Celebrity status; that awe-inspiring, much envied, ultimate goal of the ‘average’ person in society. To be admired. To be noticed. To be glorified.Is this a disease or a result of natural ambition? Is the celebrity some sort of superhuman figure, or has the person behind the status lost that bit of humanity?
In this day and age the celebrity has power because of their apparent financial wealth and fame. Thus in this materialistic world it comes at no surprise that celebrities are idolised due to the emphasis in society on money and one’s reputation among their peers. Movie stars, sports people, music idols are all grossly overpaid as we know. In a world of marketing and image theirs is the prosperity easily gained.
Then we have the source of their fame: the media. That widely despised yet hugely popular source of information documenting the world’s trials and tribulations. They are determined to undermine people one day and exaggerate their praise the next. The question I ask myself regularly is: if the media was not there at the film premiere, at the all-important sports event, or in the lives of musicians would they be as popular? More importantly, would we care about the lives of others we deem as our equals if they are given as much coverage as us all?
So the famous person becomes world renown and they have their moment in the spotlight. After that, they are forgotten until they improvise with a new image more “in with the times” or failing that using self degradation as a method of self-promotion. Do we really want this as the example for living our lives?
We shape our own image to go along with the current fashion yet we don’t get any recognition. In fact we try to fit in with the crowd in an effort to be or look normal whilst we also aspire to have the fame and fortune as the well-documented persons of the world. Now we are contradicting ourselves.
Behind all the glitz and the glamour one has to look through to the heart of the well-known person’s life. They are not allowed privacy, something everyone needs to stay sane. Their quality of life is determined by everyone else but themselves, causing insecurity. They frequently go down the extreme party lifestyle, usually resorting to drugs and many sordid activities usually well documented by their long lost friend the media. Theirs is the life of insecurity, instability, and most importantly discontent. Let’s face it; we can all wear a smile when there’s a camera crying for our attention. We can all put a brave face on our lives when we fear for the judgement others will come to on our lives. The life of a celebrity is not as it seems, my friends.
Now let me move onto a positive solution. We have been rewarded with the greatest example humanity has ever known, even acknowledged as the most influential figure of the previous millennium by a western poll. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the person for whom this world was created. The perfect human, he needed no marketing for anybody to know of his qualities. A man who was evidently far superior yet taught humility and sought more to relate to humanity than seek reverence and elevation. If there was ever an example for us to appreciate and follow, we must realise that we have been given one already. His is the peaceful life of contentment, prayer, contemplation, wisdom and above all, endless praise of Allah. We were given the word of Allah, then the example for which to abide by. No matter how many times this simple sentence is repeated we are still blind to it, proving the ignorance of us all.
The celebrity life is very a difficult goal to attain, yet to follow the example of the Prophet (saw) is merely a matter of choice. I will leave you the readers to decide which is the easiest and which is the most rewarding in this life and the Hereafter.
Culled for use from The Sunni Muslim Youth