Celebrity Inflation in the Digital Age

The recent death of Anna Nicole Smith was all over the net recently. These days there are so many celebrities that are B-list, C-list or even lower than that getting a lot of press on the internet.

The biggest example is probably Paris Hilton. Sure, she’s a socialite with a rich lineage but what’s she famous for? She’s famous for being famous. Now Paris’ friend Kim Kardashian is getting press for a supposedly leaked sex tape. They’re basically porn actresses who hang out in celebrity circles. Yet these people are getting more press than some of the more talented celebrities out there.

This is no doubt in part due to the trashy celebrity gossip blogs out there. These blogs are the National Inquirer and tabloids of the internet.

Internet-friendly celebrities are:

  • accessible: Good looks but not overly so and not too much talent make them seem approachable
  • visible: Know where to be seen and how to be seen. A little charisma helps.
  • scandals: No squeaky clean images to start with. They’re train wrecks out of the box

These characteristics make the celebrities great fodder for gossip sites. They’re not so famous that they have careers at risk for doing scandalous things. They’re highly visible but don’t have enough talent or accomplishments to incite jealousy or hatred. The average person can look down on them even if in reality these people are rich celebrities that make more money than the average person will ever see just by showing up at a party. However, it doesn’t make you hate them because the average tech savvy reader will still manage to look down on them.

Contrast this with A-list celebrities that are turning into train wrecks: Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Cruise, etc. They’re getting the same kind of attention as fodder for these celebrity gossip blogs. Only unlike the B-list and C-list celebrities on the rise, these people are hurting their careers with all the negative attention.

Anna Nicole Smith was one of those. The second she married that octogenarian oil tycoon she descended into the train wreck zone. Her recent comeback had a lot to do with the internet. She was a tough one too. No matter how much you bashed her she kept coming back. Dramatic weight loss, all kinds of scandals, losing her son, losing the legal battle for the gold-digging fortune, and now her premature death. I think all the outpouring is a result of the public realizing that she was just an ordinary woman from a low-class background shooting for the American dream just on her looks alone.

It’s a lot easier to root for these minor celebrities because they seem like ordinary people that are extraordinarily lucky. The irony is that the B-list celebrities like Paris Hilton are now the A-list celebrities in reality. Just look at the influence Paris is having on Britney. It was unthinkable just a couple years ago but now Paris calls the shots.

Britney has a lot on her plate to execute a comeback but Paris, she has nothing to lose either way and neither does her friend Kim.

Fans of Anna Nicole Smith aren’t making pilgrimages to the place where she spent her final days. They’re not leaving flowers. They’re not gathering in crowds to express their grief. Instead, emotions are being expressed in a way as uniquely modern as Smith’s fame — on blogs, Web pages and online message boards where true fans battle naysayers to get their voices heard. “I loved her,” fans beam. “I miss her,” others write. “She was beautiful,” they say. On Facebook, hundreds of Anna Nicole pages are buzzing with gossip and outpourings of emotion. YouTube has logged hundreds of thousands of hits on Anna Nicole videos, including some fan-produced tributes. One fan put a message on Craigslist seeking others touched by the starlet’s death for a candlelight vigil in New York’s Union Square.

Anna Nicole fans express emotions online | Jayed.us

Categories: web