Celebrity Sexy

By | August 24, 2008

Here’s the thing. Celebrity is a mirage, yet magazine empires, TV series and careers are built on the idea that being famous is enough to earn a living.

There are different levels of celebrity, but the most extremely ridiculous are those generated by reality TV shows such as Big Brother. The Beijing Olympics has highlighted this to me the other day. I was watching Tim Brabants’ win in the men’s K1 1000m finals and thinking about the effort and dedication that lies behind his performance. Every athlete at the Olympics, win or lose, has devoted part of their life to their chosen events. With the exception of the drug cheats they all deserve our respect and perhaps a little bit of celebrity status.

It’s not because of their achievements in sport, you could argue that sport is in itself a frivolous activity and a waste of effort, it’s what that effort signifies and the example it sets to the rest of us.

For the most part athletes toil in obscurity, many never reaching a level of success that registers with the wider public. Professional sportsmen, for example soccer players, earn obscene amounts of money and are envied/lusted after in equal measure. I’m not denying their prowess as athletes, but I do question the huge disparity between their income and that of your average Olympic aathlete.

When they do reach prominence it’s often only to reach for the gold medal but not quite achieve it. And oh, how the media and public judge them when that happens. From armchair footballers to sprint swimmers who can’t swim a length there are people who would tear an athlete to shreds for trying and not delivering a wining performance every time they compete.

That is the price of trying, to subject yourself to the criticism of a small minority of onlookers who would pounce on every silver medal and call it a failure.

Perhaps it’s just a British thing, but it pisses me off. We follow the life of a Big Brother contestant with avid interest but only take notice of our athletes every four years. Like our emergency services, our army, our doctors and our teachers they are the true celebrities who give part of themselves for others. Athletes do not save lives or teach the future generations or preserve our future liberty directly but they do inspire our children, and teach us an important lesson.

The victory is in the effort, the striving to be the best. There can only be one champion but every one who strives with all their heart and soul deserves our respect.

And as Suze points out, if they’re cute too that’s a big bonus. LOL

Personally I don’t find an over-paid celebrity sexy at all. In fact it’s a big turn-off in itself. If they have another talent, if they have earned their celebrity status and more importantly our respect then that can make them a huge turn-on.

I hope that in the next four years we learn to reward the effort and not the glitz and glamour and to adore those who try rather than those who wear the thin veneer of popular adoration to cover their lack of substance.