What to make of our oh-so-screwed up celebrities then?
Lily Allen recently posts on a blog about feeling fat and ugly. This is very conveniently just before she makes her debut on American TV. She gets headlines in the UK and raises her profile. She just wants to be loved really. It’s nothing to do with a cheap and yet clever use of the symbiosis between paper and online media. Or, at least, that’s never mentioned.
Meanwhile Britney Spears is going slowly slightly mad. She shaves her hair, she damages a car, she goes into rehab. Now she’s working on a new album. It’s about feeling good. Do you have to advertise you’re feeling bad, to promote an album about feeling good? Apparently so.
The phenomenon of rehab is growing. Robbie Williams is doing it (or did it). Jade Goody did it after Celebrity Big Brother. Cate Blanchett looks like a prime candidate for it. Why do celebrities advertise their angst? More to the point, why do they seem to do this purely for financial gain?
My guess is that, as I know happened with Jade Goody, they’ve been ‘PRd’. Jade was got at before she even left the house, which is why she put in a consummate performance on her exit (and why Davina McCall was soft on her – they have the same PR agent).
I would imagine there’s really very little up with Lily or Britney or even Jade. Robbie’s always been a bit odd. Cate is possibly really ill, but she did ensure she appeared looking like that. There must have been a reason. It seems there’s a trend for people gaining the ‘publicity of the weak’ which will ensure support – and, coincidentally, headlines and sales.
My interest in all this is how people generally don’t seem to consider this as cynical as, say, big business putting out messages that support their point of view into the public domain. Mention ‘PR’ to most people and they scoff. Mention poor old Lily – feeling bad for a while – and they’re concerned. Does it really not cut both ways?