In a world where reality tv shows outnumber programs with real actors, I sometimes feel that I am the only person on the planet who does not aspire to be famous. It seems like these days everyone is looking at Snooki or The Situation and thinking, why not me? It's no secret that actors have tons of cash and get to play make believe games in a make believe world, but the downsides are huge and obvious. Take the paparazzi, for example, the only people on the planet who are court sanctioned stalkers. They can engage in car chases, rifle through your garbage, and egg you into being aggressive, all in the name of snapping a picture. And anything you do to them in self-defense can get you slapped with a lawsuit, or worse.
Then there is the love-hate relationship with the public. Quick, what do you think of when you hear the names Paris Hilton, Omarosa, and Donald Trump? They're all kind of buttholes, right? The majority of the country seems to think so, and they have no qualms about telling people. How would you handle it if every time you turned around, people were belittling you? Even when you do good things, it is perceived to be nothing more than a publicity move. Basically, it's a lose-lose situation, and because of who you are, and what the world at large thinks, you are always going to have that image. And it's not like you can go incognito when the whole world knows your face.
Speaking of what makes you who you are, how do you feel about gay marriage? Or abortion? Or eating babies? Doesn't matter. Once you become famous, all your thoughts, feelings and beliefs become null and void so you don't offend the masses. Sure, you can have a broad affiliation, like working for the Democratic party during an election year, but even that is risky. You can't even dish out an occassional nugget of gossip for fear of gaining a misdemeanor change for slander. Was your co-star from your latest flick a total bitch? According to you, she was sweet as sugar and you guys are BFF's, even though you can't stand the heffer. Is the heartthrob from the new vampire movie a pole-smoking queer? Not as far as you're concerned, even if you saw his fingers up some dude's butt. Not only would that kind of talk (which EVERYONE does) put you in hot water with the subject, it may also get you blacklisted from Hollywood. And for a species that LOVES to gossip, that may be one of the hardest habits to break.
If you are anything like me, I bet you enjoy taking a leak in peace. Well, that is one luxury you will no longer be able to afford. From obsessive fans following you into the porta-a-john, to autograph hungry tourists interrupring your romantic dinner with your new boyfriend, it's all in a days work in your new famous life. You suddenly become less a person and more of a commodity. You are FAMOUS, darling. How dare you ignore your fans in favor of your children... you are famous because of US, damnit! And you will never, ever get a moments peace as long as you continue to be... you. Because you are now public property, no longer a person in your own right.
Even the upsides aren't so great. Every perk has an equal and opposite reaction of suckiness. The best example would be fame. Sure you have millions of fans, but for every website dedicated to your awesomeness, you have people that are going to hate on you out of jealousy, vindictiveness, or just plain insanity. Not to mention the stalkers that come with the territory. Is being recognized really worth the free meals at In and Out Burger when compared to having to travel with a bodyguard?
Then there is the money. Oh, what you wouldn't give to be able to have a toilet made of solid gold, and a bidet that shoots Cristal champagne up your cooter in place of water. But with great bank comes great responsibility. Not only are you expected to make charitable contributions to places that deserve it, like homeless shelters and AIDS research, but you are also going to be expected to make donations to your third cousin twice removed who will get his kneecaps busted if he doesn't pay back his gambling debts. After all, you are FAMILY, and you have so much that you wont miss the $100,000 they NEED to keep their house/get medical treatment for their hampster/buy a stripper for grandpas 90th birthday bash. No matter how much you give, there will be more people in need. It's a vicious cycle that begins and ends with your wallet.
The thing about reality stars, though, is usually they aren't getting most of the perks real celebrities are. Their pay is a small fraction, most are only known to a relatively small audience, and they have to suffer the ire of people with real talent who are indignant about having their jobs taken away by people who are willing to make an ass of themselves in front of the entire nation. So what it really boils down to is just wanting to be seen. But if everyone was on tv all the time, who would be left to watch?