Celebrity... Who are you?

2016-01-10 06:35

More often than not, we refer to people as "Celebrities". In fact, we talk about celebrities all day long. We know them. We hear about them. We read about them. There are plenty of personalities that you and I can point, with no element of doubt, as celebrities.

Some time ago, I had a new patient who is largely unknown to me. Nothing weird about it. Half of my patients are almost always new to me everyday, anyway.

However, what struck me was when the patient couldn't understand why I didn't recognize her, since she was "a celebrity". Quite frankly, I still didn't remember her even after she gave me the entire encyclopedia of her credentials. Being that as it may, let's get back to my story.

I had to ask myself, who is the celebrity? Or what is a celebrity?

Visiting my Oxford English Dictionary, the word celebrity is defined as "a famous person, especially in entertainment or sport". It also describes, once again, the celebrity as "the state of being well known".

I agree with the definition. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

But, I often listen to many celebrity interviews, and every time they are being asked the question: "Do you think you are a celebrity?", they almost always say "No". Now this is exactly where my confusion comes from.

Back to the definition: "The state of being well known": How well known is "well known"? Is it the state of being well known, as in, in person? The face? The voice? The name? How well known should one be well known to be labelled as a celebrity?

We see the physical appearances of TV show presenters, news anchors, news reporters, sports commentators, political analysts, etc. Are they all celebrities?

The behind-the-scene crew, such as the photographers, the directors, the producers, the script writers, the make up artists, etc. would they also be called celebrities?

What about the famous radio presenters whose faces remain completely anonymous to their beloved listeners? Would they too be called celebrities?

The writers of, for example, the newspapers, magazines, novels, short stories, stage dramas, blogs, columns etc. would they too fall into the celebrity category?

What about the sports players? Taking, for instance, soccer as an example. We have PSL and NFD. Are the players in both leagues labelled as celebrities too? Or do we have those who just don't qualify the celebrity status?

Getting into the Holy chamber. Can a pastor/ prophet/ apostle/ bishop/ priest/ evangelist / man of God be called a celebrity? When? How well known must the man of God be known for him to be referred to as such? Would the size of their church matter, or must they first have some airtime on TV?

The politicians. Bless them. Can they too fall in the celeb-ville? When do we ever say a certain politician is a celebrity?

The multibillionaires who appear on Forbes magazine. Are they also celebrities? When do we label them as such? Who is, and who is not? And why?

The CEO's of large corporates are often very well known. Can they too be called celebrities?

Can somebody claim celebrity status by virtue of their famous social media profile, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc?

What about newsmakers, such as the newly famous Penny Sparrow? Would you address them as celebrities? Would you address the famous criminal or terrorist as a celebrity?

Please clear my confusion.

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