Since the inception of televisions in the 1930s, writers and directors have been using popular culture to depict society. Post World War II seems to be around the time, in recent history, when television moms began to appear predominantly in mainstream entertainment. Each decade since then has brought about an altered image of mothers and their families.
Mothers in the 1950s
Following World War II, television utilized families to portray an optimism that was desperately needed after the devastation of war. Men (and some women) were home, safe and sound, and positivity was abound. Mothers like Leave it to Beaver's June Cleaver and Ozzie and Harriet's Harriet Nelson were the token moms of this decade. These women took care of the housework, children, and their husbands while dressed in high heels and pearls. The majority of 1950s' moms were imaged with perfectly set hair and make up, holding a vacuum in one hand and an iron in the other.
The Civil Rights Movement of The Sixties (as it has been deemed), brought a change from the strictly domestic lifestyle of television moms to one of increased social and economic status. Focus was placed on talents utilized outside of the home that went beyond cooking turkey and baking pies. Laura, the mother on The Dick Van Dyke Show, was shown to be a skilled dancer prior to bearing children. This decade also brought the introduction of unconventional motherly roles such as the widowed mother of two, Lucille Ball, in The Lucy Show.
The 1970s and Motherhood
With the rise of Second Wave Feminism, TV moms became more independent and seemingly chose to raise their children single-handedly. Mothers were often divorced like Ann Romano in One Day at a Time or, in some cases, widowed, like Shirley Partridge - mother of five, in The Partridge Family.
Moms in the 1980s
This decade portrayed mothers as wanting-it-all. Most television moms struggled to find a balance between career and home life. Some, like The Cosby Show's Clair Huxtable, juggled life as mom and lawyer in a conventional manner, while others like Who's the Boss's Angela Bower, hired a male housekeeper to assist with raising her child. A number of alternate lifestyles emerged throughout the 1980s as women strived to be successful in the workforce and at home.
A 1990s' Mom
At this point in recent history, TV moms represented the abundance of choice, in terms of lifestyle, available to women. Jill Taylor, in Home Improvement, left the workforce, became a suburban housewife, and later went back to school to pursue her dream of becoming a Psychologist. Murphy Brown, in the self-titled sitcom, was a thriving career woman and mother to an unplanned child out of wedlock whom she raised with help from her handyman.
The mothers of the 21st Century present a combination of characteristics found in mothers of each preceding decade. The popular series Desperate Housewives, is perhaps one of the best examples of the diverse ways in which mothers are currently portrayed in popular culture. Linette, Susan, Gabrielle, Bree, and even Edie, each raise their children in vastly different ways, showing the audience the array of options available to modern mothers.
Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and George Clooney have been named 2011's three most charitable celebrities by DoSomething.org.
In addition to his voice and dance moves, Justin Bieber is known by many for his charity work and donations. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to take the top spot on DoSomething.org's annual Celebs Done Good list. That honor was given to Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga took the top spot for her tireless campaign for anti-bullying legislation and the establishment of her Born This Way Foundation. The foundation, which will launch in 2012, seeks to empower youth, push for equality and champion individuality. She's already put her money where her mouth is by donating 25 percent of the proceeds from her Gaga's Workshop in Barney's New York to the foundation. Following in the footsteps of Madonna and Elizabeth Taylor, Lady Gaga is also an AIDS/HIV activist.
Bieber's massive charity involvements bumped him up from last year's number 10 to this year's number 2 spot. His Believe Charity Drive encourages his fans to donate to a variety of charities, including Make-A-Wish and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Fans of Ellen also know that Bieber is a big believer of quality education of all. He famously gave a free performance and a $100,000 check to Ellen DeGeneres' favorite school, Whitney Elementary, earlier this month. His Schools4All campaign raises money to build schools in developing countries. With such charitable works at such a young age, Bieber certainly isn't taking his success for granted by blowing of all his money on frivolous goods. At the rate that he's going, he may just topple Lady Gaga on next year's list.
Rounding out the top three is George Clooney, a noted liberal political activist. Many of his fans have wondered whether Clooney will further his political work by running for office. His portrayal of a presidential candidate in Ides of March especially got people talking. Unfortunately for his fans, the actor has stated that he's definitely not interested in public office because it would mean compromising on this he'd rather not.
