Star Power

I don’t do autographs.

An interesting social situation is when we are faced with our idols. These idols can be people in our communities, schools, work, or in media. We tend to treat people differently when we assign them into an outside group from us.

Raising people above us creates a new social group; the celebrity. The social groups we identify with are usually based on objective criteria such as one’s place of birth, race, or age. There are also groups we choose to enter into such as political parties, fan clubs, or charitable organizations. Becoming a celebrity is not based on objectivity but rather the subjective whims of outside parties. The masses could change their minds about one person and start celebrating another in no time at all. Think of celebrities as a group where the people in it don’t get to choose whether they belong or not.

I’ve had my time in the limelight once or twice. Something I would do or say would make people want to honor me for a season. However, I’m not the type to constantly put on a show for the sake of maintaining an audience. People eventually leave when the show is over.

Here are some things to remember when meeting your heroes:

  1. Celebrities don’t owe you anything. It’s not their job to keep you happy. Putting any expectations on them should be done without getting your personal feelings in the mix.
  2. What you see is not what you get. Celebrities are normal people who live lives outside of your view. They may be completely different from how you imagine them to be. Allow them the right to be boring.
  3. Don’t worship the stars. Most people want to be treated like people. If you see a celebrity in public, then don’t instantly make your day about them. Give them the opportunity to be treated like normal people.
  4. No reason to be afraid. You are welcome to act like yourself around celebrities. It’s your world just as much as it is theirs. Don’t worry about proving yourself to those you admire. Being with celebrities isn’t an audition or a job interview.
  5. Keep cool. No need to get your heart rate up when meeting celebrities. These encounters are not your last chance to have happiness in the world. Treat it like your meeting another human being because you are.

I’ve had a few encounters with celebrities. I one time talked to the coolest girl at school. I had an actor reply to me on Twitter once. I also became best friends with the most amazing person in the world. I was on my best behavior in all these encounters. I didn’t hound any of them for their time and attention. I won’t deny how special these moments are to me. I was able to keep my cool for all of them because I never forget how special I am too.

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