Does celebrity always equal power? I would argue yes. In our society there are many different levels of power: social, economic, political, emotional, etc. If people know your name, know what you do, know what your involved in, or even know what scandal you were a part of, they have power in one of these areas. Celebrities are everywhere, from every walk of life, and seen through every type of media. The more they are in , the more power is possible.
We see celebrities like Charlie Sheen who has been involved in some risky business. He has been involved with porn stars, cocaine, and even got fired from his last gig. Do you think that he has power? Of course he does. Sheen may have done some terrible things but people know his name. People want to know what he is doing. Hell, people out there are probably wondering “what kind of underwear is Charlie wearing today?” Does that mean that he has power? Yes it does.
Think of it this way. If any celebrity out there, pick any one you would like, no matter how big or small, came up to you and introduced themselves. Would your heart race a little? Would you ask for their autograph? Would you be worried about saying the wrong thing? Would you walk away from the conversation hoping they liked you? Would you go home to your friends and family and tell them how awesome or even how terrible meeting this person was? Then that celebrity has done their job. They have gained their power over you. They have another person talking about them, another person spreading their name, another person spreading their brand. This is a power that most, if not all celebrities, have that most normal people do not.
Do we put too much stake into what celebrities think, feel, and do? I would say yes. But who has the power to change that? The celebrities do.
I don’t see them giving that up anytime soon.