In addition to DoSomething.org's recognition, George Clooney may soon have something else to celebrate. His performance in the Alexander Payne-directed The Descendants, as a middle-aged man who reconnects with his daughters while their mother lies in a coma, has many talking about an Oscar win in 2012. He last won an Academy Award in 2006, in the Best Supporting Actor category, for the Middle East thriller Syriana.
Other celebrities on DoSomething.org's annual Celebs Done Good list are Leonardo DiCaprio, Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift.
On September 19, 2008, Travis Barker, former Blink-182 drummer and star of MTV's Meet the Barker's and his friend D.J. AM (Adam Goldstein), a popular Los Angeles area disc jockey, were in a fatal plane crash in Columbia, South Carolina. The duo had just finished a free concert at a college in Columbia and chartered a plane back to Van Nuys, Calif. so AM could disc jockey for a friends wedding the next evening.
Barker, D.J. AM, Barker’s assistant Chris Baker, and Barker’s bodyguard Charles Still boarded a private Learjet just before midnight but something went horribly wrong during takeoff and the plane skidded off the 8600-foot runway, bursting into flames. The National Transportation Safety Board said the voice recorder, or “little black box” as it’s commonly known, points to a blown tire and failed attempt to abort take-off as the cause of the crash. Baker and Still were killed on impact and pilot Sarah Lemmon and co-pilot James Bland were killed due to smoke inhalation and burns.
In his first interview since the crash, Barker told Us Weekly, “I hate planes. My biggest fear ever is to be involved in a plane crash, so when that happened…well, I’m just thankful to be alive. I’m just grateful to be here at all.”
Barker and Goldstein were taken to a burn center in August, Georgia, joined shortly after by loved ones. Barker’s ex-wife Shanna Moakler rushed to Barker’s bedside and hasn’t left since. AM’s ex-girlfriend Mandy Moore was also seen around the hospital and dining with AM’s parents in Augusta near the burn center.
Doctors said both men had extensive burns, Barker to his lower body and AM to his arm, neck and head, but expect them to make full recoveries. In the Us Weekly interview, Barker told the magazine he has third degree burns from his feet up to his waist and second-and-third-degree burns on both his hands.
Back In L.A.
Both Barker and AM have been discharged from the Georgia burn center. Barker is now being treated at a burn center in L.A. He stated in his recent interview he was too afraid to fly again so he chartered a bus back to California, accompanied by his father and Moakler.
Barker’s interview also revealed he is anxious to get out of the hospital. “I’ve just been in surgery after surgery,” Barker stated. He also revealed he’s given up over 25 years of being a vegetarian. He said his doctors told him there was a possibility he might heal faster if he had real protein in his system and not just supplements. “I don’t regret it. I feel so much better,” Barker said.
AM has been seen out and about in Los Angeles, once at a memorial for plane crash victim Chris Baker.
More and more celebrity chefs are lending their names to restaurants on cruise ships: Todd English on Queen Mary 2; Wolfgang Puck and Nobu Matsuhisa on Crystal; Marco Pierre White on the new P&O Cruises’ superliner Ventura; and British favourite, Gary Rhodes, on two of P&O’s other ships, Oriana and Arcadia.
So is this trend for gourmet cruises and famous chefs a matter of simply throwing in a few ‘signature dishes’ and collecting a fee? Gary Rhodes, holder of many Michelin stars in his various restaurants worldwide, says emphatically, no! “The P&O Cruises chefs come to us in London [where Rhodes has two restaurants] and we prepare every single dish,” he explains as we tuck into a tangy asparagus, avocado, pink grapefruit and paw paw salad in the refined setting of Oriana Rhodes. “We then photograph the dish. It’s all about consistency; there’s a real family spirit among the crew on P&O and I want to get to know all the chefs who work for me. All the crew are so dedicated. We do this session in London every time there’s a full menu change on board, which is about four times a year. In Oriana Rhodes, there are five or six dedicated chefs who work almost exclusively in this restaurant.”
Menus in the onboard Rhodes restaurants change according to the seasons and the cruising area. Although most food is loaded at the beginning of a cruise, Rhodes can’t resist some local ingredients like fresh basil in Italy, or succulent papaya in the Caribbean. “I’d always take advantage of where we are and give a dish some edge with local flavours,” he says.
