My Dad Is Hugely Famous — & It's Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Photo: Courtesy of Grayson Wilder.
Before I preach to you, let me introduce myself: Hello world, my name is Corinne Foxx, recent college grad, pilates enthusiast, pizza connoisseur, and, yeah, daughter of a celebrity. Growing up in Hollywood, as the daughter of an Oscar winner, I feel as though people imagine my childhood being filled with yachts, shopping sprees, premieres, lavish dinner parties, and a whole bunch of nannies. Boy, I wish it was as fabulous as you all imagined it. Sorry to disappoint, but I was an incredibly boring child 99% of the time. I was more interested in cheer practice, angsty YA books, part-time jobs (I used to work at Victoria’s Secret in the mall…anyone need a bra fit?), writing short stories alone in my bedroom, and binge-watching Gossip Girl. Sounds glamorous, right? However, on the off day that there was some special event, I did get to use an all-access unfiltered pass to glance into the lives of Hollywood’s elite — and what I’ve seen over the years might surprise you.
Los Angeles is a beautiful place. It’s filled with talented artists, eager to collaborate and brainstorm to create mesmerising works of art that capture peoples’ attention. For me, it was like going to the zoo. I was like a fly on the wall, in the studio with Justin Timberlake, or on a movie set with Leonardo DiCaprio, or watching my dad come up with a brand new television show on the spot. Growing up, these people inspired to me to risk anything for what I love and to realise that the only thing holding me back was myself. But as I got older, I began to notice a shift in Hollywood. The place that I once saw as magical was saturated with greed.
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Over the past few years, there has been a great evolution in what makes you “famous.” Fame seems attainable to anyone with an Instagram account and great camera. It seems like you can measure fame by counting follower counts and social media impressions. My peers were no longer idolising the artists that I grew up loving but, instead, people purely seeking fame and wealth. They would say, “Oh I would do anything to be famous.” Statements like those would baffle me. In my mind, my father never pursued fame explicitly; he pursued his passions and his love for the job. The thought of doing something just to receive baseless recognition made little sense to me. What would you do with the fame you achieved purely for fame's sake? Did you just want millions of people to be admiring you for no reason? Do you even know what you’re getting yourself into? Then, I realised that they didn't understand the reality of fame. On social media, it looks charming, easy, and desirable. But, I knew, first hand, that fame was a double-edged sword.

The place that I once saw as magical was saturated with greed.

Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence, and George Clooney have all expressed their distaste for fame. It makes everyday life almost impossible. In order to keep any form of privacy, you have to become a recluse. If you're not hiding in your home, you must accept that everything you wear, eat, say, believe, love, and support is free game to be criticised. Sure, you may have millions of people who claim to love you; but that comes with millions of people who hate you — for reasons beyond your control. If my dad wants to see me perform in a play or attend my college graduation, he has to come late, sit in the back, wear a scarf around his face, before leaving early. If my dad wants to walk down the street, he has to be aware that he could be photographed. If my dad wants to write a joke for his new movie, he has to be prepared that it could be spun the wrong way and make national news. Even for me (please note: I am nowhere near any sort of fame), I constantly wonder if people want to genuinely be my friend or just want me to tag them in an Instagram one day.
Now, I know most people are rolling their eyes and thinking, “Oh what a terrible life to live! Celebrities have fame and fortune — they can take a damn photo!” Yes, I agree. Fame has an abundance of perks that are unparalleled and bountiful. It would be absolutely wrong to ignore the blessings of celebrities. My point is: fame should not be the goal. It’s all about your intentions, your authenticity, and your expectations. You can crave success in your art form, without seeking meaningless fame. Trust me: it looks pretty on the outside, but any of these celebrities would love just one day without it. A day to do their craft and just go home.
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I constantly wonder if people want to genuinely be my friend or just want me to tag them in an Instagram one day.

So when I see my peers idolising these fame-obsessed personalities, I can’t relate. For me, fame could only be tolerable when it is rooted in your craft. You can deal with the social media bashing, paparazzi stalkers, lies made national news, dehumanisation, and isolation, only if you are doing what you truly love: your art. Blindly chasing fame will only lead to disappointment. There will always be someone with more followers than you (unless you’re Selena Gomez), someone who dresses better than you, someone who is more interesting than you, someone who is hotter than you right now. There is little chance for feeling completely fulfilled with a life built around acquiring fame. You’ll quickly find yourself on a hamster wheel, running wild until you just give out. It often becomes a dark trap that consumes you with greed, envy, and vanity. From my perspective, the best way to handle the pressures of fame is to take it all with a grain of salt, use it for the greater good, and always remember why you wanted to be in the entertainment industry in the first place.
Despite everything, I still believe Los Angeles is a beautiful place. Dreams do come true here. With pure intentions, determination, and little bit of luck, you can become whoever you want to be. But, be conscious that fame is not validation for your craft. At times, fame can even be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So it is not about how far you go, but what you give to the world while you’re on the way. Keep writing, keep dancing, keep acting, keep singing, keep making music and films. Fame is fleeting, but nothing can take away your art.
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