I was reading something on BBC.com today and I got lost in two articles on fame and pressures of fame.
One is about Lana del Rey and her issues with social media and keeping private as much as possible:
Interestingly, though, Daly suggests that Del Rey might care less about her own mystique than she did in the past. “I think she was probably more enigmatic at the start of her career when there were all these questions about who she was and where she came from,” she says. Now that she has proven her artistic worth, she has less need for the protective shield that enigma can provide. “To achieve true Prince-like levels of mystery, I think she’d have to be much more removed from the internet and the press than she is at the moment,” Daly adds. She calls what we’re seeing now with Del Rey “a slow dismantling of mystique in real-time”. Whatever happens next, it will be interesting to see how the next generation of stars present themselves. With mystique becoming even tougher to preserve than in the past, it’s hard to blame any artist who decides it’s just not worth the effort anymore.
I’ve also read this article about Dolly Parton. I’ve been fascinated by her public persona for a while and this article actually puts everything together. It’s worth reading both of them.
You can learn a lot about Parton from how she has navigated the Trump era. These past four years, celebrities have found it hard to duck the question, “Which side are you on?” Taylor Swift, like Parton, has a typical Nashville aversion to controversy but she was labelled everything from a coward to a closet white supremacist for her neutral stance until she finally came out as a Democrat in 2018. Parton, however, remains publicly apolitical at a time when it would seem impossible to be apolitical. Even when her 9 to 5 co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin were savaging Trump right next to her on the stage at the 2017 Emmy Awards, Parton changed the subject with a trusty boob joke. When the topic came up on Dolly Parton’s America, she flatly shut it down: “I don’t do politics. I have too many fans on both sides of the fence.”
The easy explanation is that she puts business before principle, but for Parton those two instincts aren’t in opposition. She is by nature a bridge-builder and unifier, with a talent for smoothing troubled waters.
Here are the links to the articles, again:
1. Lana Del Rey and the struggle to be mysterious in pop
2. How Dolly Parton became the world’s best-loved celebrity
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