Stardom and identity, two basic things we need to take care of if we want to become famous someday…
This chapter presents an interesting analysis about the created (MANUFACTURED) image of singers and bands, so they can become representative of something with a deep meaning.
Andrew Goodwin provides some examples: Vanilla Ice’s created past, so people into rap music would think he’s from “the ghetto”, when he has spent his life going from middle to upper class. A newer example could be Jennifer Lopez, on her song “Jenny from the block”, in which she describes how she’s from the South-Side Bronx, and how she always keeps that in mind, to stay down to earth. The truth is even when she lived in the Bronx, neighbors and teachers have acknowledged her social position was not bad at all.
It’s not a secret that pretty much every band or singer who wants to become famous has to give up its own image and style (if they had any) so managers and record companies can create a new one, more attractive, commercial and flattering. They cannot look like regular people, because in the end, if you want to be a star, you have to look like a star. This doesn’t apply only to pop singers, there also a created image waiting for country musicians, rock bands, metal gods and whatever that pops into your mind. Each music scene has its own stereotypes and they have to be fulfilled.
The author mentions that music videos provide clues of who the star is, rather than complete meanings, so the mystery factor becomes the key to consumers buying and visiting everything that has to do with the star, in order to accumulate as much pieces as possible, to put the puzzle together.
But the star is not always singing, shooting videos or giving interviews, that is just what the music companies want us to believe. The star also has a life and we are extremely surprised whenever we see the magazine’s section: “People like us”, that shows movie stars or famous musicians doing normal things, like buying coffee or looking awful. Why do we automatically assume singers are role models? Why do we, as consumers, embrace the speech of rebelliousness and coolness of a star and then get outraged by celebrities doing drugs?
We are doing exactly what they want us to do as consumers, idealizing famous people and thinking they’re better than us just because of fame itself.
But guess what, common people have find an easy way to become famous, without having to go through all the stardom issues. Yes! Youtube man, as the answer to everyone wanting to get their 15 minutes of fame, by having several thousands of people watching their videos everyday.
In press conferences, managers control how pictures of the star are taken, but what happens when there are millions of people with cameras all around the world?
See for yourself (It’s not good and still, has 113,176,284 million views):