All the menus in all of Rhodes’ restaurants are different, including those in the two onboard outlets. “Although we may find that if something has worked on Arcadia, we’ll try it in Oriana Rhodes,” he says. The chef himself cruises four times a year, mingling with the passengers and offering cookery demonstrations. But cruising being what it is, he claims the service in his restaurants is as important as the food, particularly when the standard of service throughout the ship is so high. “If you have sensational food but the service is rude, you wouldn’t go back to a restaurant,” he says. “First impressions are everything and the restaurant manager is the first and last person a passenger sees in the restaurant. We treat every guest as an individual. We know when to stand back and leave them alone, and which ones want personal attention.”
Needless to say, the speciality restaurants on the P&O Cruises ships and all others get booked up very quickly - where else can you enjoy food prepared by a Michelin-starred chef for such a token amount? Dining in Arcadian Rhodes or Oriana Rhodes is a mere £15 a head (about $28). “By lunchtime on the third day of a two-week cruise, we’re sold out,” says Rhodes. So the advice to food-loving cruise passengers is to make your reservations early, as soon as you get on board. You know it’s going to be spectacular, so think ahead and book for more than one evening!
In common with most other aspects of radio and despite what others may tell you, there are no rules on in choosing the right celebrities for a radio campaign or a radio advertiser. There are some choices and some production techniques that work better than others, and some that don’t work at all. There are some voice-overs, celebrities among them that will work better for some clients than others, and some celebrities that just can’t read radio commercials.
The Celebrity Challenge
Sometimes called celebrity endorsement or testimonial, choosing just exactly who should be the voice of the company or brand, or even if this creative idea results in the chosen celebrity also becoming the ‘face’ of the company or product is an area fraught with potential challenges. Consider these:
The Types of Celebrities
Depending on which industry media is to be believed the use of celebrity endorsement in the media is either on the rise or in decline, and each will give percentage points to back up their argument. There is however no disputing the steep increase in the number of celebrities available and willing to ‘front’ advertising campaigns for payment for varying amounts of money. The catch all phrase of ‘celebrity’ needs some reasonable delineation. There are:
Types of Personalities
It’s essential to also consider how the personality fits the product or brand being advertised, and the reasoning behind any choice. This is the area where any element of star gazing is left far behind and a decision is made on the grounds of advertising effectiveness. Any choice wrongly determined by personal favouritism may affect all aspects of the advertising campaign not to say the health of the business. The choice may be influenced by:
The main drawback for paying personalities to voice radio ads, or front a campaign is that the chosen person or group is not sufficiently high profile and therefore not recognised, or their extra-curricular activities may adversely affect the brand.
Conversely numerous researches have demonstrated that a well researched and developed celebrity led campaign achieves instant recognition and can dramatically increase sales.
Last week Stephen Baldwin got his second win as project manager, and as a result received $20,000 for his charity, the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Dial Soap Photo Layout in Redbook
The members of Hydra and Empresario meet Donald Trump in the lobby of the Hearst Tower, where he introduces them to the executives for Redbook and Dial soap. The teams are to create a four-page photo essay for Dial’s Nourishing Yogurt Body Wash. They’ll be judged on three criteria:
Before Trump finishes telling the groups about the challenge, Omarosa whispers to her Empresario teammates that she’d like to run the next project. As soon as she says this Trump mentions that the project manager from the team that loses will be the one fired. She then backs off; saying someone else should lead instead. Baldwin suggests Tito Ortiz, who agrees.
Supermodel Carol Alt Leads Hydra
Carol Alt volunteers to be the project manager for Team Hydra. Alt has graced the cover of Redbook five times and feels she’s the most qualified to lead. Her teammates, Morgan and Lewis, agree.
In the private meeting with the executives from Redbook and Dial, Hydra asks about demographic and target audience. These questions prove to be crucial to the development of their campaign. Later, Alt and her team settle on the concept of showing every aspect of a woman’s life. They envision a woman having babies, buying a home, getting married, and being intimate with her husband.
