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The Stars in Our Eyes

The Stars in Our Eyes

Book Review - The Stars in Our Eyes: The Famous, the Infamous, and Why We Care Way Too Much About Them by Julie Klam

The Stars in Our Eyes: The Famous, the Infamous, and Why We Care Way Too Much About Them by Julie Klam was an entertaining read, but also insightful. It sparked several conversations with friends and family that led to lively debates about what it means to be a celebrity and whether or not we feel at all sorry for some of the cons that comes along with fame.

Reading The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

Reading The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

One of my favorite chapters was Chapter 12: On Location, in which Julie Klam discussed physical locations (such as Carrie Bradshaw's brownstone in Sex and the City...see below) as a form of celebrity. Who cares?, she asks. She even sites a specific example of tourists checking out the aforementioned brownstone and actually missed seeing human celebrities Sally Field and Mick Jagger. Had it been me (and, who knows, it might have been!) I wouldn't have cared much. In fact, I would have been more disappointed if I had missed the brownstone while being distracted by Sally Field and Mick Jagger. Later in the chapter Julie Klam speculates that "When you're photographed in a famously filmed location, you can get a brief feeling of being the celebrity." I have to disagree. I don't get the sense of being a celebrity standing in front of the house from The Truman Show (see below.)

As a bigger fan of famous locations than famous people, let me offer an alternative: famous locations are rarely a disappointment. They are often more charming, more impressive, more real in person than they were on film. Famous people, however, are often less charming, less impressive, less real than they were on film. With the exception of the two celebrities I've had the opportunity to meet in person: Meryl Davis (2014 Olympic Champion in Ice Dancing and Mirror Ball trophy winner on the 18th of Dancing with the Stars with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy) and Justin LeBlanc (placed 3rd on the 12th season of Project Runway.) Both of these people were extremely kind and gracious enough to pose for a picture with me. Side note: I have great success meeting celebrities at art museums. I met Meryl Davis at the Met Museum in NYC and Justin LeBlanc at the St. Louis Art Museum.

Reading The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

Reading The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

A part of the book that seems to spark the most debate is whether or not celebrities have a right to privacy (or a somewhat normal life.) When you choose a career that you know will thrust you into the spotlight, do you have the right to complain or be rude when fans interrupt your lunch to say hello, ask for an autograph, or request a picture? This is the single most compelling argument for staying out of the spotlight, personally. I thoroughly enjoy being able to enjoy a glass of wine al fresco at the restaurant of my choosing and lose myself in a book. I would hate to be interrupted to pose for a picture, have a conversation with, or give an autograph to a stranger (luckily, the likelyhood of this ever happening is nil.) 

Reading The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

Reading The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

So what do you think? Do celebrities have any room to complain about fans? Is there a line that shouldn't be crossed by fan or celebrity? Join the conversation on Facebook.

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