Supporting Friends Vs Supporting Celebrities

From life experience and via the gift of discernment, I've come to the realization that many of us do not have friends. They keyword is friends. There is a difference between a friend and an associate. I state this because of the culture of competition, and lack of support that is plaguing our society like Moses in Egypt.

I came across a status that questioned why people supported celebrities over their friends. This is a topic I'm very passionate about as a small online business owner and a supporter of small businesses and grassroots community programs and projects.

As I went through the comments I saw a lot of, what I took as, excuses and arrogant ignorance. Some commenters vehemently stated that they support celebrities because they're guaranteed to receive quality products and great service. Some stated that their friends have janky products and service and they did not want to support. I forgot to mention the GoFundMe aspect in my video, but I also saw people responding that friends had no right to be expecting "hand outs".

While celebrities and even big corporations and businesses maintain the wealth and resources to produce the best, top notch quality products for their consumers, many go the cheap route especially when it comes to mass producing. Purchasing wholesale products that are cheaply made, some even having products made in child labor camps. Celebrity business does not automatically equate to quality products and many celebrities have ran unsuccessful businesses. Kylie Jenner's lipkits have been getting a lot of bad reviews showing that although the million dollar network socialite has the resources to put out top notch quality products. many consumers have complaints. Nonetheless, because of her name and fame, people will still support. I bring up these examples of celebrities not to basque in their failure, but to show people that the grass ain't always greener on the Hollywood side. 

I think some support for celebrities also comes from a state of inferiority from some everyday people. Celebrities are placed on pedestals and the masses are basically brainwashed to believe whatever they have to offer is automatically better. I'll even go far to say that in some kind of way, some celebrity obsessed people probably think purchasing items from their "faves" makes them closer to them. On the contrary, folks are who are regular, everyday people can start businesses and their work could be constantly overlooked because they lack the notoriety their celebrity business counterparts have. In my opinion, inferiority complexes in regards to celebrity worship is similar to the science of self-hatred we see with some individuals in the Black community.

This isn't to promote the idea that you shouldn't and can't support celebrities or that celebrities should be ashamed for their status. Hey, if I had a platform, I'd use it to my benefit as well. There's nothing wrong with that. Celebrities have a right to receive support as well. But it's honestly asinine that some of us can get on social media and totally ignore our friends (and peers) who have businesses, walk past small businesses in our neighborhoods, but run to support celebrities. Even with some of the "their products aren't quality" rebuttals, many folks would still not support friends (and peers and small businesses) if they had top notch quality products or would only if they were cosigned by a celebrity or were famous. The belief that just because a business is small, that means their products aren't up to par is extreme ignorance. 

For those who stated their friends have bad service and janky products, as a friend, why not help them improve their business? Again, we're talking about so called friends here, not random folk from the streets, friends. With all the (free) resources you can find on the internet, why can't folks encourage their friends to seek better information for their businesses instead of automatically giving up on them? I understand that honestly, everyone is not going to be a business owner, some people are not good for the job, but the lack of faith people had towards their "friends" in the comment section was telling. I don't want to state that everyone is a "hater" or jealous, but I can't help but to notice this culture of competition especially through social media, even between so called "friends". On another hand, it could just be ignorance and a failure mentality of certain individuals. 

One excuse even stated "I don't need the services." Why be selfish? It's not about you, it's about your friend. A donation won't suffice? A share on Facebook isn't helpful? Passing out flyers? Referrals to those who do need the service? Your lack of interest in a topic or lack of necessity for a product does not mean you should not support a friend who does have interest in it. There are so many different ways to support, even without money.

In regards to the comments about GoFundMe, I can't help but to notice every time Black people create a crowd sharing fundraiser, they're told "no handouts" not only by non-Black people with obvious racial biases, but also by other Black people. It's an ignorant, anti-Black assumption that Black people are lazy and beg for their come upins (hence anti-reparations arguments). Racial aspect aside, contrary to anti-researchers beliefs, many businesses have started up with GoFundMe and other crowdfunding apps. Of course these business start ups have had to create impeccable business plans and advertising, but again, that's why the support of a friendship network is needed. People have bills to pay, food to purchase, and families to raise. Everyone doesn't have the funds to start up a business and some don't qualify for small business loans. Of course I'm not encouraging people to give their money to anyone just because they state they're an aspiring small business owner, but asking for donations does not equate to begging for handouts. 

This conversation has reminded me of the importance of having a tribe of positive, educated (not necessarily college educated either), uplifting, open minded people in your circle. This does not mean that they have to cosign everything you do or be "yes men/women". It means they're your motivation and will push you out your comfort zone. It means they'll be honest and inform you when you have made a mistake, provide constructive feedback so you are able to learn and progress. 

It also reminds me that our society is disgustingly in love with grandiose illusions and one dimensional images. I'd like to add that some people also support celebrities because they are a symbol of "success", but why is the definition and image success for many people only categorized as being a celebrity? Why can't success be the neighborhood barber who's barbershop was given to him as an inheritance from his father? Why can't success be the young woman who makes and sells candy on her online website? Success is subjective and it's bothersome and mind boggling that some non-celebrities look at their peers as the antithesis of success when they're in the same position as "regular", everyday folk. How can people arise to this so called level of success if even their friends don't believe in them? Why do we want to beat this idea of success being a necessity, but not embrace the journey it takes to get there? We want everyone to be the "final product" and symbolic of perfection to fit our narrative even if it's false and even if we're far from it. We're in love with the riches and fame of celebrities because it removes us from the everyday life of clocking in to 9-5's, traffic, bills, and relocates us to the fantasy of glitz and glamour, even of behind the smoke screen scenes that weird world is make believe. This is the rat race society married to the psychology of consumer manipulation of emotions in the marketing industry. Clever indeed, keep dangling that cheese. Great Gatsby 2.0. 

As a matter of fact, everyone doesn't want to be on the level of celebrities to be '"successful". If you can only support someone based off how much money and fame they have, that's telling about your character, especially if you happen to be a non-celebrity and not rich. This is why I'm already not here for the "I always knew you was gonna make it", "I'm so proud of you" extra fraud crowd when I get to where I want to be. 

Maybe some of the people commenting do have some janky, thieving friends, but as stated earlier, if that's your friend, why not help them improve, or why are you friends with their thieving behinds to begin with? Maybe some friends aren't cut out to be business owners, but again, why not at least try help them if you haven't already? You never know where someone could go if they're encouraged and pushed to their limit. Business failures do not mean all is lost. It's apart of the journey of being a business owner or entrepreneur and many people we regard as successful have endured this. 

There's a quote that states that people you know won't support you because they fear you will get farther than them in life. That could very well be a huge factor in this situation depending on the individual. To my aspiring and small business owners, I leave you with this advice: keep going. It's true, many times strangers will support you before friends and family. Don't let that stop you or distract you. Accept it as one of the many challenges you will endure on your journey and keep your focus on your goals. Make sure your product is thorough and the quality is the best. Don't rush putting something out just to make announcements. At the end of the day, yes we know, people can and will support whomever they please with their own money, no one is stopping you or shaming you. But if you have an issue with supporting your friend and you're making excuses about it, check your motives and check your character. 

What are other reasons you think people don't support their friends?

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