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Netflix’s The American Meme Examines the Effects of Fame

In+The+American+Meme%2C+Paris+Hilton+opens+up+on+the+negative+aspect+of+her+fame.
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Netflix’s The American Meme Examines the Effects of Fame

In The American Meme, Paris Hilton opens up on the negative aspect of her fame.

In The American Meme, Paris Hilton opens up on the negative aspect of her fame.

In The American Meme, Paris Hilton opens up on the negative aspect of her fame.

In The American Meme, Paris Hilton opens up on the negative aspect of her fame.

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In an age where it seems nearly everyone has a chance at obtaining their fifteen minutes of fame, being a celebrity seems fun, exciting, and profitable. However, the documentary, The American Meme, recently produced by Netflix shares a much different side of stardom. Ten different celebrities recount their rise to the top in raw, candid interviews revealing the trials and tribulations of life in the spotlight.

Speaking of his documentary and the influence behind it, director Bert Marcus says that he hopes, “A film like this will hopefully bring up very important conversations and shed light on the highs and low so that people can see that while there are amazing opportunities, each of our characters provide examples of how there can be a price to be paid for that.”

Marcus successfully achieves his goal and then some by displaying an all-encompassing look into the lives of the rich and famous. Interviewee, model Hailey Baldwin, claims that by posting a photo on instagram, she once made $150,000, and continues to say that she has, “heard of people making $1 million off of one photo.”

Contrarily, the most compelling aspects of the film are the stories of two celebrities: surprisingly-inspirational socialite Paris Hilton and seemingly-miserable Instagram personality and party photographer, Kirill Bichutsky.

While each spoke about the amazing opportunities they have been afforded, each is also apparently struggling in various ways. Heiress, businesswoman, and former reality-star Paris Hilton opens up about her life after her infamous sex-tape was leaked. Fighting through tears, Hilton painfully recalls how she “literally wanted to die at some points… ‘cause I thought everything was taken away from me.

“It felt like I’ve lost part of my soul…I [realized that I] would never be who I could have been,” Hilton continued. The audience cannot help but empathize with the socialite. Afterall, everyone has made mistakes, yet with her social status, Paris Hilton’s one mistake ballooned into a year’s worth of gossip.

Despite this, it is tremendously inspiring to the viewers to see that despite her struggles, Hilton was able to overcome her bad reputation and make millions on various product lines. Paris Hilton, once known as an airhead diva, is introduced to the world in a new light; she is finally seen as someone who was able to overcome her circumstances and still manage to be successful.

However, Kirill Bichutsky has an entirely different story. As a young boy, Bichutsky immigrated to America from Russia. Despite his vast financial success, he says, “I always feel bad… I constantly have this crazy anxiety when I am alone that I didn’t accomplish enough.” He attributes this perceived failure to not earning his college degree and consequently being the first in his family not to graduate college.

He continues to describe an average week in his life and concludes the account with a harrowing remark, “That’s why I can’t go to bed sober.” The most painful element of this statement is how calmly he said it, as if it was just another step in his daily routine.

Despite the film displaying what adventurous lives the featured celebrities lead, it leaves the viewer with an incredible, unique insight into the pros and cons of fame. Summing up the flaws he sees in the entertainment industry, Marcus says, “A lot of people take what they see is the easy route. But now we’re not working on being great at anything, we’re not working at perfecting our skills or being our best selves…it can hurt society in a lot of different ways and hurt people without them realizing it.”

Yet with films like The American Meme, it is possible that the next generation of celebrities will learn from the mistakes of those before them and lead happy, successful, and inspirational careers.

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Netflix’s The American Meme Examines the Effects of Fame