Morgan thinks Alt should be their spokesmodel. She worries that this might be too much of a burden since she’s already the project manager, but relents in the end. The essay includes her with a baby, in the shower, and in bed with a model representing her husband. In the final shot, the husband pretends to “nibble” Alt.
Trace Adkins Poses Shirtless
When Empresario meets with the executives, they find out a large part of Redbook’s readership is country music fans. The executives stress that the campaign should represent a clean, healthy, and family image. As a result, Baldwin feels they should use Trace Adkins as their spokesmodel. Omarosa agrees but thinks Adkins should appear shirtless.
They take shots of Adkins with this shirt on and off, and when doing the final layout decide on using the photo of him shirtless. Omarosa stresses that this is what Redbook readers want to see. Ortiz acquiesces to Omarosa’s opinion, but Baldwin strongly urges them to use the less risqué photo. Finally, they follow Baldwin’s suggestion.
Presentations to Redbook and Dial Executives
When Empresario presents the essay to the Redbook and Dial executives, Ortiz appears nervous and seems to stumble. The team went with a “dry desert” storyline to represent dry skin. They showed a model with beautiful skin and Adkins in the background with his guitar. Ortiz doesn’t know the product name and Omarosa has to prompt him.
Hydra showed images from a woman’s life, and also had information explaining the use of yogurt in the product. The executives liked their campaign except for the final image of the model biting Alt. Despite this, they agreed that Hydra had by far the best campaign. Alt wins her second challenge as project manager.
Trump Confronts Omarosa
In the boardroom, Trump asks Omarosa why she didn’t volunteer to run the project. She has a marketing background and, as a woman, should have known what Redbook was looking for. She says she did want to lead but Ortiz insisted. She denies that she pushed it off on Ortiz when she heard that the project manager for the losing team would be fired.
Trump reminds Omarosa that she has lost two previous challenges and won zero. Amazingly, both Ortiz and Adkins seem to stick up for Omarosa. Ortiz said she worked the hardest out of everyone on the team and should not be fired. Trump agrees and sticks true to his promise at the beginning of the episode. Ortiz, as project manager for the losing team, is fired.
To soften the blow, Trump tells Ortiz he is “really special” and gives him $50,000 out of his own money for Ortiz’s charity, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The episode begins in the war room with Piers savoring his victory in beating Omarosa. He said it was one of the most satisfying things that had ever happened to him. Carol Alt said she thought Omarosa was “smart” and Morgan reminded her that Omarosa was the only person to lose three times as project manager. Her track record spoke for itself.
As Trace Adkins appeared back in the boardroom, Piers apologized for kissing him. He told Adkins that he was making a point to Omarosa about the ridiculous claim she made. Adkins was not amused, however, and felt that Morgan was going on a bit too much about his win.
Creating a New Quiznos Sub Sandwich
Shifting gears, the teams met with Donald Trump to find out about the next challenge. Each group was charged with designing and selling a completely unique Quiznos sub sandwich. The teams would have just two hours to create a sandwich that didn’t previously exist at Quiznos, create flyers, and generate buzz. Unlike other challenges, they could not call upon their celebrity contacts. They then would have another two hours to sell. The team that sold the most sandwiches would win.
Cowboy Club Versus the Champ Sandwich
Team Empresario was down to Adkins and Stephen Baldwin. Baldwin had been a winning project manager twice before, while Adkins still had not raised any money for his charity. It was an easy decision to have Adkins as the project manager.
Adkins came up with the name “Cowboy Club” for their sandwich and Baldwin loved it. They then came up with the contents of the sub: Thinly-sliced Prime Rib, Mozzarella, sautéed onions, bacon and Chipotle Mayo.
Lewis volunteered to be project manager for Hydra. As they had done so many times before, Hydra used Lewis as their spokesperson, calling their sub the “Champ Sandwich.”
Hydra took the most popular sandwich Quiznos currently sold, consisting of Chipotle Mayo, smoked jalapeno, turkey, and pepper jack cheese on toasted flatbread, and changed it slightly to create their own version. Lewis decided to change the cheese to cheddar, and thus the “Champ Sandwich” was created. They also added lettuce and a tomato garnish for good measure.
