Are you hiding something or is it all an act?

Richard Dyer, in Heavenly Bodies speaks on the importance of both authenticity and ordinariness. Transparency and authenticity are important because of the ‘relationships’ we build with celebrities. Just as we would find it hurtful if one of our friends was not honest with us about who they were, we would be hurt and feel mislead is a celebrity hid things from us.
Because of this, publicity is extremely important to the success of celebrities because it allows the star to build better relationships with the public with more insights into who they are. However, publicity is truly a double-edged sword because it can be incredibly invasive when the public wants to know more than you might want to share.
Then if you refuse to share intimate moments of your life or complain about the lack of privacy as Reese Witherspoon did in a Vogue article, you might be seen as not being authentic because you aren’t willing to share all of your life with the public. When celebrities only want to give the public the manicured publicity it feels like we aren’t getting the whole truth that comes from the unauthorized publicity (tabloids, gossip sites, etc), which is what is such an invasion of privacy.
On the flip side, you might also be seen being even more transparent because you are displaying your need to “just have a normal life”. When we talk about the stars of Jersey Shore or the Kardashians, most people don’t think of them as very transparent people because they are seen as people who style their lives for publicity. They display so much to the public that it feels like it’s all an act.
This contradiction really illustrates the way celebrities value privacy is most of the time a lose-lose situation when it comes to how authentic we find them.


2 thoughts on “Are you hiding something or is it all an act?

  1. I like how you tie in the Dyer piece on authenticity and ordinariness! I think that you’re absolutely right, publicity is a double-edged sword for celebrities! I also liked your discussion of the transparency of reality tv stars. I think it is very ironic that even though it is supposed to be a “reality” show, we see them as being transparent / fake. My one thing is that I don’t think it is completely a lose-lose situation for celebrities (although it is certainly super tough to negotiate). Some stars are successfully able to find the balance between remaining in the public eye and keeping their privacy, while still remaining authentic, it just takes lots of finesse!.

  2. I do think it’s not always a lose-lose. I almost wrote that sentence as saying it always was and then specifically rewrote it to say most of the time. But I do think that some people are able to maintain that balance.

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