Above: Natalie Manuel Lee, host of the upcoming new Hillsong Channel TV show ‘Now With Natalie’.
After a week of ogling celebrities at the Oscars, and seeing who gets those prized golden statues, it’s worth considering the realities of fame.
In Hillsong Channel’s new six-part TV series Now with Natalie, fashion stylist and show host Natalie Manuel Lee interviews some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names – many of them people of faith – to break down false ideas of identity and purpose sold to us by popular culture.
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Guests include model and TV personality Hailey Baldwin Bieber (famously the wife of Justin Bieber), LA Lakers basketball star Tyson Chandler, former Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland, fashion designer Jerry Lorenzo and others.
“In actual reality the one that validates us is the one that created us.” ~ Natalie Manuel Lee
Speaking to Hope 103.2, Natalie said, “We have an epidemic right now of anxiety and depression… Some of us don’t realise that we’re being sold this counterfeit [version of] identity and purpose that tells us that what you do defines you, that the money in your account, the car that you drive, the clothes that you wear make your stake in the ground. And that’s a complete and utter false narrative.”
A lot of that narrative is driven by our perception of the lives of the famous, and the ideal world onlookers believe they operate in.
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LA Laker Tyson Chandler, who appears on the show, says that with fame, “You have to become what the masses want you to become to stay famous. And what the masses want you to become is something that we’re never intended to be, and is not necessarily attainable.”
Now with Natalie pulls the veil back on famous lifestyles we idolise, showing some of the truth behind them and why society’s so drawn to fame.
“We think our value is in how many people validate us,” said Natalie, “and in how many followers we have. In actual reality the one that validates us is the one that created us. Fame is alluring because you get people who give you that check mark and want to follow you, but that’s not the goal in life.”
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The influence of social media on our mass identity crisis is also discussed in the show, with supermodel Hailey Bieber (nee Baldwin) weighing into the conversation.
“I think the biggest thing I’ve struggled with is I compare myself to people a lot.” Hailey said. “It’s not that people expect anything, it’s just that I don’t want to disappoint the family that I come from,” said Hailey. “I don’t want to be this ‘train wreck’ to anybody. It’s about carrying the name in a positive way.”
“God took His time to create me and put me in this place… you’re enough because He created you.”
~ Hailey Bieber
Hailey continued, “I think every person has had that feeling that they’re not enough [but] when I question that in myself [I remind myself]: ‘you are – because God took His time to create me and put me in this place… that’s your answer right here: you’re enough because He created you.”
The new season of Now with Natalie premiers on the Hillsong Channel on March 3.
Hillsong Channel is available in Australia via Foxtel, Fetch TV, and Hillsong Channel NOW