Piers Morgan Talks Smack About Carol Alt
On Hydra’s team, Alt was in charge of flyers, which ran slightly late. Alt kept them informed about the status of the flyers, but Morgan mocked her behind her back, clearly taking a page of out the Omarosa playbook and targeting a teammate to take the fall in the event of a loss. The flyers ended up arriving twenty minutes before sales began, in plenty of time to help promote their sandwich.
Conversely, Baldwin had flyers made by a printer right down the block, so Empresario had marketing materials to give out early in the day.
Each team was successful in drumming up business and handing out flyers to passersby on the street. Both Adkins and Lewis were shown posing for pictures with fans. However, Hydra had two advantages: an extra person on their team and having one of the most famous current celebrities in Lennox Lewis. Hydra sold 313 sandwiches to Empresario’s 253. As a result of the win, Lewis received another $20,000 for his charity, the Muhammad Ali Center.
In the boardroom, Trump asks Adkins and Baldwin which of them he should fire. They both put forth a valiant effort. However, in looking forward Trump felt Adkins would be able to raise more potential money for charity. Despite his loss as project manager, Adkins was spared and Baldwin was fired.
A Surprise Ending
Just when the remaining for contestants had begun to relax, Trump called them all back into the boardroom and gave them the shock of the night: he would eliminate two of them before the evening was finished.
Nominated for her first Oscar Award in 1973 for her portrayal of Rebecca Morgan, the wife of a sharecropper, in the movie Sounder, Cicely Tyson is one of America’s most talented dramatic actresses. The artist was born on December 19, 1933 in New York City, New York to William and Theodosia Tyson. Cicely’s parents were avid Christians from the West Indies island of Nevis. Their beliefs would deeply impact Cicely, her sister Emily and her brother Tyson’s childhoods.
Cicely Tyson’s Early Dislike for Movies
Forbidden to go to the movies or participate in many “worldly” activities, according to Ebony magazine’s May 1974 feature interview with the actress titled “Cicely Tyson: A Very Unlikely Movie Star” that was written by Louie Robinson, Cicely saw her first movie when she was a teenager. The movie scared her to the point where she didn’t think there was anything special about the art form.
Her parents divorced when she was about 11 years old. The parting would take Cicely away from the man she had come to love most, her father. He would pass in 1962, nine years before his daughter would earn her first Oscar Award nomination. Cicely’s mother was strict and very protective of her three children, so much so that it put a strain on Cicely’s relationship with her mother. The actress would be a grown woman herself before she would look back and see the value of her mother’s lessons and warnings.
Modeling Leads to a Rewarding Destiny
Early jobs for actress Cicely Tyson included working at a secretary then later as a model. Before that she played the organ and the piano at the church she attended. She also taught Sunday School and sang in the church choir.
The modeling job came after Tyson’s hairdresser suggested that she model in an upcoming show he was organizing. The audience took to Cicely at once. Modeling seemed a natural fit for Tyson. Soon she was working with the Barbara Watson Modeling School and taking on decently paying jobs that grossed her over $60 an hour.
Modeling would put Cicely in touch with Freda DeKnight, a fashion editor at Ebony magazine. It was DeKnight who encouraged to Cicely to try out for a stage play. Unlike her first experience at the movies, Tyson loved the live theatre. The experience led Cicely to pursue acting full-time. She enrolled in school so that she could learn more about the world of drama and how to bring characters fully alive on the screen.
Heart of the Lonely Hunter
One of the actress’ early hit films was the 1968 Heart of the Lonely Hunter, a movie that was based on author Carson McCuller’s hit book by the same name. Despite her physical beauty, Cicely Tyson was committed toward only portraying African American women in a positive and empowering light. At times this found her going months or years without appearing in a major film.
In 1974, following her Oscar Award nomination for her portrayal of Rebecca Morgan in Sounder, Cicely played the leading role in the highly acclaimed television movie, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. This movie established Tyson as a rare talent with the gifts and the skills to enjoy a long and rewarding career in the entertainment industry.
Awards and Accolades for Actress Cicely Tyson
Tyson’s work in the autobiographical television movie would earn her an Emmy Award, her first. Roots, a moving mini-series, would be the next major television work that Cicely Tyson would be featured in. Other movies the actress would appear in include A Hero Ain’t Nothing But A Sandwich, The Women of Brewster Place, The Marva Collins Story, Fried Green Tomatoes, The River Niger, Mama Flora’s Family and The Rosa Park’s Story.
