Some say Germany lacks a celebrity culture of the kind that exists in the United States – an egalitarian world-view and a dose of intellectual snobbery means that the cult of fame has never taken off here in the same way. All to the good, you might think, if you’ve been dismayed by the trials of the ‘famous for being famous’ Hiltons, Lohans and Richies of this world. But the founding editor of German Vanity Fair, Ulf Poschardt, tells the New York Times that a dose of celebrity is just what Germany needs:
I think we need to create our own independent sense of glamour, not self-consciously, but because we should stop this superegalitarianism and be more open to difference. I donít mean we should have pomp, but the state here has the power to make everyone the same. Itís a democratic ideal, but it was also a fascist idea.
Poschardt is quoted in an article by Michael Kimmelman profiling a show of papparazzi pics at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin. Kimmelman makes the point that Newton, whose photos of models pretending to be celebs being photographed by paps are featured in the exhibition, had a less angsty attitude to celebrity than most Germans, “but then, he spent most of his life in places like Los Angeles and Monaco, not Germany.”