Would you like to be famous?

Hailee Munno, Editor-in-Chief

Hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, fancy cars, multiple houses, a name that anybody could recognize; the alluring life of fame seems to be abundant in glitz and glamor, but the repercussions of an opulent lifestyle may outweigh the positives.

Fame is easier to stumble into now more than ever. With social media, almost anybody can go viral in an instant. All of a sudden, one goes from a normal life, to thousands of eyes on them at all times. Tik tok star, Charli D’Amelio, once an average high school student, now has over 120 million followers and has her own reality TV show on Hulu.  

In an interview with D’Amelio conducted by her older sister, Dixie D’Amelio, on her talk show, The Early Late Night Show,  she revealed her struggles with fame. 

I feel like when you have opportunities that are so amazing, but an entire world of critiques for your every move, it’s very difficult to find enjoyment in things that are being torn down so much,” D’Amelio said. “It’s extremely difficult to want to continue doing something that people say how much they hate.”

Even those with a few thousand followers experience pressure, especially when actively pursuing a large social media presence.

“I absolutely feel the pressure of having a large following,” North alumni and content creator Malvina Polikarpova said. “Not only from the followers, but from my family too. My parents are my sort of managers, and they helped me with growing my account, so now I feel responsible for continuing what they started for me.”

The pressure to please a large following can take a toll on one’s mental well-being. Feelings of a distorted self-image and constant distress are common in the pursuit of fame. 

“In a 1996 study at the University of Rochester, researchers performed a study regarding people’s personal aspirations, values and beliefs,” AP psychology teacher Tristian Romero said. “They combined these questions with a measure of psychological well-being, asking questions about topics like distress in their personal life. To simplify the findings of the study, those who valued achieving fame had higher levels of distress in their lives. There are many potential reasons for this distress, ranging from extreme self-consciousness to delusions of grandeur.”

While it may be appealing to have years of stardom and a recognizable name on the big or small screen, that level of fame comes with several misfortunes. Invasion of privacy is one of the largest issues stars face. 

“I could never deal with fame,” senior Hannah Laube said. “Seeing all of the tabloids that completely violate a celebrity’s privacy is really disgusting. The way people treat celebrities as if they are animals is insane to me; being famous and having my personal life on display for millions seems so mentally damaging.” 

Despite all of the pains fame brings, the spotlight brings several desirable material possessions, financial security as well as the opportunity for many once and a lifetime experiences.  Fame is still tempting and leaves a person wanting more.

“In psychologist Donna Rockwell’s conducted interviews with fifteen celebrities aged between 35 and 86, many expressed their desire to remain famous,” Romero said. “Some said it was a stronger addiction than any drug, while others revealed that losing fame felt like losing a piece of themselves. While fame may evoke negative thoughts and feelings, it can be difficult to quiet the desire to become a celebrity.”

Though, even the amounts of money and lavish possessions that fame may bring can lead to unhappiness and cause tensions.

“According to a study done by Purdue University, there is an amount of money that a person can make that will make you happy,” AP microeconomics teacher Sean Barber said. “This is all about a person’s quality of life and overall mental, emotional and physical health. For the average American that number is around $75,000 to $80,000 a year. With fame comes outside pressure to non-monetary costs to a person’s life. Your private life generally becomes public knowledge and a person’s alone time becomes few and far between. Constantly being followed and having a lack of quality personal time can lead to a drain on a person’s overall well being. While working can make someone financially well off, there is a cost when it comes to the sacrifices of personal time, and what you would do with it. “

The desire to be famous is one that many individuals have experienced, with all of the perks it seems to offer it is easily viewed as a positive experience. The price of fame, though, can be far more detrimental than it is fruitful. 

“While movie stars, professional athletes, and famous musical artists will confirm the rewards and pleasures of fame, the dark side of it all – the constant attention, the hyper self-consciousness, the necessary distrust in others – are normally ignored or actively hidden,” Romero said. “Like any profession, there will be ups and downs, and it will ultimately be up to the individual themselves if it is worth it or not.”