Friday, July 24, 2009

Charisma & The Importance of Fame

One of the core needs of human beings is to be recognized and seen as significant. No one really wants to live in obscurity feeling that she has not contributed to society in some way. It would be a misnomer to say that the need for recognition is new, but the level and scope is a recent phenomenon. The social dynamics in a rapidly changing world made it acceptable for individuals to become self-promoters, although in some sense the stigma still remains. In the past, society frowned on the person who talked insatiably about himself and what he could do. However, the person who commands the spotlight and captures the imagination of people usually finds a place in their hearts. One person in recent history is given credit for spawning the likes of the many figures we adore today. The professional wrestler, Gorgeous George, who flourished from the late 1940's to the early 1960s, was the original sports figure who is credited for the likes of Muhammad Ali, Little Richard, Liberace and the popularity of today's wrestling. Gorgeous George competed for years as George Wagner with very little success. He was seen as plain and a less than average wrestler. George almost gave up wrestling until he came up with a marketing plan that would change his career and the face of sports forever. George grew his hair long, dying it blond and wearing gold-plated bobby pins with elaborate robes. He entered the ring escorted by a valet who sprayed his corner and his opponent's with disinfectant and perfume. He is given credit as the originator of using entrance music preferring "Pomp and Circumstance," which has become popular in many arenas including public speaking and professional wrestling . Through Gorgeous George's antics, he created a frenzy that brought people out in droves to witness his theatrics. What made him successful? He was a self-created character in the "theater of the absurd," which struck a chord with people because it captured their imagination through shear audacity. The world has rewritten the parable, "the meek shall inherit the earth" to "the bold and courageous shall inherit the earth."

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