…for the biggest stan of all.
We think the world of our idols. To us, they’re the center of the universe, not only ours, but the entertainment universe. They’re the biggest stars, the most talented, the most famous. Everyone else is just a spec of stardust. But our idols, they’re the brightest star of all. And whoever dares to disagree belongs in Pluto.
But how do we measure the brightness of a star?
Is it by the number of commercials/endorsements they have?
The ratings of their dramas?
How much they get paid for each project?
The amount of media exposure they have from magazine covers to online articles?
The billing they get in dramas or films?
The number of followers on Twitter or Weibo?
How often they trend on social media?
The number of fans in their official fan club?
How quick it takes to sell out tickets to their concerts?
Or the size of their concert venues?
How often they crash websites?
Or the number of sales for their albums and DVDs?
The number of clicks their official video gets on YouTube?
The number of trophies they win on music shows?
If we look beyond the hype, we might even be surprised that our idols who we think live fabulous lives don’t earn that much after all. That’s why they have to work like a horse to be able to support a lifestyle that’s deemed fitting for a star.
We might even compare the number of social media followers to those who we think are lesser stars and be aghast to discover that they are far behind. Or realize that the brands they endorse are not equal to the superstar status we accord them.
Forbes rankings notwithstanding, it’s really easy to substantiate a celebrity’s star power. It’s a combination of all of the above. But nothing could be more powerful than numbers. Figures. Money.
Yes, show me the money because that’s where you see how your idols are bringing in money to their agencies and how companies are trusting your idols. It’s a business after all and money makes the world, no, the universe, go round–including the universe where you think your idol is at the center.
Sometimes it amuses me to see fans demand the best treatment for their idols and complain over the slightest action that they deem offensive. Why was he allowed to eat outside with the commoners? Why is he only the second lead? Why does he have to make way for this other artist when he is more popular?
Of course we exist in our own universe where our idol is at the center that we often think there’s no other universe that exists alongside ours. And it has never crossed our mind that the universe we may have imagined for our idol is not the one that he actually exists in.
Because truth be told, our idols exist in a paradigm so different from what we imagine. They may be popular but they are still kouhais or hoobaes to someone else. They may be No. 1 in our book, but on a larger scale, they don’t even figure in the Top 10. They may get the loudest scream in their concerts (if they don’t, then something is wrong when it’s their concert), but thrown out into a bigger stage, there are others who command louder screams.
And in certain societies, it does not matter if you’re the top-earner or the most popular. You still have to stand behind your senior, bow to your senior and praise your senior. That’s not just showing respect or good breeding but that’s part of a hierarchical culture. Don’t even get me started on the corporate culture, because big or small stars, they still work for the sun and the moon, also known as the bosses of entertainment agencies.
Of course, it’s fangirl nature to put our idols on a pedestal and think of them as the greatest and brightest. Otherwise, we are not being fangirls. But sometimes we overdo it that we instead invite derision and mockery for our idols, or worse, embarrass them with our mindset that they are the only stars in the universe.
Unfortunately, they aren’t.
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