Celebrities often complain about how complicated and annoying the media attention surrounding them can make their lives, but not every aspect of fame has to be negative. Along with all of the obvious perks (free stuff, lots of money, anything you want!) there is one other thing that famous people can do better than those who aren’t in the spotlight: highlight certain causes, start charities and speak up when there is an issue that needs to be discussed. Their fame will mean their voices are heard and they can do something good for those who are sick, need help or anything else. Vowing to do positive work with their fame, these celebrities use their influence for the greater good.
Alicia was told by Bono to use her fame to help others so she started her own charity: “(Fame’s) a currency – you must use it well or lose it. Bono told me that, and I totally agree. Now I’ve achieved a certain level of fame I know I must make good use of it, especially as I’ve been around the world and know suffering in a way I didn’t before. That’s why I launched my charity Keep A Child Alive. I was so moved to meet people in Africa who have so little and yet are so generous, people who’ve been to hell and back but retain their dignity and are fighting for their dreams. The charity gives people the chance to chase those dreams.”
Colin believes that fame has many perks but it needs to be used to benefit others to have real value: “Fame hasn’t got much use to anybody really except for getting upgraded for tables in restaurants and things. I just think you can have a profile and you can also use it as a tool. One is increasingly aware that there are too many people trying to get heard in the world, and there are all too many people who are heard too easily who have got absolutely nothing to say. And if you can try to be a vessel for them, then I don’t see what’s wrong with that really.”
Jennifer likes the idea of being able to help others because of her fame: “My view on fame? In the film business, you have perks beyond your dreams. You can make a sick child smile and raise money for charity, just by being well known … I also strongly believe in treating people well, whatever their job and whatever happens. I think good manners are important.”
Madonna knows she has great influence over others so she hopes she can use that influence for the better: “I am aware that everything I say and do is judged. I use that to the greater good, I know I can influence people. I think people often misunderstand my power and get intimidated by that rather than trying to understand me.”
Natalie once addressed U.S. Congress to highlight her favourite cause the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) and believes it is a shame that she has to be famous in order to have her voice heard: “I’m not particularly proud that in our country (America), I can get a meeting with a representative more easily than the head of a nonprofit (organisation) can. If they’re (reporters/paparazzi) going to follow me around and take pictures. I’d rather talk about FINCA than what dress I’m wearing or who I’m dating.”
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