They say “you’re nobody till somebody loves you,” and many of us take that to heart in more ways than one. The stakes are even higher when you factor in the mechanisms of our discontent that line up all the instruments — utilized to judge how many hearts we are able to collect from shifty strangers.
Shit has gotten so real that we can’t even get jobs without convincing potential employers that we are lovable enough to command legions of followers. And if those numbers don’t resonate we may have to give up opportunities to candidates who are mini-celebrities.
In the spirit of this fame-fueled climate, we have to give props to the regular folks who hustle hard for the benefits that come up with overnight Insta-worthy success.
We also have to call out the haters who despite the immensely substantial roles they’ve played in the circus of celebritydom — still feel they need to publicly alienate the very machine that churned them out in bedazzled bits.
This brings us to Aussie actress and global superstar, Nicole Kidman, who has a roster of projects on the horizon, and expectedly, she’s making the rounds during the glitzy promotional tour.
While speaking to Allure magazine, the fifty-one-year-old wife of Country crooner Keith Urban, and mother of the two daughters that they share, opened up about the enviable career she’s enjoyed thus far, which skyrocketed shortly after her divorce from mega-star and actor, Tom Cruise.
Kidman has undoubtedly thrived from a system that relishes her template, and when you add her obvious talents, it’s quite hard not to imagine the limitless rewards at her disposal.
But even after an Oscar, two Emmys, and a platter of Golden Globes that shape up a decades long career in a business that’s very picky about the ones that get to command never-ending adulation and access to power-brokers — Kidman is adamant about not being labeled the C-word.
“I don’t see myself as a celebrity.”
When probed further, the actress goes on to reject the idea that she can claim movie star status, and explains her comfort level lies with being viewed as “a serious actor.” Of course it’s typical for movie stars with global appeal to humbly opt out of the responsibilities that come with having a recognizable face that basically affords the winning spot on the A-list.
And while that habitual tendency to downplay the power they wield is endearing, things can get a little sticky when they attempt to throw their equally-placed comrades under the bus.
Kidman, in an effort to distinguish herself from the fleetingly unappealing realm of fame, decided to use the most hardworking woman in the world as the classic example of what she abhors.
“Beyoncé is a celebrity. And that’s a much bigger thing.”
Okay, so this is the part where “hell nah!” applies.
First off, movie stars really need to stop saying they’re not celebrities.
None of us have much of a say when it comes to the way people respond when we emerge into the arena of public domain. That means that even reality stars who manage to capture the imagination of a wearied audience, can garner the same level of fanfare as an award-winning actress, who has amassed enough billable hours and critical acclaim to justify her reception.
Furthermore, Nicole Kidman’s suggestion that Beyonce is more of a “celebrity” because of her uncanniness to seamlessly embody that station, isn’t exactly a compliment, when you consider how it cunningly perpetuates the notion that a globally-renowned artist who is just as protective of her personal life as any of the other A-listers — somehow leaves the door open for the glaring lenses.
It’s interesting that Kidman chose Beyonce as the defining symbol of a disposition that she refuses to embrace, and one can’t help but conclude that that her choice of mascot was enhanced by the stereotypes that cripple the illustrious pursuit of a career in music.
There’s also the reality of Beyonce’s Blackness, and the fact that she’s linked to one of the most prolific rappers of our time, and how that reflects on her overall presentation. Yes, Queen Bey is the personification of celebritydom in all its glory and obstacles, but her affiliation with that particular offering isn’t due to any urging on her part.
What Kidman fails to comprehend is the fact that both she and the woman she willfully spotlighted, actually have a lot more in common when it comes to impeccable work ethic and the urgent need to abide by their own rules of conduct in the dizzying spotlight.
Beyonce’s mega-wattage is borne from a wealthy trajectory that began at an impressionable age, and blossomed into a formidable force of genius, that was only possible through her uncanny knack for perfection, and the love and dedication that she pours into her epic deliveries.
When you’re able to fill up monstrous stadiums across the globe, or delightfully hold wide-eyed fans hostage in the early hours of the morning because of the packaging of dynamite “Beychella” production — that pretty much guarantees the inability to walk down the street without being eagerly accosted.
And in the same spirit, Kidman has managed to maintain a steadily stoic acting career that has given her the flexibility to pair up with greatness, which has led to the respectability that catapults you to fame and fortune, and inevitably leaves you vulnerable to the consequences of balancing life in the spotlight.
The point is that both women are committed to the challenges of juggling demanding careers as well as the never-ending quest to keep their personal lives acutely away from the duress of prying eyes and relentless paparazzi.
If we need a prime example of celebrities who are larger-than-life, and work even harder to maintain that debilitating momentum, we can grab onto the phenomenon of ruthless momager — Kris Jenner and her fertile dynasty. They are definitely “a much bigger thing” when it comes to courting a chaotic climate that they helped elevate in ways that surpassed expectations.
But Kidman needs to chill with the “holier than thou” assignment of how her temperament as “a serious actor” versus an “entertainer” automatically makes her ill-equipped for the duties of a celebrity.
We all know that you’re nobody till somebody loves you, and even before our self-worth had to be ceremoniously verified, it was abundantly clear that life is really an expansive stage that hosts popular contests that have only gotten damagingly competitive.
Nicole Kidman and Beyonce are globally-viable talents, who can’t enter Starbucks without shutting the place all the way down.
Whether they like it or not, they are celebrities. That’s just how it works.