep it to yourself.

But hearing his speech makes me want to work that much harder to break into the sports world.

Now here’s where this article is going to take a left turn.

Would I consider Stephen A. Smith an inspiration to myself? Absolutely.

But do I IDOLIZE him? I wouldn’t say that.

Just because we aren’t in the desert melting down our gold earrings to be formed into the image of a calf for worship doesn’t mean that we’re not participating in idolatry in this day and age.

There’s a point where idolizing turns into an obsession. That’s where the problem arises.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

I’m sure that the majority of you are familiar with the musical artist Taylor Swift. She has a very large following of fans that call themselves “Swifties.”

And when I say that Swifties are loyal to their savior, it is a large understatement.

Back in 2013, Bad Kids Clothing, an EDM-inspired clothing line, selling neon rave wear, released a tank top that poked a little fun at Taylor Swift that featured the last names of her famous alleged exes.

When I tell you that the Swifties came out in full force to defend the singer and attack the company, whew!

Yikes.

These are only a small number of messages that this company received from the Swiftie Clan.

I can understand if you feel some type of way when someone attacks your favorite artist, and you want to provide your rebuttal.

But to result to violence against someone who doesn’t like your favorite artist or pokes fun at them is ridiculous.

“Slander my reason for living?”

Really ma’am? Really?

For an artist who seemingly speaks out against online bullying, her fans seem to differ.

And now on to probably the most dedicated, loyal, and fiery group of fans. Beyoncé stans commonly known as the BeyHive.

Swifties have nothing on this group. So why are we talking about the BeyHive?

Well, a couple of nights ago, during game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors, Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z were spotted sitting courtside. So the majority of camera time was set on the power couple.

But then came an interaction with Jay-Z and the woman sitting next to Beyoncé, Nicole Curran, the wife of Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob.

Well, I’ll let you take a look at the video courtesy of KHOU 11 in Houston.

 

To most people, it looked like an innocent incident between Curran and Jay-Z.

Tell that to the BeyHive.

ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne tweeted about the “incident” and the unwarranted backlash that Curran received.

This is…unreal.

All because Curran wanted to be a good host and offer the two a drink.

This all comes down to what is called the “Cult of Personality.”

No, not the 1989 hit song by Living Colour.

A cult of personality arises when a country’s regime – or, more rarely, an individual – uses the techniques of mass media, propaganda, the big lie, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image of a leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.

 

Tell me that doesn’t sound like Swifties or the BeyHive.

And in my personal opinion, celebrities who have a prominent following like these two will never admit it publicly, but they love it.

They love the attention and power their fans give them, which make them feel like deities.

This is one of the scarier things about giving celebrities this type of power over their fans. Some become more humble and down to earth, and others love the power.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that Childish Gambino is one of the most talented people of this generation from every perspective.

But if someone disagrees with me about that, I’m not going to pull out a pistol and shoot that person.

It’s okay if they have that opinion, and it’s okay to be wrong about that opinion.

There is nothing wrong with being a fan, but hailing that person as a god is troublesome.

I’m just saying that the Swifties and BeyHives of the world need to take a look at themselves ask if the kool-aid is worth the taste.

But that’s just me, and this is My Minute Millennial Minute.

PSS: BeyHive and Swifties, please don’t attack my inbox.

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