Do you remember the time when everybody was singing the oops!…i did it again song?  Or when everybody was trying to memorize the Slim Shady’s rap lyrics? May I have your attention please when the real slim shady please stand up!

Britney Spears Oops!...i did it again Album Cover


Well, I remembered those times like if they were yesterday. I had all my room covered in Bop andTiger Beats posters. As soon as I got back from school, I used to turn on my TV in order to see  Britney’s latest video on MTV. I used to try for hours to get online on a Dial-up connection in order to look online Eminem’s lyrics. I used to watched MTV and E! Entertainment all the time. Every time I went out with my dad, I used to ask him to buy me a new CD whether from the Backstreet boys or from Christina Aguilera. When my mom came back from doing grocery shopping, she used to tell me: “Andrea! I bought you the latest Bop magazine.” When the Backstreet boys came to Panama, I was so excited about it. I remember my mom and my dad went with me to their concert because they liked them too.  It was a mania, a sensation that led thousands of young teens like me to want fame and popularity in order to look just like our idols. I wanted to dance, dress and look like Britney even thought I am not blonde.




Now that I look back in the days when I was a kid and a teenager, I was always wanting to be like all these artists and

HBO Series Entourage

stars because of the way mass media was selling them to me. Every year, teachers used to ask their students what occupation would they like to be when they grow up. I used to answer a doctor, but what I really did was to picture myself like a famous artist just like the Pussycat dolls song “When I grow up”. I didn’t want to sing because I love singing, or start taking dance classes because I love dancing. I wanted to sing and dance because I wanted to achieve fame in order to be the center of attention just like my idols. Seeing shows like MTV Cribs or E! countdowns like Forbes 20 Under 25: Young, Rich and Famous made me think in fame and money. I have realized how all this celebs world sold by media affects teenagers. Adrian Grenier, American actor and director, noticed it when a fourteen year old kid named Austin Visschedyk approached to him in order to take him a picture. He first thought he was a fan, but when Austin pulled out a professional camera, and began taking a lot of shots like a paparazzi. Grenier realized the kid was more than just a fan.  Grenier says:

He was just this little innocent kid who approached me for a picture. And at first I bliged, thinking he was a fan. The picture changed quickly, though. When he pulled out a camera probably twice the size of his head, and ‘sprayed’ me with about 30 flash shots, I realized quickly that he was not just a fan, but something maybe more sinister.




Austin Visschedyk & Adrian Grenier in Teenage Paparazzo

Grenier is most well known not for the movie he played with Melissa Joan-Heart called Drive Me Crazy, but for his leading role on the HBO series Entourage.


In Entourage, he plays a fictional movie star Vincent Chase, whose every move gets tracked by a pack of paparazzi. Performing this role in Entourage, and had experienced a paparazzi attack by a 14 year old teenager inspired him to direct a documentary called Teenage Paparazzo.




How can the celebrity world affect the young minds of teenagers?

Teenage Paparazzo


Teenage Paparazzo anwers that question bringing out how teenagers view the celebrity world, and how can it affect their goals. According to Jake Halpern’s book Fame Junkies school and high school students whether they’d rather be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a president of a college, a Navy Seal, or an assistant to a celebrity. The result was 42% of the students want to be a celebrity’s assistance. Halpern says:

 That was twice as much as [the percentage who wanted to be] president of Harvard or Yale, three times as much as a U.S. senator, four times as much as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Those numbers say a lot about how American teens see the celebrity lifestyle.  They put such a premium on fame that they’re willing to give up some of the most coveted jobs in America just to be the bag-carrier to the celebrity.


The National Public Radio interviewed Adrian Grenier on their morning edition. During his interview From A ‘Teenage Paparazzo,’ A Lesson About Fame how easy is to criticize celebrity culture, and just like to jeer at paparazzi, to dismiss them as parasites. He says:

“For a long time in our culture, there was an emphasis put on working hard [and] contributing to your society. Now it’s not about that anymore. It’s about the bling and how quickly you can get it without working. Being performers, that’s what we do: We put on shows and want people to watch, so it is ironic to, you know, suddenly expect people to stop watching.”




Adrian Grenier in Teenage Paparazzo


In order to give his documentary a more realistic twist, Grenier interviewed celebrities like Paris Hilton, Whoopie Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, and Matt Damon.   During the role of the documentary, Grenier starts to hang out with Paris Hilton in order to attract paparazzis attention. Actor Matt Damon gives his point saying:

My story is kind of a boring one,” Damon says in the film. “It’s a ‘He’s married and he’s got kids and that’s it.’ As long as I don’t do anything to update that story, all they do is grab a picture every once in a while and kind of update the file — ‘Yep, still married, still happy, still boring.’




Adrian Grenier & Paris Hilton in Teenage Paparazzo


 Teenage Paparazzo has not only being a documentary to Adrian Grenier, but has also been a learning experience.

I think anybody who’s famous has to deal with their fame in their own way,” Grenier says, “and I dealt with it by making a film about a kid who’s looking out into the world of celebrity obsession. And this was my way of reconciling this fame experience, and also trying to take responsibility. And I think anytime you spend time to find empathy for another group, there’s a great sense of empowerment in that.
Adrian Grenier

Adrian Grenier in Teenage Paparazzo

Teenage Paparazzo premiered on HBO last September 27. According to HBO’s TV guide it will be air back again on October 24th. You can also check out his Twitter interview Adrian Grenier Turns Camera on Paparazzi in HBO Documentary with Mark Glaser on MediaShift.

For being to attach to what media sells to us like celebs gossips, we have forgotten things that we should really take into account into our lives: family. Media should start encouraging young teenagers to look for an occupation that would inspire love and passion to them. Because that’s ones of the keys for happiness in life to love what you do or work for in life.