There was an outpour of support when Ylona Garcia, Kapamilya star and Pinoy Big Brother alum, posted a selfie in a McDonald’s uniform on her Instagram and Twitter. In her caption, she revealed that she decided to start working as a service crew member at a McDonald’s branch in Sydney, Australia, where she was born and raised.
In response to her update, many expressed their surprise and praised her for being humble and taking on a job outside of showbiz, one in the foodservice industry at that. Her comment sections are filled with awe at her decision to work a “regular job” despite her fame.
What’s Special About It?
It’s not really surprising that Ylona, with her huge platform and loyal following, is being talked about for her post. After all, it is news to her fans that she took a job doing something other than performing.
But as netizens celebrate her decision and even go so far as to call her inspirational for taking the job, it poses the question of why we’re so fascinated with celebrities for getting service industry or blue-collar jobs in the first place?
We saw a similar response a few months ago when Jinri Park, another PBB alum, revealed that she was now a waitress in Australia. And again a couple of weeks ago when the public assumed that Eric Fructuoso, who was a member of the boy band Gwapings, started working as a tricycle driver after his Instagram post went viral.
The support from Ylona’s fans is understandable. But the fact that she is seen as brave and inspirational while millions of Filipinos who are also food service workers are being looked down on every day just shows how much the public puts celebrities on a pedestal.
Entertainment news like these are often talked about without acknowledging that how admirable a situation is to people is often informed by class and influence. When stars with that kind of fame or money do “normal” and “everyday” jobs, it’s romanticized and deemed heroic. Otherwise, these occupations and the workers that have them are often just taken for granted.
There’s nothing wrong with fans liking that their favorite celebrity is working a “regular” job and expressing support for those decisions, of course. But it’s always worth remembering that portraying them as an icon of humility and hard work because of that choice without acknowledging the double standards present just isn’t the way to go.