Friday, May 22, 2009

Fame and Its Price

Ah, the first day of summer. Everybody got up late, and here it is, 11 am, and everyone's out in the pool while I observe from a safe distance with my electronics.
So many exciting events during the past two days. But I need to get this off my chest first.

I struggled between exhilaration and worry Wednesday night when I heard the results of American Idol. I'm trying not to whip a dead horse here, but this has really been bugging me, so bear with me. When Kris Allen's name was read, two thoughts simultaneously flashed: He's got his big chance. What's going to happen to his cute little wife?

No one really knows what their relationship is like. But this much we do know: they are newlyweds, and they're pretty young. Maybe I am a hopeless romantic, but more than Kris's career, I want their marriage to succeed. How often does that happen with Hollywood? I can count on one hand the rich and famous and their true marital successes: Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Jon Bon Jovi and his wife (don't even know her name), George and Laura Bush, Bill and Melissa Gates, and . . . that's all I can think of.
This is my issue: Is fame worth the price? Is it worth the toll it takes on your family? Look at the latest casualties: Mel Gibson and his almost 30 years of marriage and seven kids, John and
Elizabeth Edwards, and perhaps the most tragic in my eyes, Jon and Kate Gosselin.

Jon and Kate Gosselin break my heart. I can see myself in her actions sometimes, and I don't like what I see. But it takes a lot of time and organization to run a big family. And all spouses bicker (I would hope it's not just me and Brad), but how many of us could survive the scrutiny of the lens all day? I'm trying not to pass judgment on them (going totally against my judgmental nature), because no one knows the full story. My heart just aches for them and their family. Who knows what would have happened if they had just struggled along in their unusual lives, not involving the world in their exploits? Sure, they never would have made it to Hawaii. No huge farmhouse to roam. Are those the things that truly matter in life? Do you think they would have been happier in the long term? Struggle and strife can bond a family together in ways that fame and ease cannot.

What is it that consumes some people that they need fame? Is it all people that want that moment in the sun? I know that I occasionally crave the attention that comes to Sheri Dew for her amazing speaking abilities or JK Rowling for her gift with the written word. But would I really want to give up privacy for fame? Is it worth the price?

Constantly being stroked for your genius only feeds that inner vanity beast--like a fire, the bigger it gets, the more it needs. If ten people think you're fantastic, what would it feel like to have 100 blog followers or 1000 speaking engagement, or 100,000 screaming fans? Look at the freaks of the entertainment industry that have been ruined by their own fame--Michael Jackson is a prime example. My kids can't understand how anyone could have liked him, but in his day, he was IT. No one was bigger, and no one fell harder.

All of this boils down to Kris and his little wife. He was given a talent, one meant to be shared with others. But what will happen to his relationship with her? Is there a chance in heaven or hell that it can survive the scrutiny, the pressure, the temptation that will surely come? There is enough pressure on the family in today's society, without fame and temptation that there is "something better just around the corner."

Good luck, Kris. I'm afraid you're going to need it.


  1. That's funny that you mentioned Kris's wife because I too have thought about her and about what all of this is going to do to their life together. They look so cute now and in love, but we all know that not so far down the road, Kris is going to have offers. It is so sad that the American dream is fame and not family. Because frankly, when does someone choose both?

  2. What I meant to say was, how can one choose both? It usually is an either or situation.

  3. Since I don't follow "Idol", I was hoping to hear about graduation. How was it?

  4. What a great thinkers post. I too have thought about his wife and wondered how long it will last. Same as I wonder about Chris Daughtry and his wife. More than gaining the fame, how can marriages survive when one of the partners spends almost ALL their time on the road, and not at home with their spouse? It's impossible to maintain relationships long distancely. Heck, it's hard enough to maintain them in person sometimes. Anyway, I wish them luck too, and can only hope that he has enough personal integrity and strength to make it all work.

  5. I actually had the same thought. I hope they can make it work, but all odds are stacked against them.

  6. My sister and I spoke about the same thing when Kris won. It will not be easy; that's for sure. And I would NOT want to personally deal with fame in my life. Way too intrusive.

    But I wouldn't mind having 100 blog followers! That's just plain fun...


  7. I had similar thoughts/concerns as well. I saw Kris on Jay Leno the other night and thought--maybe Jay could give Kris some fame and marriage advice--he and Mavis (sp?) are one of the few successes (add them to the very short list). I was very disappointed when the whole Mel Gibson divorce thing happened. (Another couple I'm routing for is Chris O'Donnell and his cute wife and family).
    p.s. You can add me to your blog readership list :)

  8. My sister and I talked about this, too. It will not be easy for them; that's for sure!

    I wouldn't want to live with fame...way too intrusive...but I wouldn't mind having 100 followers! That sounds like just plain fun.

    Speaking of blogging, did you know you were the winner...stationery included...of my blog giveaway? Congratulations, Jen!! Send me your address again, okay? (You can find my email on my profile.) I will be home Tuesday and will probably send the stuff out on Wednesday.

    Hugs to you.


  9. I am so sad about Jon and Kate, too. I hope they can work it out. Maybe they need to NOT be on tv.