Fame? I’d rather learn how to fly
When I was 12, I wanted to be an air hostess when I grew up. My best friend wanted to be a traffic warden. She even drew a picture of herself in a beige uniform handing out a parking ticket.
Neither of us achieved our dreams, what with me becoming a journalist and her having to make do with working for one of the world’s biggest film companies.
So she, in particular, was astounded that today’s children no longer have such civic aspirations as we did. Instead, they just want to be famous.
Becoming a celebrity is the career goal of 51 per cent of American kids, while, in the UK, a third want to be a popstar, sports star or actor when they grow up.
Perhaps my friend and I are just bitter we didn’t reach our true callings. Then again, we have some experience in the slipstream of celebrity life; I interview them, she’s the flunkey who walks the red carpet with them. She rebooks hotels when they don’t like the curtains. And covers up when they intimately acquaint themselves with local C-listers hired to ‘pretty up’ a premiere.
So, kids, even though you might think being famous is all limos and designer clothes, here’s why you really don’t want to be a celebrity.
You’ll never again know the freedom of anonymity. You won’t be able to scratch your bottom, pick your nose, discipline your child, expose your cellulite, fall drunk into a gutter, gain a kilo (or lose a kilo) in public without the whole world seeing it.
Technology has made everyone a paparazzo, and while notoriety is funny at first, it can linger longer than a Paris Hilton sex tape. There’s also a new iPhone app called CelebAround, which flags sightings of A-listers on a GPS map, so acquiring a stalker is easier than ever.
You’ll be hungry for the rest of your life. You’ll eat quinoa or, like Jennifer Aniston, the same salad every day for 10 years. You’ll sniff chocolate brownies in secret.
On holiday, you’ll do a Victoria Beckham and tip off the paparazzi just to keep up your profile. You’ll wear make-up to the beach and become neurotic if you don’t spot a lens.
You’ll be able to sleep with whoever you like, but you’ll have to hide under blankets in your chauffeur-driven car, check hotel rooms for video cameras and, unless you’re Warnie or Tiger, never send them a Tweet or text.
But they’ll always tell their “friend” and their “friend” will shop you to the papers.
You’ll get older and think you can cut, inject, suck and fill your face to look like a 20-year-old, but, quelle horreur, Wikipedia has deftly dispensed with age deceit.
When you go out, “civilians” – as Elizabeth Hurley calls the rest of us – will want your autograph. Silently, you’ll loathe them.
During interviews to spruik your latest movie/song/perfume, you’ll do this ridiculous dance with journalists, where you’ll want to talk about your ‘craft’ while they want to discuss your last indiscretion.
You’ll adopt Third World orphans, but your biological children will later descend into drink and drugs, and blame you for it.
Finally, someone prettier, younger and more talented will come along. Unless you’re Kylie or Madonna, in which case you’ll devote every waking moment to being prettier, younger and more talented.
See? The parking ticket gig sounds rather good after all, doesn’t it?
Catch Angela Mollard on Weekend Today, Sundays at 7am on the Nine Network. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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