Creative Saturday: Laura Brown - The Famous Curse
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In today’s fame-obsessed world, the rich and famous appear to live the dream lifestyle. The stories we tell about celebrities generally sound like unbelievable fairy tales.
Fame is of course fuelled by people knowing about, and taking an interest in, celebrities. However, the stories that attract the most public attention are generally about their struggles and failures. Many people seem to have an intense fascination with seeing people fall from grace.
I consider celebrity culture to be a relentless curse in today’s society, as it often leads people to become obsessed with the concept of fame and resentful of people who are famous. Following from this idea, I have written 'The Famous Curse', a short story which considers the potentially harmful impact that fame and global scrutiny can have on a person’s life, image, and sense of self-worth.
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The Famous Curse
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a beautiful model named Acier.
Acier was from a magical, dream-like world called The Land of the Rich and Famous. With millions of online followers and paparazzi forever outside her door, she was treated like a princess. Acier was a model in
She lived a life filled with glitz and glamour. All smiles and laughter, her life looked like nothing short of a fairy tale. Her projected perfection was the envy of more impressionable young people than could possibly be imagined.
Her boyfriend, Silex, was like the Prince Charming she had always dreamed of. Images of his beaming smile and toned muscles plastered billboards and shimmered in glossy magazines. His lips whispered spell-binding sweet nothings in her ear and his arm remained firmly gripped around her waist on red magic carpets; he looked like the perfect gentleman.
Acier was a star. A leading light in fashion, her career shone with blazing force. She was propelled to astronomic levels of success by the world’s insistence on giving opinionated spiels about the spells that shackled her to the world of fame.
She was a Cinderella of the modern day, going from rags to riches with a little help from her all-powerful modelling agent, The Fairy Godmother. When not committing young girls to a future of exploitation and biting criticism, The Fairy Godmother was attending lavish parties and dining in the finest restaurants, feeding off the income of her enchanted prodigies.
Eating from the red apple of poisonous fame was addictive to all who tasted it. Acier's Instagram feed fuelled a hunger for world recognition. Her filtered, sickly-sweet images on social media lured adoring fans into her fantastic dreamland. However, the sugary smiles hid a precarious fire within, and her followers were victims of a Hansel and Gretel naivety.
In The Land of the Rich and Famous, nothing is ever as it seems. Her model image gradually revealed itself as a flaming curse disguised as a blessing.
She had fallen victim to the beast of beauty. Acier's attractive fame had elevated her from reality’s solid ground, entrapping her in a tower. The light of her stardom glowed from the tower like a beacon, giving off warning signs of the rocky dangers that were destabilising her.
The tower was encased by a crashing sea of public criticism. In this sea lived trolls, lurking beneath dirty waters of anonymity. The trolls’ spite reached Acier with scalding venom.
As keyboards silently shouted insults, Acier became vulnerable to the dangers of being known and loved and hated and famous. Like a sea-bound mermaid, she began to desperately dream of shedding the tall-tail of perfection that encircled her.
Seeing the cracks begin to form in her persona, the sly wolves of the paparazzi hounded her. They tirelessly waited for the reveal of what big secrets she had hidden beneath her hood of model desirability.
She already felt the persistent burns of insecurity, but Silex started chipping away at her self-esteem with empty words and wandering eyes. He had slowly morphed from Prince Charming into Prince Harming, spitting fiery insults behind the tower's closed doors. Acier’s prince convinced her that she was a wicked witch, deserving of his disgust. Like flint and steel, Silex and Acier clashed with hateful friction, sparking raging fires of hurt.
She sought escapism. The alcoholic potion became her vice and she convinced herself that the liquid's familiar burn could melt her issues. Each night, the drink transformed her into a hazy Sleeping Beauty, protecting her in unconsciousness from the judgmental opinions of others. As she blacked out her fears and cried drunk tears, the paparazzi captured her issues to concoct profitable stories, setting her dignity alight.
Unable to hide from the world’s ever-watchful eyes, the celebrity lifestyle proved too much for Acier. Under the hot spotlight of fame, she was scorched with anxiety. Accompanied by the media’s deafening commentary, she began to sink beneath the growing pile of cinders that scattered from the fire of fame surrounding her.
Acier’s illuminating journey of “self”-destruction sparked heated, global debates on what had gone wrong. Claiming innocence as mere star-gazers, the world watched with guiltless awe as the star’s image of perfection disintegrated. Despite continuing to soak in the light of her troubles, nobody took responsibility for feeding her ruinous fire with their impassioned and clashing views. Acier’s life seemed disconnected from theirs as she was, after all, from a land far, far away.
And the curse of celebrity culture lived ever after.
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