Is Being Famous Worth It?

To be or not to be famous? That is the question.

Consider the widespread celebrity “worship” in our culture.  I think most kids, and even most adults, at one time or another wistfully wonder, “Wouldn’t it be great to be famous?”

The entertainment industry would have us believe being famous is the “end all” and “be all” achievement of life.  Why would anyone not want to be famous?  Why would this not be the goal of any normal young person?  Don’t they all want to be rock stars and movie stars?

Let’s consider the truthful answer behind this question.  The reality of celebrity life seems to conflict with the cultural belief that it is wonderful being famous.  Tabloid headlines scream from the drug store counter showing details of sad, disordered lives with countless problems, including drug abuse, self mutilation, divorce and even tragic early death.  Now weigh these aspects against the fleeting and fickle public adulation that is the reward of a “famous” life.  A poor trade off, I would say.  As I see it, Matthew 23:12, about the humble will be exalted the exalted humbled, proves true every single time.

I wouldn’t usually point to a reality show to illustrate this point, but this one is too good to pass up.  With some chagrin, I admit my teens and I have been watching a reality show on the Oxygen Network called “The Glee Project.”  I detest the show “Glee,” but its reality show, which seeks to cast the next big star for the show, has been intriguing.

As is the plot of most such programs, the competitors undergo weekly mental and physically challenges (sometimes akin to torture) with one competitor being “eliminated” each program.

My teens and I singled in one of the competitors, Cameron Mitchell, as our favorite early on.  When we discovered he was a practicing Christian, we liked him even more.  I even found myself praying that Cameron would be “eliminated” before he joined a cast and crew that might likely cost him his “soul.”

Listening to the weekly sage advice these producers and writers give these competitors as they try to play “God” in their young lives actually makes my stomach queasy.  “You have to trust me” they say as they push these kids to go beyond their limits – even their moral ones.

We watched as Cameron endured snide comments from other competitors for his beliefs, receiving an ice slush bath that almost gave him hypothermia, and the final straw, being asked to compromise his conservative views on sexuality.  During the course of two challenges, he was asked to ignore his desire to be “true” to the young woman he has been dating in real life.  He protested when one of his female competitors kissed him without permission, and he said “no” when asked to give another girl a kiss on camera.

Miraculously, this talented young man did not wait for his fate to be decided by the so-called judges. In advance, he made the decision to leave.  Recognizing the “specialness” of his conviction, the judges actually pleaded with the young man to stay, not believing he would give up the chance to be on a television show.  To their shock and even the shock of his other competitors, he declined, and would later emphatically state that he had made the right decision.

I’m not advocating that you watch, and if you are easily offended (this show is full of offensive stuff) don’t watch!  But if you want to see Cameron’s conviction played out, go to the following link and select episode 107.

Please keep Cameron, and all the brave young people who choose God’s version of happiness over worldly fame, in your prayers.  Making the right choices takes all the grace they can get.

About Kelly Luttinen

Kelly Luttinen works as a public relations advisor for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. She is a wife and mother of four teens and lives in the metro-Detroit area.
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