Cicely would also make appearances in hit television series like “The Outer Limits,” “Higgly Town Heroes,” “Touched By An Angel” and “Law and Order.” Recent works the award winning actress has taken on include Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion. She also worked with comedian Richard Pryor in the 1981 hit movie, Bustin’ Loose.
Over the course of her continuing career, Cicely Tyson has won two Black Reel Awards, a Cable ACE Award, two Emmy Awards, five Image Awards, a National Board of Review Award and a National Society of Film Critics Award. She has been nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe, a BET Comedy Award and an Oscar Award.
The comparisons between Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie started long ago and seem to be gaining some steam recently. Both women were engaged around the same time, Aguilera to husband Jordan Bratman and Richie to ex-fiancé Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein, they got pregnant around the same time and even gave birth at the same hospital one day apart. But when it comes to magazine cover sales Richie seems to be the victor.
Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie have both recently graced the cover of People Magazine with their respective newborns. However, magazine sales were much higher for Richie’s cover with her daughter Harlow than Aguilera’s cover with her son Max. It seems Aguilera has an unpleasant history of underselling magazine covers.
Aguilera’s Diva Ways
The OK! Magazine cover of Aguilera’s wedding went undersold as did her Marie Claire cover with her naked and pregnant. While the writer of the Marie Claire article called her reserved and shy it seems others would beg to differ lately.
There have been reports recently of diva demands. One supposedly was about her People Magazine cover. At first there was a possibility Aguilera would share the cover with Richie but that didn’t seem to fly with Aguilera. Then there was speculation that she was angered over her poor magazine sales and the success of Richie’s cover. According to The New York Post, Aguilera fired her day-to-day manager, an assistant and her public relations firm after poor sales of her cover.
Why Richie Sells More Covers
So why would Richie’s cover sell more than Aguilera’s when Aguilera is a multi-platinum selling recording artist and Richie…well, she’s famous for being famous?
Aguilera doesn’t have an extraordinarily interesting life filed with drama and gossip. Aguilera got married to a relative unknown in Hollywood, settled down, bought a house and got pregnant. She’s never been to rehab, never been arrested and, besides the “X-Tina/Dirrty” phase, hasn’t made many waves throughout her time in the spotlight.
Aguilera was never big into the club scene and focused on her powerful voice that triumphed over all the other pop stars the media pitted her against.
Richie, however, is the complete opposite. She was half the wild and crazy duo on The Simple Life, went to rehab for cocaine addiction, had been arrested numerous times, and had a reputation for being quite the party girl. The fact this girl got pregnant by a tattooed punk-rocker and settled down into domestic bliss is something to see. Magazine buyers want a peek into the life of Nicole Richie, reformed party girl turned mom/domestic goddess.
Readers want to see the face of the child that settled down two hard partiers and completely changed their lives. It's intriguing to people to see such a transformation in an individual rather than read about someone who was relatively domesticated to begin with.
Despite having with them what sometimes resembles a symbiotic relationship, celebrities normally abhor the presence of the paparazzi. With their lenses always ready and eager to catch the slightest of slip-ups, the swarm of paparazzi make their living off the embarrassment and misery of famous people. As a result, for all their status and money, celebrities often find themselves forced to either stay out of sight and abstain from simple everyday tasks, or risk seeing unflattering photos of their faces on the next cover of Us Weekly – which might very well pass a reason to preemptively strike anyone with a camera on a Sunday morning.
Still, while those grainy pictures are certainly a blow to what are certainly already fragile egos, they remain a minor nuisance next to the full wreckage potential of some of the stories the tabloids have been known to run. The emotional distress caused by “shocking pictures” or “exclusive revelations” can affect entire families and, more often than not, even destroy marriages. A perfect example of such power would be Tiger Woods’ fall from grace: not only was that pivotal car crash on Thanksgiving triggered by one of those He Has a Mistress! headlines, but it was mostly because the tabloids would not let the story go that all the dirt on him got dug up, ultimately leading to his divorce.
