Ah. The trappings of wealth. And celebrity. Many think of this as a modern phenomenon. Au contraire!
There's always been a wide gap between the haves and have-nots. And the fascination that comes with wondering how the other half lives? Been around forever!
I admit. I'm guilty. I have pondered what it must be like to live the life of the rich and famous (this mostly occurs when I sit down to pay those darn bills that keep showing up in my mailbox...argh!)
Let's call them the R&F...those who have what we do not...
Duchess Catherine. Doris Duke. Oprah. Kim K. Jackie O. What if I had been born with a stately name like Vanderbilt as opposed to a commoner name like Staples?
I have a vivid imagination but boy it's tough to envision a life without financial struggle. Never to wonder where my next meal will come from. Never fearing or even experiencing homelessness. What it must be like to be waited on hand and foot. Every wish and request granted. Never lifting a finger for menial chores. Never to experience manual labor. Never working until fingers bleed and backs break.
Now let's flip to another aspect of this rich and famous thing. The trap - the constraints of wealth.
What's that you say? What could be so bad about being filthy stinking rich? A downside? Oh, surely I jest!
Well, for starters, anonymity. Or lack thereof. Everyone knows your name. Everyone knows your financial affairs. Everyone is watching. The wealthy live behind moats, bars, barbed wire. Fences, both literally and figuratively. Though they try, they can't move freely about their lives, through society. Oh no. Everyone is watching.
With the invention of high speed internet, my gosh those unflattering photos of the R&F show up in every social media outlet around the world within seconds. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Photos and info posted everywhere. Market shopping? Picnic in the park? Walking the dogs? A day at the beach? Lost too much weight? Can't lose the baby weight? Spat with the spouse? All documented...instantly. No escape. Every little move you make...they'll be watching you.
To be famous must be like being shackled. Every move is documented and dissected. It shows up in the day's headlines in the homes of millions of people you don't even know. Why should they care? What's it to them?
It's the old gawk factor. Curiosity. With the advent of the internet and paparazzi we've become a society of "have to be in-the-know". We're hungry for info. Especially about people who lead lives that contrast so sharply from ours.
Case in point: Kate Middleton. Or more properly, Duchess Catherine. A target for anyone that has a camera with a zoom lens. She bravely went from mere commoner to arguably the most photographed and famous woman on the planet.What was she thinking? Was the love of a prince worth giving up anonymity? By uttering "I do", she volunteered for this new voyeuristic lifestyle. Ugh. Crazy girl!
Then there's Kim K. One streaming sex tape and ... BAM! Front page news! Smart business woman that she is, she's turned that unfortunate incident into a million-dollar enterprise. Kudos to her! What a way to use our hungry voyeuristic society to your advantage! But it seems, this young lady craves the spotlight so I'm not thinking having a camera trained on her at all times bothers her none too much.
Then of course there are the society gals who, owing to the birth lottery, were born into "old" money. They've had no choice but to live a lavish lifestyle; poor little rich girls.
I don't know. How much fun can it be to have your life played out in the press, in the court of public perception? Always conducting your life by taking the tabloid press into account. What a life, eh? Nah, I think not.
Hubby has been known to say "Keep the fame, I'll just take the money". But somehow I don't think you can separate the two. Fame and Fortune. Paired for eternity.