All vestiges of stellar privacy going, going–gone!By Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Many people dream of becoming show biz luminaries due to the many perks that come with stardom—popularity, adulation, money, cachet, special treatment, etc. On the other hand, celebrity has a dark side to it, with loss of privacy leading the list of debit points.
Fans want to know and comment on everything a star does, including his choice of toothpaste—and partners to have flings and fall in love with!
The fans’ logic goes this way: “You used to be an impoverished unknown until I chose to adore you and patronize your productions and the products you endorse—so, you owe me one (or two, or 10)! Since I ‘made’ you, I should also be able to influence your decisions and become a part of your life!”
A few stars protest, “No way, Jose, the only thing I ‘owe’ you is a good performance!” But those “liberated” luminaries are in the distinct minority.
Most other starlets and stars think that the “privacy for popularity” barter is an acceptable and even necessary arrangement—so, their fans have their pragmatic “permission” to meddle and interfere away!
Aside from loss of privacy, “indebted” celebrities lay themselves wide open to some intrusive media people and “experts” on human behavior, who don’t just pester them and poke their pesky fingers and noses into their private lives, but even feel they have the right to comment on and interpret everything that “public” personalities say and do!
These days, whenever a big or controversial celebrity appears in front of the TV camera, his entire “performance” is minutely evaluated by behavioral “experts” who scrutinize every sentence that the speaker utters, and every gesture, body position and facial expression he makes!
For instance, after Oprah Winfrey’s recent exclusive interview with disgraced sports hero Lance Armstrong, so-called experts weighed in with these and other “incisive” observations:
“He looks like he’s been rehearsed extensively for this important interview, so his statements are too guarded to come off as spontaneous and honest, and therefore convincing.”
“He touched his face a total of 25 times in the course of the interview (the ‘expert’ bothered to count!)—that denotes extreme anxiety!”
“His body position is often guarded—see how he uses his arms and hands to protect his midsection and groin area—that’s where men in particular feel more vulnerable, so they have to shield themselves from attack!”
And, “If Armstrong intended the interview to make the public forgive him, it was not effective, because he was clearly ill-at-ease and less than spontaneously forthcoming!”
To make matters even worse, some TV channels now hire “expert” lip-readers who are able to decipher even off-mike remarks!
Should a harassed celebrity stop appearing in public completely? But, that would negate his being a public personality—so, what’s a thoroughly “interpreted” starlet or star to do?!
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