The same with Susan Boyle. I really know way too much about her private life.
I also know a lot about celebrity and its effects. And, Jon and Kate and Susan Boyle, real-life people who became not only celebrities but temporary media superstars, are currently the most visible examples of celebrity on steroids.
Jon and Kate were ordinary people doing what they thought was ordinary, and then they were "discovered" and packaged as "Jon and Kate Plus 8." The wrapping was impressive, but not enough attention was being paid to the "content" -- who were actually real people.
Jon and Kate went from being adorable and loved (by a relatively small audience) to sensational magazine covers and big ratings when they started to act up.
A rare talent emerged from Susan Boyle's unlikely physical package, and life would never be the same. Susan was set up to melt down. And how could things not go wrong? We're not trained for celebrity.
Fortunately, my family's celebrity evolved over a period of time, as my husband became more successful and his shows became major pop culture influences. We were not "reality" figures. We had private real lives, and our professional lives were of interest. We could retreat and take a time-out from time to time.
Upcoming movie, TV, and music stars aren't trained for fame, either, but they have "handlers" around them to help with the transition. They become "brands," and people can make a lot of money working with them over long periods of time.
Jon and Kate and Susan were also assigned handlers, but their handlers were not looking out primarily for them. They were people who worked for the networks, sponsors, producers, and record companies and the entities that would profit from their instant and fleeting celebrity. And, the handlers know these celebs are "temps," not those who would later star in a string of action movies or set records for sold-out arena concerts, making millions of dollars for everyone around them.
More important is what will happen to the Gosselins' children, the "Plus 8." My heart is with them, and my hope is that they can live in relative privacy, leaving their temp jobs as celebrities behind them.
|Candy Spelling, author of "Stories from Candyland," had a 50-year hiatus from writing. In 2007, Candy was asked to start blogging ... and has been writing ever since. Candy added "proud grandmother" of Liam Aaron McDermott, born in 2007, and Stella Doreen, born in 2008, to her list of life's special treasures.|