Over the weekend, I read a newspaper report that states, “Naomi held for assault.” Frankly speaking I have heard of her name many times but it has never left a deep impression in me. To me, she is still a total stranger. However, a quick search of her name in Google returned 6.7 millions results.
Who is Naomi Campbell? According to AskMen.com, the Jamaican-Chinese, British born Naomi Campbell, had already conquered the fashion world by her early 20s and Naomi was also the first black model to appear on the covers of Time magazine, as well as the French and British Vogue.
Back to the newspaper report that I read over the weekend, the British supermodel Naomi Campbell was released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer at Heathrow Airport. London’s Metropolitan Police said she is out on bail pending further inquiries and told to report to a police station in late May. She was on a flight to Los Angeles when she was informed that one of her checked bags was missing. She just simply ‘lost it.’ According to the police, she was going nuts, spitting, punching and lashing out. She was eventually asked by the BA to leave the flight.
To begin with, 28,000 bags have been separated from their owners ever since the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London and for travelers, the last thing you want is to be informed of your missing luggage. Thus the above incident could basically involve anyone and maybe there were similar incidences but they were never reported in the first place. Naomi happened to be the celebrity to be at the wrong place and at the wrong time. However, Naomi does has records of violence to start with.
I am least interested to discuss who is wrong or who is right. Just to share something that I realized – that celebrities are only human after all. When the lightings on the runway go off, the make up removes and in the privacy of her home, she is just like anyone of us; she has her own strength and weakness, her own likes and dislikes, her own family and friends. The only difference, if you really have to differentiate yourself from her, is that she has the word ‘celebrity‘ tagged to her name. If you want to find people with record of violences, I believe you can probably find at least a dozen people with similar bad records.
There are probably at least an equal number of cases on act of violent not reported. No reporters or media would be interested in these other cases because they do not have any ‘news value’ for them. However, the case of Naomi has ‘news value’ for them as it guarantees readership. And after being reported too often, the whole issue of her violent acts amplifies and may seem much worst than it appears to be.
Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” Isn’t that very true? This one quotation by Helen Keller always reminds me to look at things beyond the surface. In this case, removing aside the tag of ‘celebrity‘, I saw Naomi Campbell as like one of us.
I am not condoning Naomi’s act of violent and violence is an action that I do not approve, especially in using it to resolve conflicts. And that is why to a large extent I look up to Gandhi for his non-violent resistance which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. I remembered what an associate of mine once told me – that we can idolize someone but not to the extent of worshipping him/her. I will say I finally understand what he meant by that.
We can adore a person as long as we do not allow ourselves to be blindly devoted to that person. We can absorb the strengths of others and make it our own strengths. We can even learn from the mistakes and weaknesses of others so that we will not make those mistakes or absorb those weaknesses. This is how we learn and evolve to be a better person.
One thing I do agree with some people is that being a celebrity and a public figure, Naomi and other celebrities do have a social responsibility, to certain extent, to the general public. They have great influence over the younger generation and people who worshipped them blindly. Otherwise as far as I am concern, I respect their privacy and regard them as just people like myself.
End of the day, it doesn’t matter whether one is a celebrity or not. What matter most are the values that one has within oneself. Celebrities are, after all, only Human.
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