The Celebrity world is fuelled with a love/hate relationship with the media. You would have to be completely oblivious to not notice the power of the press in this modern age- we, as Joe public, are faced with it every day, whether it be a newspaper, the news, social-networking sites, word-of-mouth…there is no escaping the global phenomenon known as the media. Our constructed opinions of the people known as ‘celebrities’ is governed by what our news sources tell us about the star in question. The paper can choose which story they pick and what spin to put on it. We, as consumers, digest this information as we are not given the other, possibly more likeable, story and form our opinions based on this.
There seems to be an unwritten rule in the media that every celebrity who is built up has to inevitably be brought down. Over the past few years this rule has become more obviously noticeable due to the dramatic downfalls of those who sit quite happily on their satisfied, publically well-received cloud. They eventually always have to put one foot wrong, even if it’s the tiniest mistake, and the press will play on this and degrade their reputation in the space of twenty four hours. In the limelight there is no happy medium- you are either the ‘People’s Princess’ or their ultimate failure.
Cheryl Cole is the perfect example of how someone can be portrayed as the heaven-sent angel and become an apparent laughing stock over-night. Known as Miss. Tweedy (before she married the football star Ashley Cole), Cheryl was known purely as being the feisty lady in Girls Aloud. Although initially she had negative dealings with the press due to them revealing a pub fight she got involved in, she was not necessarily headlining material. That is until she became the latest WAG to hit the scene. She suddenly became a well-known, A-list celebrity and was involved in promotions, constant OK! Magazine interviews, television appearances and even became a fashion icon. Next came the offer of the most sought-after job in the television industry- a place alongside Simon Cowell on the judging panel of The X Factor. This secured her huge positive publicity and consequently she became the ‘People’s Princess’. Watched by millions who wished to be just like her, Cheryl had the public in the palm of her hand. She used this opportunity to promote her music and secured a number one with her first solo-single, Fight for this Love. Miss Cole, yet again, won the public’s support when Ashley chose to cheat on her repeatedly. This led to her being interviewed on Pier’s Morgan’s Life Stories show and gained the ITV programme its highest ratings to date.
However, in the world of celebrities, things cannot continue to go in an upwards direction. Cheryl was offered the position as a judge on the American X Factor which, initially, was a great achievement. Everyone supported her and continued to praise her talents until Simon Cowell gave her the red card saying she just ‘didn’t look comfortable enough’. There were also claims her Geordie accent got in the way but this has not been confirmed. Instantly the press turned against her implying there was a massive fight with Simon and she is now apparently not speaking to any of the UK X Factor team. The media attention that followed was no longer positive and instead focused on all of the ‘failures’ Cheryl was encountering. Suddenly people are questioning what talent she does have and whether she had the grades to judge our biggest singing competition. A quick change considering just six months ago she was seen as the most admired judge who could not say or do anything wrong.
Alesha Dixon, one third of British rap group Misteeq, is another celebrity to encounter the ever-changing, opinionated world of the media. Similar to Cheryl’s story, Alesha only gained real celebrity when she married So Solid Crew’s Harvey. Her group records were selling well and the couple were included regularly in teen magazines as well as in columns in the papers. Harvey, just like Ashley, had an affair and the public rallied around poor Alesha to support her. She was seen as vulnerable and appeared as a contestant on the show Strictly Come Dancing, to apparently distract her mind from all the personal hurt that was taking place. Consequently she won the show and even more of the press, and publics, support leading her to launch a solo career and score a few number ones from this popularity. However, in 2009 she was offered a place on the judging panel for Strictly, causing instant controversy as she was replacing show favourite Arleen Phillips. Although it was not her choice, Alesha’s popularity plummeted and her judging role was severely criticised on her first show. Subsequently her record sales began to falter and she was recently dropped by her record label due to this reason. Alesha is now rarely seen in the tabloids without the 2009 controversy being mentioned somewhere in the article.
So with this desire from the media showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, will those on a seemingly constant high always come crashing to a rocketing low? If this is the case it will not be long before our real princess Kate Middleton steps out of line. At the moment she is doing everything correctly: the public, press and royals all love her, anticipating every move and praising her continuously when she makes it. Her outfits are selling out after one appearance and her perfect smile has not, as of yet, ever faded from her face. Currently she can do no wrong, but if the previous two examples are anything to go by, it leaves me wondering will her princess crown be removed as quickly as it was put on?