When people ask what I do for a living I answer, “I’m a freelance writer.” Nine times out of ten, the follow-up question is, “What do you write?” This is where it gets interesting. When I answer “mostly celebrity gossip,” they either look at me and say “that’s interesting” or they inquire more in-depth. I will then go into an almost rehearsed speech at this point where I explain that the bulk of my writing focuses on reality television, mainly Teen Mom and that I fell into by accident.
I truly did.
My first freelance job was in 2009 and I was (well, still am for that site) a pop culture writer. The bulk of my material centered around Miley Cyrus as that was around the time she was quitting Hannah Montana and doing outrageous things that the public loves to read about.
And that is the point. The public doesn’t want to read about a celebrity having a great day or doing something good. Rather, the public wants the negativity, the drama. They want to hear about drug problems, rehab, scandals. I suppose it is their way to look at celebrities and say, “See, they aren’t so perfect.”
Not every story I have ever written has been completely positive; I would be lying if I said it was. There was a time I fed into the drama because, well, more drama equals more views. However, there came a point when I realized that celebrities may be rich and famous, but they are also human beings. I think it hit me most when I started covering Teen Mom 2 extensively.
Like these girls, I was a young single mom. While I was older than any of them, I could still relate to their struggles. Then, I would log onto social networking and see the immense hate that these girls were receiving for living their lives. Were they perfect? No, but was the public seeing everything exactly how it was? Again, no. There is so much editing that goes into reality television that people don’t take into consideration. Rather, they see that the show is a “reality show” and assume that everything is “real.”
It’s not. And that is why I chose to take a positive approach to celebrity gossip writing. Has it always gone over well? Definitely not. However, it has helped me to appreciate people more and has even helped me to have the opportunity to chat with some of the girls. It always makes me smile when one of the Teen Mom girls will “favorite” or “retweet” an article of mine. It makes me proud to know that they appreciate what I wrote about them; They didn’t have to take the time to even look at what I wrote, but for a second they did and they liked it. That always makes me feel like I am doing a great job at staying positive.