Posted: July 5th, 2021
Will Smith is a renowned and famous celebrity in the industry as an actor, rapper, writer, and even a producer. He is famous for his labels, family, blockbuster productions, and, most interestingly, the many movies he features. If asked to list the names, the list is endless. Being a celebrity, Will Smith has been faced with happy and sad moments in the fame experience, which are referred to as the advantages and disadvantages of “Being a Celebrity by Rockwell and Giles.” In his fame journey, Will Smith benefits from the advantages of being wealthy and the ability to access privileges in the world (Giles). However, he suffers from loss of privacy and entitization as well as concerns about family impact.
In “Being a Celebrity by Rockwell and Giles,” Rockwell and Giles describe that the fame experience is characterized by surreal, bizarre, flattery, and warmth moments and experiences. The journey, as well as these moments, are abrupt as nobody prepares for the journey, but to survive, the authors recommend adaptation as an effective coping and survival mechanism. The good and bad moments bring about the advantages and disadvantages of celebrity life. The benefits of fame listed include the accumulation of much wealth, and ability to access privileges in the world (Giles). On the other hand, celebrities must deal with disadvantages such as temptations, mistrust of others, losses and gratification, loss of privacy, symbolic immortality, demanding expectations, and concerns about their families. In addition to these celebrity features, the authors show how some of these celebrities cope with the fame experience. Some of these coping and survival mechanisms include adapting to life and experience and character splitting, which enables them to maintain a balance of the fame life and personal life.
As seen above, fame and celebrity life brings about many life advantages and privileges. Will Smith shows that his fame and celebrity experience has enabled him to access many worldly privileges as well as accumulated much wealth. He explains in many instances he has met and had the opportunity to dine with crucial political and economic figures in the world. For example, while shooting the movie Ali, Smith had the chance to travel all over the world and had the opportunity to dine with key public figures such as Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali. In another instance, Smith and his wife Jada had the opportunity to interview the then-president Barack Obama (Raab). Secondly, Smith has, on some occasions, played a fame card where he shows that ‘fans’ and the world is ready to help famous people due to that status. He backs this argument with an instance in a gas station when he did not have his wallet, and a fan decided to pay for his gas out of admiration and love. Will Smith says fame has its perks that come in handy in unexpected ways, which he loves (Raab). Concisely, his celebrity status has enabled Smith to meet other famous and influential people in the world. He likes being famous as he feels safe and that people will be at the forefront to help him and his family anytime.
Will Smith and his family live in the ‘first-class order’ kind of lifestyle, which he attributes to the movies and other sources of income. Wealth is a byproduct of fame, which he is estimated to be one of the wealthiest in many popular magazines. For instance, he is enlisted as a Top 50 Power Brokers in Hollywood. In the list, Smith is described as a ‘triple threat’ in Hollywood (Moniuszko). The Black Enterprise estimates the net value of the Overbook Production he owns with his strategist James Lassiter to produce at least $ $613.8 M in 2007 (Richardson). This means that in 2019, 12 years down the line, the production company and Smith have accumulated more than billions as wealth. He has a lavish lifestyle, which cannot be disputed, which all result from his life occupations as well as the fame status.
Will Smith speaks of many instances he has had to deal with and cope with the negative side of fame and living the celebrity life. Will Smith shows how he feels ill-equipped and ‘not enough’ father, actor, or husband in the fame journey and experience. Smith describes still feeling a void referred to a ‘hole’ that he thought would be filled by fame, yet it still lives and persists in his life. Smith explains that his current life has been a dream that was characterized by many fights and struggled to acquire the status. He shows how it becomes a process to reinvent oneself and try to find oneself. Moreover, Will Smith describes his experience and journey to fame as emotionally battering and excruciating (Raab). Secondly, Will Smith describes his concern about his family and the direction he decided to take to fame. For instance, he said, “That was really the first time that I realized that my family wasn’t happy with the direction that I was taking them.” His concern is unique, as it is in this time when his daughter Willow shaved her head bald to protest against what he wanted rather than what she wanted (Moniuszko). This conflict leads to tension in a father-daughter relationship, which made him question his path of fame and celebrity life.
Will Smith describes fame as a gift for him, as his desire to help other people and make life better for these people supersedes other aspects of fame. Some of the small things Will Smith defines as making people’s lives better include shaking their hands, signing their autographs, and even smiling at them. Will shows that these acts change the lives of the people, as they will keep the actions for the rest of their lives. Thus, fame for Will Smith is Gift that grants him the opportunity and fulfills his desire to make people’s lives better. He further adds that through the characters he features in movies, he prefers those with high calling and the art of giving quality services. Secondly, Smith loves what he does, appreciates the advantages that come with fame, and finds ways to cope with the disadvantages (Raab). In one of the interviews, he shows his love for his work, “I love creating music and television and film. I love the hustle, I love the grind, I love working sixteen- and eighteen-hour days and waking up at four the next morning and going to the gym. I love that.” Will Smith loves being famous and being recognized by people, but he does not forget that fame is a burden as well.
Nevertheless, fame and being a celebrity becomes excruciating for Will Smith, as he describes it. He has to find a balance between his two personalities; being a celebrity and being a family man. He uses a coping strategy called balance and deep connection between service, God, and happiness. Through these three elements, he can deal with the disadvantages associated with fame (Raab). He has staunch spiritual beliefs he has been criticized for before. However, Smith defends them by saying the journey requires a comprehensive and complete package of spiritual, emotional, physical, and servitude balance.
Fame and becoming a celebrity is a dream most people dream about; it could be in music, movies, or even businesses. The experience and journey of fame are characterized by both happy and sad moments and events. Fame brings about both advantages and disadvantages, and one must determine how to enhance the benefits and address or cope with the difficulties.
Giles, Donna Rockwell & David C. “Being a Calebrity: A Phenomenology of Fame.” Journal of Phenological Psychology (2009): 536-544.
Moniuszko, Sara M. “Will Smith on daughter Willow’s early rebellion: ‘She really tested me’.” USA TODAY 4 December 2018.
Raab, Scott. I AM A RIVER TO MY PEOPLE Will Smith. 1 March 2015.
Richardson, Nicole Marie. “Top 50 Power Brokers in Hollywood.” Black Enterprise 1 March 2007.
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