Candle in the wind…

There are certain dead people that have retained celebrity status, maybe even becoming more popular in death. This group of people may illicit some strong reactions from you because it’s likely that you have come to hold them in high regard. But I ask, why? Our society has been fascinated with these people for a long time, but is the fascination and attention warranted? Are these people really so special? What exactly did they do during their lives that would catapult them into the stratosphere of icon status? Why are we drawn to their images. What do they represent?

On Pinterest you’ll see hundreds of photos of the following people. Why does the public, years later, still get excited by these individual lives? 

  • Grace Kelly – Actress, married royalty, had children, died in car crash at age 52
  • Jackie Kennedy / Jacqueline Onassis – A woman of privilege, married a man who would become president, fashion icon, husband assassinated, re-married tycoon, became a respectable journalist/editor, died from cancer at age 64.
  • Marilyn Monroe – plucked from obscurity and was transformed into a starlet, battled with alcohol and drugs, deep emotional problems, affair with a president, tragic and mysterious death -age 36
  • Princess Diana – Child/Woman of privilege, married a prince, had children, divorced cheating husband, died in horrific car crash at age 36
  • James Dean – talented Hollywood actor, died in a car crash at age 34
  • John F. Kennedy Junior– Child of privilege, father assassinated, attends law school, fails to pass the bar 2 times- passes it on third try in 1990, many famous girl friends, becomes a pilot and starts a political magazine, dies in a plane crash (age 39) on his way to his cousin’s wedding.

On close inspection all of the above listed people were very attractive, famous and wealthy. Was there something extraordinary about them that would cause generation after generation to idolize them? Is it because they touched the sun for a brief moment and fell back down to earth in some tragic way? Do we want/need to feel connected to them?

Thoughts, feelings?