Note to celebrities and the wannabes: Just because you are famous does not mean you are liked or loved.
Seeing last night's news brought home this message: Apparently, three celebrities have engaged with accounts that have posted negative comments in their respective social media spaces - Regine Velasquez-Alcacid, Sharon Cuneta and Lea Salonga.
Regine (and husband Ogie Alcasid) bristled at comments directed at their firstborn.
Sharon reacted to comments about daughter KC and Piolo's kaput relationship, hinting that it may have been fans of Piolo doing the "bashing".
Lea, I'm not sure what negative thing is there to say about her (I find her charming and appealing, aside from the talent, that is undoubtedly there), but she shot back by saying those who have ugly things to say should at least correct their grammar and spelling before shooting off poison.
But I do have to say this, ladies: When you are out there the way you three are - and I think this trio makes a case for really famous, talented and successful artists - and engaging the public a little more intimately with the help of social media, you do realize that not all your press will be good, right?
I agree that many of these "negative vibes" are senseless and useless, but the fact remains that just because everyone knows you as the girl who practiced singing in a water-filled drum, Gabby Concepcion's ka-love team forever, or Miss Saigon, does not mean people will respond positively, much less adore and love you.
It happens to be human nature, as well as individual personality traits being different.
(1) The term I learned in my first literature class in college that has stuck with me to this day - schadenfreude - has persisted in my mind precisely because it is so undeniably pervasive: Even though no human wants to admit it bald faced, we secretly laugh/ridicule/snicker in glee when someone who is deemed "successful" by whatever standards of the day there are is suddenly experiencing a misfortune/a bad run/tragic news.
It may be envy/jealousy, but I also believe that it is a way to connect with people who always seem so far off from our own life experiences, be it their billions in bank accounts, or extravagant social parties, or impeccable free passes given because of their stature/fame/power. These beings are seen as other worldly, and the vernacular captures it quite nicely, di na maabot (literally "cannot be reached"), and when they ingloriously fall off their perceived pedestals, screaming, kicking and fighting with someone or retaliating nasty comments in cyberspace, it is an assurance that somehow, we are all still equals. Tao pa rin kayo. (You are still human.)
(2) Personally, I'm not a fan of perkiness: something about it strikes me as hypocritical, as if you're trying to compensate for some sinister motive lurking in your subconscious. However, showbiz and popular media love these "engaging" characters. So I think popular people who fall in this mold are truly surprised when they have not-so-nice feedback and comments because as far as they know, they have been playing to the crowd and giving them what they want.
So it really depends on the person: some may find those overly concerned with their hair or makeup as shallow, while for others, it is something to aspire to. Whatever it is, you can be sure that not everyone will be unanimous in perceiving it as positive or likable. This is a fact of life: Live with it.
Last I heard, Sharon is quitting from Twitter. Which is probably best, if she wants to maintain some semblance of order in a probably frenzy-filled, fast paced work life. The moment you expose yourself in media like Facebook, be prepared to get both good and bad remarks.
That's just the way life is.
The important rules are the same, whoever you are, wherever you are.
Celebrity or mortal.