Now, a more cynical person could probably say that he brought that up on himself – you know, with the serial cheating and everything – but, then again, I doubt anyone would look much like a saint under such intense scrutiny (or with that kind of fame and money, for that matter). Perhaps the rap sheet of most people would not look exactly as Tiger’s, but the point here is that we all have our secret sins and none of us would like see them making the news.
The ethical boundaries of professional celebrity stalking
In any case, all the bad blood between famous people and the tabloids is of little practical consequence. Thanks to that whole “freedom of the press” thing, the paparazzi are allowed to shoot as many embarrassing pictures and videos as they can, as long as they are able to find their targets in public spaces. So, apart from channeling Sean Penn and breaking a few cameras – which would only give the enemy even more ammo, by the way – there is not much a celebrity can do to avoid being part of this circus.
Still, protected by the law or not, all you have to do is watch TMZ once to get the distinct impression that the paparazzi must be crossing some sort of line. I mean, to stalk people and to display their personal dramas as public entertainment is not very nice, to say the least.
So, at least from an ethical standpoint, it is obvious that the plain letter of the law does not make this type of industry tolerable. As the cliché goes, celebrities are people too, and one would have to be really insensitive to ignore that such harassment causes real pain – and also really shallow to condone it in the name of cheap entertainment. That being said, perhaps the moral limit we are looking for is probably much closer to our reality than most celebrities would care to admit.
“You cannot have your cake and eat it too”, scientists say
The main argument athletes, movie stars and musicians use to defend their privacy is that the public nature of their profession should not be construed as a forfeiture of their right to privacy – which is actually a very reasonable point. Of all the verbal jabs thrown back and forth in this fight, this might be the one which resonates deepest with me. Most of us like to keep our personal and professional lives separated, so it seems inherently unfair that these people should be deprived of their right to do the same on account of their line of work (and no, “they are rich, they can take it” is not nearly as sound an argument).
However, while I agree that just by shooting a movie, recording an album or playing a sport professionally a person should not be forced to open his personal life to the entire world, most celebrities do try to turn that public exposure into something else. Aware of the allure they exert on the average Joes and Janes everywhere, famous people look to profit from their image and start endorsing products that usually have nothing to do with the reason they became famous in the first place. For instance, George Clooney lately has been trying to push us his Espresso machine, Beyoncé is out trying to talk you into some shampoo and Peyton Manning is, well, selling anything and everything.
The reason why these people get to do commercials to begin with is that companies like Nestlé, L’Oréal and MasterCard hope that the consumer will feel a personal connection with them and buy their product by association. We know it; the companies know it; the celebrities know it. Unfortunately, that is also the fuel that propels the paparazzi and their gossip industry. It goes hand in hand: these commercials only work because people care and because they care they want to know more.
So, by signing on that dotted line, famous people are, in fact, tacitly forfeiting their right to be left alone. Celebrities cannot seriously expect to captivate people only to score a lucrative endorsement deal and then shoo that interest away when it is no longer convenient. In technical terms, that would be what sociologists call “trying to have your cake and eat it too”, and recent studies have shown that such thing is just not possible.
Going back to Tiger Woods, when he appears on my TV trying to sell me razorblades and videogames, he is also giving me green light to be interested in his life. Those things are not about Golf (well, maybe the videogame, a little bit); they are not about using the same clubs if I want to replicate his scorecard. EA Sports and Gillette were betting on Tiger’s personal appeal and, ultimately, trying to make me like him, not his game, to boost their sales – as was Tiger, when he cashed his check. So, when he crashes his car and has his many affairs turned public, he cannot claim that it is nobody else’s business, not when he stirred my curiosity first trying to make a quick buck. And he certainly cannot complain when the paparazzi, picking up on that public interest, decide to make some money of their own.
So, in the end, I guess I’m siding with the gossip magazines and their indefatigable hordes of paparazzi on this one. As long as celebrities keep crossing the line too, it’s a fair game.
News From The Stars
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From gossip from low paid celebs to high paid hollywood stars. We cover news from all angles of the celebrity world.
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Recently we have reported on a number of adult stars being in the news, with the new rights and protest, they have become the front page of many newspapers around the world. So we want to share that with you.
We also cover their social life, what they post and like on instagram to what they tweeted about last night, we have it all.
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