Millennials have been positioned as a fame-hungry generation for years, and have developed a reputation for wanting 15-minutes in the spotlight whether or not they have any talent. But how true is the idea that the generation prioritizes being famous? When we asked 14-29-year-olds for their thoughts on fame, we got a much more complex picture of their desires:
Overall 51% of Millennials say they would not want to be famous. True, at first glance that means that 49% of the generation would like a life of fame, but for Millennials over 18-years-old that number drops to 43%, and only 37% of Millennials 25-29 say they would want to be famous; indicating that some of the Millennial fame myth could be wrapped up in a youthful desire for notoriety. When they were younger, fame carried more weight, and as Millennials have aged it has become less appealing. But the negative opinion of the generation that gained traction when they were younger and more fame hungry is still shaping the conversation about them. Joel Stein’s infamous 2013 “Me, Me, Me Generation” Time Magazine article on Millennials referenced a 2007 study that found middle school girls would rather grow up to be a famous person than a Senator, which doesn’t exactly give a current and full picture of the entire generation’s stance on the subject. The allure of fame might have also faded in the last few years as they have been exposed to the onslaught of tabloid culture and a series of celebrity meltdowns. Female Millennials are less likely than male Millennials to idealize fame, with 57% saying they wouldn’t want to be famous. The lack of privacy was the number one reason named by those who said they did not desire fame.