Ricky Martin came out on his fan site. Michael and Lindsay Lohan feud via Twitter. When there's a rumor about Kim Kardashian, she squashes it on her website. Technology offers unfiltered access to celebrities…often to a fault.
In an article for The New York Times, Laura M. Holson writes about the growing trend for celebrities to "control their public personas by addressing personal issues directly with their fans." The problem? As Terry Press, a Hollywood marketing executive, puts it: "It could expose you as stupid." And even worse, it could overexpose a celebrity.
It used to be that you'd basically only hear from a star when she or he had a project to promote; now, between the paparazzi, Twitter and fansites, we know what Jennifer Garner looks like when she's grocery shopping and that Lindsay Lohan's friends were "chattering" while she was trying to watch Alice In Wonderland at Arclight Cinemas. While there are still some stars who let the work speak for itself and keep the private stuff private (Matt Damon comes to mind), it's with increasing frequency that we're privy to stuff we don't even want to know.
The weird thing is: The more celebrities prove how "real" and "normal" they are, the more we find out that "stars are just like us," the less power they have to amaze, surprise and impress us. It used to be that a star was otherworldly, untouchable, remote and perfect… And thereby worthy of our devotion and worship. Now, it seems like the more a star — by definition a heavenly body — acts down-to-earth, the more we're likely to ask, "Who cares?"