THE BLOG

Celebrities Are Only Human, But Should We Allow Them To Be?

06/02/2017 14:33

Children say and do the stupidest things. Adults say and do even stupider things. But no one says and does stupid things in quite the same way as celebrities. Ok, apart from politicians. As recent events have proved, they take stupidness to a whole other dimension.

The trouble with the famous and celebrated is that largely thanks to the absence of anyone better, a huge amount of people look up to them. We respect and care about what their opinions are. We're fascinated with their daily lives and how they behave. In short, we follow their every move, hence the reason that they have so many followers on social media.

On Twitter, over 91 million of us are interested in what Justin Bieber has to say about stuff. No doubt explained by the opening line of his bio which reads: 'Let's make the world better'. This from the man who when visiting the Anne Frank museum memorably wrote that he hoped the Holocaust victim would have been a fan and hopefully she'd have been a Belieber.

Only seven million less of us currently pay rapt attention to Barack Obama (unquestionably a celebrity since leaving office) and hang on every character he types. The opening line of his bio could read: 'Tried to make the world better. Largely failed. Maybe the next guy will do more, but don't go holding your breath'. Actually it reads: 'Dad, Husband, President, Citizen'. However, we know what he means and give or take the odd word, it's basically the same thing.

Meanwhile, over on Instagram, Ariana Grande evidently has 96 million followers, Kim Kardashian has 92 million and our own David Beckham has almost 33 million.

Ah, yes, Golden Balls himself. Or should that be Golden Balls-Up? On January 29, the saintly David was on Desert Island Discs, but now he may feel more like running away and hiding on a real desert island until the furore surrounding him blows over.

Thanks to a host of leaked emails, it appears that the easy going, polite, charming, charitably unselfish and incredibly generous - with both his time and money - ex-England captain is anything but.

According to news stories, all his hard work and goodwill gestures were allegedly for one goal and one goal only. And that was to be knighted back in 2013. So that along with the recently ennobled Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins, he had the right to be addressed as 'Sir' by lesser mortals like myself.

Why he thought such a title was so important and why the personal satisfaction of knowing that he was doing good wasn't reward enough, isn't certain. What does seem to be clear though is that he was sufficiently aggrieved at the lack of one to lash out. Not just at the establishment, but at other celebrities as well. Namely Katherine Jenkins. All this despite the fact he already had an OBE.

To make matters worse, a friend declared that Beckham was simply a normal disappointed person. This probably isn't a defence that holds a great deal of water. After all, lots of normal people do wonderfully altruistic things on a daily basis. But do they expect a gong in return? Hardly. That would be ridiculous. And are they bitterly aggrieved? Plainly not. If they were, you'd have lollipop ladies who've given forty years of their lives to helping kids across the road calling up the Honours Committee and screaming: "Where's my Damehood, you unappreciative c**t.

Not surprisingly, there are counter claims from Camp/ Brand Beckham that many of the emails were doctored. Perhaps that will be proved to be true. All the same, reported concerns that he's worried by what other revelations might come out suggest that, to use a dreadful old media cliche, there's no smoke without fire.

It could be argued that what celebrities write, especially in emails, should remain private, but in the age we live in, everything is up for public scrutiny.

So what has the public reaction been thus far? Is his reputation tarnished like an unpolished FA Cup he helped Manchester United win in 1998-1999? It seems mixed. For some, the halo has slipped permanently. For others, he should be knighted immediately, proving that there genuinely is no such thing as bad publicity.

What this whole episode does illustrate is that celebrities are human like the rest of us and if they are heroes in the eyes of millions, maybe in the future they shouldn't be seen as quite so heroic.

As for David Beckham, he's vehemently denying he undertook charity work to be knighted.

And how about Victoria Beckham, who in the last Honours list was given an OBE to match her husband's? What has she got to say? Out of interest, I checked her Twitter account. She was merely telling the world that her latest collection - #VBSS17 - was now ready to pre-order. Nothing selfish there then.

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