Musings On Fame And Privacy.
Jan 25 2016
So much has been written about David Bowie's legacy since his recent death that there seems nothing truly of consequence to add. Except perhaps one thing: The manner in which he lived his life is, to me, proof that fame does not have to come at the expense of either privacy or dignity.
One could argue that the sheer breadth of Bowie's creative output during the course of his six-decade long career had enabled him to transcend the status of mere celebrity to become a genuine cultural icon. And lest we forget, he was married to Iman, a super model and celebrity in her own right making them what the media like to refer to as "a celebrity power couple". In terms of the sheer magnitude of fame and glamour, it's hard to top that. And yet, despite it all, Bowie and his family managed to keep his eighteen-month long battle with cancer (what a scoop that would have been) essentially private. So much so that for most people, even devoted fans, his death came as a complete shock.
I raise this point simply because we've become accustomed to hearing celebrities, both major and minor, lament the loss of privacy. When it's not George Clooney whining about the intrusion of the media in his private life and seeking to have anti-paparazzi laws passed then it's Kanye West trying to compare being photographed by paparazzi to sexual assault.
Mr. Bowie who lived in New York City reportedly went about his business unrecognized and unencumbered by his fame. He chose cabs over limos and walked alone rather than surrounded by body guards. Perhaps what's missing from Mr. Clooney's and Mr. West's lives is not tougher legislation or bigger body guards but rather a sense of dignity and maturity about their fame. Could they, like David Bowie, handle walking out into the street and not being recognized?
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