Growing up, I wanted to be a singer, Mariah Carey in particular. Granted, I have the worst singing voice ever (when I was younger it wasn’t so bad), I loved performing in front of family with my 80s microphone stand or just my hand (lip syncing Mili Vanilli style or my actual voice). Yes, I was the entertainer in my family.
After I became a teenager, I realized my voice was not as great as those on ‘Star Search’ (anyone under the age of 25 will need to Google this) and gave up that dream and my hopes of being a famous singer ended.
As a new mom, your views on life change quickly. You react as a ‘mom’ would, you go into crazy protective mode (I am starting to think this will never end), you hear stories about child deaths and becoming extremely angry, nauseous or utterly saddened (depending on the situation) more so than you did when you were single, you think in terms of how your actions will affect your child/children, your reaction time is superhuman, your motherly instincts (something I wasn’t sure really existed but do!) are spot on and you just become different. Not good or bad different, but different.
As I got older, I still thought about how nice it would be if I was famous. Personal chefs, shoppers, trainers, unlimited amounts of money, traveling, living in a mansion and all the other things that come along with this fantasy (because let’s face it, this is not at all the reality of being famous). Then, the world sort of shifted and becoming famous wasn’t just for actors/actresses and artists. Anyone could become famous. Thanks to the creation of the internet, avenues like YouTube offered upcoming artists the change to let the world here their voice and even end up on talk shows like Ellen (love her!). It also gave way to hilarious videos from pets to people which if successful would go ‘viral’ and become an internet sensation. These also became known as an individual’s ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’
Taken from the always reliable (ha!) Wikipedia, 15 minutes of fame is short-lived media publicity or celebrity of an individual or phenomenon. The expression is credited to Andy Warhol, who included the words “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” in the program for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. I really love his quote, kind of scary but possibly true?
Reality shows like Jersey Shore and 16 & Pregnant gave new ways of becoming ‘famous’ by encouraging binge drinking and the ‘smoosh room’ as well as unwed teenagers having kids (don’t even get me started on children having children!). You could become famous through a sex tape (Kim Kardashian), being on a reality show (Toddlers & Tiara’s spinoff show ‘Honey Boo Boo’), an Instagram photo (Alex from Target) or any other social media for that matter.
Towards my later 20’s, I realized I never want to be famous. I never want my life exposed and exploited the way so many celebrities’ lives are these days. Can you image going through a difficult break up or a divorce publicly? Or having paparazzi waiting outside your house to take pictures of you or your children? Or never being able to do everyday things like grocery shopping without having to be somewhat presentable or someone stopping you? No way! You couldn’t pay me to be famous (well, maybe for a day).
So as I continue my role as a new mom I have come to the realization that I never want my daughter to be famous. I never want her to think that certain types of fame are ‘okay’. Sure, if she’s blessed with a talent to act or sing, I will never hold her back, but I also will not allow for her to get sucked into the chaotic world that celebrities live in. Yes, being famous always had its bad connotations (sex, drugs and rock & roll or the use of drugs and drinking at all ages, i.e. Drew Barrymore at the age of 9), but I think the new ways of becoming famous have made way for even more meltdowns and misguided individuals.
Life is what you make of it, and for now, I’m making mine with a family that will grow up in the image and likeness of God…and that’s what I can be famous for ;). As for my daughter, she’ll always be famous in my eyes.