Dancers, if you do nothing else for today....PLEASE get into this piece that Star Jones wrote for Uptown Magazine! A GREAT read of epic proportions:
I was recently having a conversation with a friend and the topic of shame came up. Over a glass of Sancerre, I was lamenting how shocked I was that one particular reality “star” had done some ridiculously over-the-top ghetto (not the place, rather the attitude) thing on television. I can’t remember whether it was pulling hair, vomiting in the street, cursing at her children, spitting on her “best friend,” hitting, pushing, or some other ignorant action, but trust me, it was so inappropriate and it was all in the news. The legitimate news! I’m talking right up there with the Tucson shooting, State of the Union address, and the Super Bowl. I said to my friend, “She must be so ashamed for the whole world to see her act like that; how embarrassing!More under the break...
My friend actually laughed at me and said, “Girl, she’s not ashamed or embarrassed. As long as she’s famous, she’s happy.”
When did the quest for fame overtake the drive for excellence? When did starring in a sex tape rather than a breakout performance in an independent film become your entrée into stardom? When did becoming the third, fourth, or fifth baby mama of an athlete or a musician make you a “housewife”? When did posing with your behind up and your boobs out standing in front of a stripper pole make you a model?
When shame moved out.
Do people even know what shame is anymore? They certainly don’t act like it. Shame used to be the feeling you’d get just after you did something you know you shouldn’t have done. It was the cramp in your stomach when the “mother” of the church looked back at you during Sunday service and threw you the eye because you were talking, wiggling, or chewing gum when you should have been paying attention. Shame was the quiver in your voice that made you stammer when you had to tell your parents that you crashed the car, got a D in geometry, were busted for smoking weed, found out you were pregnant—or when you were down at the police station making your one phone call.*cough cough The Kardashians, ALL of the Housewives - particularly NeNe Leakes, and the Basketball Wives crew*
Shame is what you should feel when your sex tape or naked cell phone pictures get leaked onto the Internet by that fool you never should have trusted in the first place. Shame is what you should feel when you plow your car into a tree and get arrested for the second time for driving under the influence. Shame is what you should feel when you get photographed smoking a bong with your team jersey in the background. Shame is what you should feel when you get caught sleeping with somebody else’s husband or wife. Shame should be what you feel when you finally acknowledge that your only true talent lies in being the loudest, least-educated, best-dressed buffoon on the screen.
You want to know what happened to shame? We made it impossible for shame to live with us anymore. Reality shows moved in with their newly minted “stars” and shame moved out. Society started rewarding those who engage in egregious behavior with magazine covers and clothing lines; the media began anointing chicks 20 minutes off the pole as “socialites”; and parents, grandparents, and aunties stopped giving the side eye to folks who act a fool. Shame must have said, “To hell with it,” and packed its bags.
Shame doesn’t live in America anymore. Some people think that’s a good thing—you know, all that “keeping it real” mess. I don’t happen to be one of them. Some say it’s prudish to expect decorum, dignity, and respect in public settings. Those who say that aren’t my friends. I admit it. I’m old-fashioned, and I’m mortified by what now generates fame. These days, my pearls are in a constant state of clutch.
That’s why I love awards season. It always reminds me of what entertainment excellence is and should be. This is when the true stars come out to shine. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association roll out the red carpet for the actors and actresses who have studied and honed their craft to pure genius. These auspicious organizations congratulate the artists who have harnessed their talent to embody historical and important characters who have literally changed the world or a neighborhood, caused a movement, shifted the balance of power, or inspired others to greatness or even madness.
For the short window of time known as awards season, the public gets to gaze upon and laud professionals who have the ability to engage audiences to the point that we become emotionally spent (Frankie & Alice), giddy and lightheaded with hope (The Kids Are All Right), and awestruck with intensity and angst (The Social Network). Skill and talent. Gifts that few possess but more claim. Men and women known for their abilities, not their antics—that’s my definition of a star.
Folks can say what they want about her, but Lady Jones was preaching on this here good day! And it's NOT even Sunday....
I couldn't agree more with ALL that she has said! The thirst for fame is at an all time high, so much so that folks are willing and able to compromise their true selves for a half hour on TV. I guess we no longer live in a time where true talent reigns supreme? WELP....