Celebrities aren’t flawless and they deserve our respect
By Aidan Mouellic, Contributor
[box]“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Marianne Williamson[/box]
There are few things we mock more than famous people. Their being in the spotlight yet not having a personal connection to us mere mortals seems to give us free reign to mock them and pick apart their lives. Internet and social media platforms have given us real time insight into the lives of celebrities, and they have also given hordes of voyeurs a million opportunities to spit hate anonymously.
The thing is, if you look at anyone’s life as closely as we do famous people’s, that person’s life will likely lend itself to critique and mockery. Sadly, a thousand memes could be made out of my life, and I’m sure yours could be mocked as well. No one’s perfect, yet we see famous people as if they’re supposed to be living some sort of magical, idealistic life where they do no wrong.
One notable celebrity that the world loves to hate is Kanye West. The Google search suggestions are proof that people don’t think too highly of him. People say West has a big ego, that he’s too cocky, and that he’s an attention-seeking egomaniac. Perhaps all this is true—I haven’t hung out with Kanye West lately, so I can’t attest to these statements—but why should any of this matter? He’s a musician with immense talent, and this alone should get him the respect he deserves.
A few weeks ago, I found West’s 2007 album Graduation in the car I drive at work, and I listened to it on repeat for a long time. The music he created on that album is excellent—and this is coming from someone who isn’t a huge listener of hip hop. After absorbing the album, I was perplexed by the hate that he receives. West is an artist who has worked hard to be where he is—harder than most in the industry—and he makes my time driving the company car hour after hour a lot more enjoyable. If he wanted to put a giant gold statue of himself in his yard, I couldn’t care less because it doesn’t change the fact that his music is consistently groundbreaking. This is something that the world seems to forget.
I use Kanye West as an example of something that happens a lot: artists who create incredible pieces getting ripped apart by the media that puts their lives under microscopes. It will likely never stop, but I hope it does. Many artists had to work incredibly hard to be where they are, and once they reach the top, what got them there seems to be less important than what food they were seen buying at Whole Foods.
Artists contribute a lot to society and a few of them get hefty financial rewards. Regardless, we need to show more respect for them and care less about their personal lives. Heck, even Mr. Bieber should get more kudos: he has a lot of fans who undoubtedly feel he has had a positive impact on their lives. You don’t need to be a fan of someone or something to have respect for them. Obviously there are people who do heinous things in their personal lives, and I’m not rooting for those outliers; I’m saying for the artists, such as Kanye West, who create masterpieces and do nothing terribly illegal, cut them some slack and show some love. They’re only human, after all.