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Famous for being famous, in popular culture terminology, refers to someone who attains celebrity status for no particular identifiable reason, or who achieves fame through association with a celebrity.[1] The term is a pejorative, suggesting that the individual has no particular talents or abilities.[2] Even when their fame arises from a particular talent or action on their part, the term will sometimes still apply if their fame is disproportionate to what they earned through their own talent or work.

Amy Argetsinger, who dubbed the term "famesque", identified Hollywood Squares stars Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joyce Brothers, and Charles Nelson Reilly as early "dawn of TV creations".[3] Argetslinger has also applied the term to athletes like Anna Kournikova and Matt Leinart who have received significant media attention for their looks while having achieved little to no success in their professional athletic careers. [3]

The term has been applied in other ways, for example to tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower.[4][5] Examples include places which have lost their basis for fame, such as the Empire State Building.[5]

Examples of people to whom the term has been notably applied
Person Description
Angelyne[6] Billboard model and one-time candidate for California governor (though at least one source[7] suggests she is not famous enough for this characterization).
Kevin Federline[8] Former husband and back-up-dancer of Britney Spears and father of her children.
Peaches Geldof[9] Primarily famous for being the daughter of Bob Geldof.
Paris Hilton[10] Heiress to the Hilton Worldwide dynasty, who is primarily famous for making many media appearances, and for a sex video.
Kato Kaelin[11] Friend of O.J. Simpson who provided testimony during the O.J. Simpson trial.
Kim Kardashian[12] Famous for being in a sex video and subsequently for her television show Keeping Up with the Kardashians
John F. Kennedy, Jr.[13] Primarily famous for being the son of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, he utilized his name to create the magazine George.
Nicole Richie[8] Mainly famous as Paris Hilton's show-business partner and as the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie.

See also


  1. ^ Jenkins, Joe (2002). Contemporary moral issues. Examining Religions (4, illustrated ed.). Heinemann. pp. 178. ISBN 0435303090, 9780435303099.  
  2. ^ Jones, Jen (2007). Being Famous. Snap Books: 10 Things You Need to Know about. Capstone Press. pp. 20. ISBN 1429601264, 9781429601269.  
  3. ^ a b Argetsinger, Amy (August 10, 2009). "They Must Be Stars Because They Get So Much Press, but What Is It They Do Again?". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-15.  
  4. ^ Anderman, Gunilla M.; Margaret Rogers, Peter Newmark (1999). Word, text, translation: liber amicorum for Peter Newmark. Multilingual Matters. ISBN 1853594601, 9781853594601.  
  5. ^ a b Urry, John (2002). The tourist gaze: Theory, culture & society (Nottingham Trent University. TCS Centre) (2, illustrated ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.. pp. 12. ISBN 0761973478, 9780761973478.  
  6. ^ Look for her pink car in Sacramento -- San Diego Union-Tribune
  7. ^ Sizing Up the Candidates -- San Francisco Chronicle
  8. ^ a b - Transcripts
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "We’ll always have Paris". June 12, 2009. Retrieved Jun. 21, 2009. "[A] girl who is ostensibly famous for being famous, and whose chief achievements seem to be that she is slim, stupid, and swimming in cash... [a] symbol of all that is wrong with materialistic America."  
  11. ^ CBS Sportsline article
  12. ^ "Top 5 Celebrities Famous For...Nothing". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-08-25.  
  13. ^ Famous for being famous -

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