Fame carries subjective meaning

In the words of our favorite famous monster, and not the one that eats cookies, Lady Gaga is “doin’ it for the fame.”

After listening to this song an appropriate number of times, I think I finally understand its purpose – she does it for the fame. However, what really makes someone famous, recognized or truly successful? An individual isn’t simply famous or not. Fame is a relative and subjective concept.

It seems like Lady Gaga is famous, right? But a 60-year-old could meet the Fame Monster and unknowingly offer the 27-year-old a batch of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies like she would to the rest of her grandchildren.

What about President Donna E. Shalala? She is an esteemed figure on campus who inspires awe in students and faculty with her many accolades and prestigious position. But, if a random individual were to bump into her in the ice cream section of a grocery store in her hometown of Cleveland, would this person feel any different toward her than anyone else? Does her twin sister think of her as President Shalala, or former secretary of health and human services?

Who an individual considers famous is based on a number of factors including his or her personality, interests, self-awareness, age and social environment. One person may become star-struck, while others may act normally around this “famous” individual.

People are just that – human. As students, we should not strive toward fame or recognition, but rather explore our talents and skills to ultimately find careers that fulfill us. If you become the next Mark Zuckerberg simply because you followed your dreams and passions, then more power to you.


Alyssa Jacobson is a junior majoring in advertising and political science.