The Bling Ring is a hot summer movie right now and is inspired by actual events. Written and directed by the famous Sofia Coppola, who also directed The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. The movie is based of an article that was published in Vanity Fair entitled “The Suspects Wore Louboutins.” The movie tells the story of a couple of young women and one young man who rob celebrities’ homes in Hollywood Hills. I remembered hearing about the Hollywood Hills robberies a couple of years ago, and I knew that I loved Sofia Coppola’s work in the past, so I was excited to see this movie. By the end of the movie I was surprised how much I was almost bothered by the film, and couldn’t stop thinking: just how obsessed is our culture with celebrities and fame?
The “ring leader” in the film, played by Katie Chang (the film also stars Emma Watson) is not only obsessed celebrities, but with clothing labels and the lifestyle of the rich and the famous. When being detained and questioned about the robberies she only cares about what Lindsay Lohan thought about the robberies. “The Bling Ring” (the name the teens were dubbed) stole from Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and Audrina Patdrige. The teens stole millions of dollars worth of clothes, jewelry and cash. In the film they use that money to live like celebreties, attending clubs that celebrities frequent, buying bottles of alcohol, and doing a lot of drugs. So, not only are these teens obsessed with Louboutins and Birkins, but they are obsessed with the lifestyle. Just how far will someone go to get that lifestyle? Apparently rob famous people, wear their clothes and spend their money. It makes my stomach turn. I can’t even lie when someone gives me the incorrect change, and these teens were stealing almost without remorse.
Carin Flora writes in Psychology Today, “Stars live in another world entirely, one that makes our lives seem woefully dull by comparison” (“Seeing by Starlight: Celebrity Obsession”). Maybe that is why these teens decided to rob; they were simply bored with their own everyday lives. Flora also writes, “The real celebrity spinmeister is our own mind, which tricks us into believing the stars are our lovers and our social intimates.” By stealing from celebrities “The Bling Ring” felt closer to their icons, maybe even thinking that they were somehow friends with these celebrities. Our celebrity obsessed culture does not even present young ladies with very many “good” icons. Looking up to Lindsay Lohan is not exactly what you would want for your young, impressionable child.
Once you watch this movie you will also see just how silly “The Bling Ring” sounds. It almost feels like Coppola is mocking the people behind the Hollywood Hills burglaries, but then you realize that there are actually people who are this obsessed with famous people. All in all, the movie is an eye-opener: young people, and even older people, become obsessed with celebrities and “The Bling Ring’s” obsession landed them in jail. It still boggles my mind that one could be so obsessed to risk going to jail for an illegal hangout in Paris Hilton’s mansion.
I think it is important to know the boundary between reality and falsity. “Reality” TV blurs this line, and today it is even harder to know what exactly it takes to be famous, because it really is not based on talent anymore. I think every young lady should see The Bling Ring, just so they can see how important it is to stay grounded, be thankful for what you have, and know that only hard work will truly get you what you want in life.