“It’s something to be great, it’s nothing to be famous…” –Wale, “Legendary”
Remember when you had to be great to be famous, when people were famous because they possessed a distinct skill that commanded mass attention? Oh, you don’t remember? Okay.
Welcome to 2012, ladies and gentlemen. It seems the new prerequisite to becoming a star is simply being associated with one. And it doesn’t matter how distant the connection. If you’re an ex-athlete’s ex-girlfriend’s dog-sitter, then line up. Or you can be the next sensation in your own mind simply by acting like one. You see it all the time.
“So pretentious with no potential / She goes to catch up, although her rent’s up / In her defense she a part of the crowd / She’s gonna borrow some money so she can party at Chow’s / It’s a part of her goal / It’s all she knows…” says Wale in his song, “90210”
Being a star is no longer just about talent or even the “it” factor. Celebrity is about a circus. It’s about how many people you can get to tune in to watch you act a fool on someone’s network reality TV show. Who cares how many people you can lead in real life if you don’t have many Twitter followers? This is the message popular culture wants you to believe.
But every day a star is born.
“And could I be a star? / Does fame in this game have to change who you are? / Or could I be the same one who came from a far away life / Just to make it in this Broadway lights / Now I’m shining in the broad daylight.” –J.Cole/Jay-Z, “A Star is Born”
Just because someone doesn’t see you shine, doesn’t mean you’re no star. You have a wonderful purpose. We all do. Your contribution to the world is necessary. It’s why you woke up this morning. Don’t lose hope in a society that seems to only acknowledge you if you’re famous. Besides, fame is no longer the reward for hard work and talent; your legacy is. Do something greater than you, not for none other than you, but because it will greatly affect someone other than you. F*** fame. Be legendary.
Forget the red carpet; shout out to those walking the grey concrete to work. Shout out to those using their brain instead of giving brain for fame. You don’t have to make your neck hurt to network. Too many regular people are popping bottles and standing on couches. We can’t even tell who’s really famous anymore. And we don’t care.
We care about those affecting change, not just ratings. We care about educators and social workers. We salute all you hard workers who go unnoticed–all those fathers taking care of families, all the mothers taking care of business, those grinding for their dreams. To everybody willing to roll up his or her sleeves and get to work instead of rolling blunts and enjoying perks: We cheer on those doing it for cause, not for applause.
Clap for ‘em.
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario and public speaker. He is also the bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up book titled, “GENTLEWOMAN: A Lady’s Etiquette Book from a Gentleman’s Perspective.” Check his Website Bereolaesque.com and @bereolaesque on Twitter as well as Facebook.