Celebrity is everywhere, yet it seems to have less and less meaning. Elizabeth Taylor's face will forever remain iconic, just as her name will remain synonymous with the words Movie Star. Yesterday the world lost one of its brightest shining stars. In a time when reality television makes celebrities out of contestants, and anyone, anywhere has the ability to follow a “star’s” twitter feed, or watch movies on their hand-held devices, the era of the larger-than-life movie star is gone forever. Taylor was the product of another era - a woman who grew up in the spotlight, and lived under the weight of the enormity of her fame since childhood. When mediums and tastes changed, she didn’t recede into obscurity or use her celebrity for personal gain, rather she wielded her celebrity like a weapon, bravely and unwaveringly speaking out for people with AIDS when no one else would do it - when it was wildly unpopular. She fought tirelessly for AIDS awareness, leaving AMFAR as her legacy, an organization that couldn’t have happened without her. She was a beacon of glamor, humanitarianism, and compassion. She saved lives, she made people feel loved, she made a difference.
I’m not sad because a dazzlingly beautiful academy award winning movie star died. I’m not sad because the death of this great lady is a reminder of the impermanence of beauty and of the inevitability of decay. I’m sad because without the presence of this unique, shining spirit – the world is a little less vibrant today, a little less hopeful.