On the eve of the release of her first novel, “Revenge,” British television personality Sharon Osbourne has written a powerful new first person editorial for the UK’s Daily Mail, on the ramifications of fame in modern society.
Sharon’s piece begins with an account of a time when she and husband Ozzy first met Andy Warhol in the ‘80s. “Of course, Andy Warhol is most famous for saying: ‘In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,’” she recalls.
She then adds, “These days I’d put that figure closer to five minutes.”
The essay segues into her opinions on the nature of fame in the 21st century. “Today, though, young people regard fame as a birthright. They have a sense of entitlement the size of one of my houses,” she states. “I recently heard about the work of an American psychologist who discovered that in the Fifties only 12 per cent of youngsters agreed with the statement, ‘I am an important person’. By the end of the Eighties, that figure had risen to 80 per cent. I think we can all guess what it is now… Children leaving school today no longer want to be doctors or lawyers or architects. All I ever hear is ‘I wanna be famous’, or ' I wanna be a celeb’.”
Sharon touches on her experiences dealing first hand with our post-modern culture’s odd relationship with fame; both as the star of her own hugely successful reality show, “The Osbournes,” and as a host of Britain’s “The X Factor, and the U.S.’s “America’s Got Talent.”
“Fame has been on my mind a lot recently. My debut novel, Revenge, is about two fame-hungry sisters and how their quest for celebrity impacts upon their lives in negative ways that they never anticipated. And my second novel will focus on a popular TV talent show and look at what really happens behind the scenes… For all of my life I have either been around famous people or have been well-known myself.”
Sharon then goes on to explain the important differences between fame, success, and happiness, something which she points out is all too often lost upon many young people today. She reminds readers that talent plus hard work is the recipe for success. She also gives examples of several celebrities whom she admires, including – Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet – who deal well with fame, never letting it go to their heads.
Sharon concludes with some sage advice for young budding reality competition television contestants. “If you are prepared for it, and it makes you happy, do it. It’s a great opportunity for a very rich life experience, a chance to meet interesting people, and travel. Why not take a roll of the dice? If you win, fantastic. You’ll have one hit record - maybe more if you’re very lucky… But don’t expect a career with the longevity of, say, Ozzy’s. He has had 40 years in the business and it’s still a struggle. (Of course, it helps if you marry your manager.)”
However, she also warns, “Just as power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so fame corrupts and megastardom can destroy.”