As a young girl I was obsessed with Saved By the Bell. One day in elementary school we got the announcement that Screech(AKA Samuel Powers) would make an appearance at our school.(PS he is 40 now) I was hoping for Zack or Slater, but hey, he knew these two and that was good enough for me. I was so excited. The closest I had come to meeting a celebrity, was Tony The Tiger, at our local Alpha Beta.
The day came and he was nice. It wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped, but I got out of class, so it was a good day. Later on I would learn that he was actually quite a mess and not very nice, like he was portraying that day. Over the next few years my childhood naivety began to wear down and I saw many of those, who I considered to be famous, as not so great in the character department.
Many stories, most recently Harvey Weinstein’s scandal, have come out about the secret lives of these celebrities, that leave us shocked. Unfortunately, years ago, I stopped being shocked. Which is a sad place to be, but it is reality for many of these celebrities we can in many ways worship. They get to a level that is almost unhuman-like. We freak out if we see them in person and I can’t imagine what it must be like. After all, they are just humans, with some great acting skills and a whole lot of money to make them look good!
This is going to date me(again) and is quite embarrassing, but I remember the day I heard Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson filed for a divorce. I had watched their show, The Newlyweds, from day one. It was such an odd concept to me that we, the audience, got to spy on their lives. Only it wasn’t spying because they signed up for it! Each week I got to know them more and more and was totally invested in their relationship. So, how dare they separate! I was so sad. It is really silly. I do not know them personally, but because celebrities give up their privacy, it feels like I know them.
Since The Newlyweds, hundreds of reality tv shows have been made. I got sucked into many. Finally, about two years ago I decided I had to stop watching most reality tv. I got caught up in their drama and got to see some ugliness I did not need. My family has it’s own. I do not need any extra! I began to see that Hollywood was really preying on these people and their families. Most seasons ended with someone getting divorced or some family members hating each other. I saw this as an attack on family and relationships and it saddened me.
Fame is something that I do not think most people can handle. Yet we throw it at our children. So many childhood celebrities could not handle the fame and fortune and live with close to nothing in their adult years. Others make it look very appealing, but we have to remember, they are actors. They are good at faking. I was reading over an old post from a few years ago that I wrote on Robin Williams’ passing. He seemed to have it all. So funny, rich, loved by many….but it wasn’t enough. He needed something more. That seems to be the case for so many who are famous.
This idolization of another human being is too much to bear for most. We put these high expectations on them. We put them on pedestals, so when they fall from way up there, it hurts even more.
In Matthew 5:16 it states:
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.
These actors are gifted with some amazing talents. They do many good deeds. They are stars after all, they should shine bright, right? The problem is they like to shine for everyone to see, so that everyone will praise them. God does not get the glory, they do. Selfishness is their biggest idol and this is what gets them on the front page of the tabloids.
This should break your heart. It breaks mine. I feel challenged to pray for them. I can’t imagine the pressure to live under a spot light. They have such a great platform to be good role models. Unfortunately, many are lost and surrounded by so many destructive temptations. Their destructive ways have become entertainment for us. As I mentioned before, Hollywood has made a killing on documenting others’ drama. Instead of finding their value in themselves and the approval of man, I pray they come to know the priceless value of knowing Christ.