In Audrey Hepburn: Film Star as Event, Brown argues that Hepburn is an event, which is “a spontaneous emergence of novelty” making something that is virtual into the actual (139). With Hepburn numerous factors (rise of consumerism, studios moving to Europe, the Marshall plan) came together to make it possible for her to become a star—all of the right things at the right time for her to spontaneously combust. However, her event was a short, bright burst of virtuality before she faded back to actuality and Brown argues that “the brevity of her career…reaffirms” her as an event (144). The perfect storm allowed her to gain star power.
In contrast The Building of Popular Images: Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, Thomas Harris about how crafted stars are. How their lives, personal and Hollywood, were all crafted by the PR of the studio to work exactly how they wanted to. Today, stars are still highly crafted, highly molded to be a certain image, because really, they are just an image to most of us. And while, it isn’t necessarily the PR of the “studio” it is the actor or musician’s team that crafts them this way.
For example, Taylor Swift is extremely crafted and molded to fit this nice girl, who’s awkward and a dork, but still extremely attractive, and again nice. She contains these contradictions: socially awkward, but hangs out with models or dorky, but attractive. And now, she’s the voice of contemporary pop feminism (pop as in popular, not pop music). Her speech at the grammys was about women getting recognition for their work (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPOPtQIEQt0). She exists in both the virtuality and the actuality. She was “discovered” when she was 16 and became a star for being a singer-song writer. Originally marketed as a country singer and (the country has been fading out of her music since her second album) she is now one of the richest pop stars in the world. However, she and her team of agents and managers have always heavily contrived her image. She seems to be aware of the image she wants people to have on her and a team of people made that happen. Furthermore her stardom, her ability to be a star started as an event and instead of the bright burst like Hepburn and she has contrived and controlled her image tightly by her own PR team, which has allowed her to maintain stardom.