Back in the day, C-list celebrities were actors whose faces people recognized, but no one bothered to remember their names.
Now, the whole celebrity culture is different, and saying that someone is a C lister is a derogatory term. However, there's a new trend on the rise, which sums up all the semi-famous people, and it's called Whodom.
Being a C-list celebrity isn't bad. Every single A-lister was below on the list before that one song, movie, or even fashion campaign.
Yet, the rise of social media made things way more complex, so you have people who are famous for being famous taking places of A-listers. Similarly, you have amazing artists who want to stay comfortably on their C list.
C to Z celebrities in the age of social media created a new term - Whodom. It's when you're enjoying a good gossip magazine, yet every now and then, you're like, "Who?".
It often turns out that the person you know nothing about has millions of followers and is present everywhere.
We cannot blame social media exclusively. We're all guilty of watching reality TV, and some people from these shows managed to become proper celebrities.
To understand how much celebrity changed, we need to explain the origin of this A, B, C list celebrities scale.
A journalist, James Ulmer, made a scale of bankability and turned it into a book, which measures all that movie investors need to know about the projects.
It's an analysis of how people react to certain names. Also, it answers if that star will promote the movie, will they be nice to their fans, how messy are their love lives, etc.
Though the Ulmer scale makes it easier for those in the industry today, it means much less than 20 years ago.
It's not about who but what
Instead of focusing on people in grey suits, remember that box office success and sold-out arenas determine who is an A-lister and who are C list celebrities.
Eventually, every famous person has a certain value, like any other product.
That's why social media changed everything. People with more followers don't have to have star power. But, if they have loyal fans, they will automatically be more bankable for promoting a project.
C list celebrities make extra income on social media. They go to those events, which end up on page six. Their hustle is real, and it doesn't mean they're not talented. They are simply working on name recognition.
This doesn't mean that A-listers don't promote posts and get paid. But, overall, more Whodom members do it than Angelina Jolies of the world.
Who are C list celebrities?
Take The Bachelor franchise for example. Some of the contestants have over a million followers on Instagram only.
Becca Kufrin is not a household name. Rachel Lindsay is, for most of us, only the first black Bachelorette. However, you can't deny they have fans, supporters. Otherwise, why would the papers write about them?
There are dozens of celebrities from this franchise only. Calling them C-list celebrities is not derogatory because 20, 30 years ago, they wouldn't be on our radars once their time on the show was over.
Now, when you look at all realities, all the models, front row personalities, actors who basically did one show, it makes a list of C listers quite long.
Dating an A+ lister will give you a certain star power. Marring into a famous family or to a famous person will do the same. But, you will always be known first and foremost as a person married to that someone. Or, you will forever be known as The Bachelor/ette number 101.
When you hang out with a celebrity, you're no longer a stranger to the public.
Best friends, makeup artists, stylists have their names attached to someone pretty famous. That, by proxy, makes them semi-celebrities.
Jonathan Cheban has over 3,5 million Instagram followers. Still, most of us know him as Kim Kardashian's BFF and nothing more.
Meghan Markle's makeup artist is Daniel Martin, a Dior Brand Ambassador. Perhaps he generally cares about Meghan, but he's only known as her makeup artist.
There's nothing wrong with people doing their jobs and attaching their names to celebrities. But, often, some do it just to get their ratings up and became celebrities themselves.
C list celebrities as the driving force of nepotism
If your parents are A listers, you'll become famous sooner or later.
Brooklyn Beckham is not a soccer player like his dad. He's not in a band like his mom was. Yet, he's famous enough. We have no idea why, except for being a child of two very famous people.
Some of the famous kids show real potential and earn their place among the stars. But, they have this unfair advantage that they were famous since they were kids.
Dakota Johnson, Lila Grace Moss, Suri Cruise, Emma Roberts, Sara Foster all started because they had famous last names.
Clearly, some of them proved to us that they are above C listers. Others, not so much.
Rita Ora is a British singer. Yet, we know her for the skimpy outfits and lots of nudity on her social media.
Unlike Youtubers, at least she can sing. That brings us to a whole new dimension of celebrities who are famous just because.
Many dated celebrities, like Scott Disick, who is only known as part of the Kardashian family.
Another example are those involved in sex scandals.
Of course, there's a special category for Leo DiCaprio's girlfriends. Yes, they are all models, some more successful than others. But, in a sea of gorgeous women, dating Leo gives you a certain star power.
Whether or not you have a talent is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It's all about finding yourself a spot among the A-listers and tagging yourself on pictures with celebrity pals.
A and B list celebrities who dropped to the C list
Sadly, many child stars end up being at the bottom of the food chain in Hollywood.
Lindsay Lohan was a household name.
Katherine Heigl is making a comeback with her new show, but she went from being A list to C list in no time.
Amanda Bynes is no longer in the public eye, and we all know what happened.
But, it's more than just being a child star. Some adults can't handle fame, like Tara Reid, America's sweetheart, now known as Sharknado actress.
Similarly, Azealia Banks ruined her career because of her big mouth, and potty one at that. Calling Cardi B an 'illiterate, untalented rat' was so wrong.
Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea had her 15 minutes. Now, she's mostly known as a one-hit-wonder.
Jesse McCartney was every teenager's dream, but that was almost 20 years ago.
Frankie Muniz was fantastic in Malcolm in The Middle, but admit it: you forgot his name, but not the show.
90210, the O.C., Gossip Girl, brought us some fresh, attractive faces. Most of them never got a chance to shine outside their TV shows' bubbles.
Nick Lachey, Jenny McCarthy, Giovanni Ribisi have nothing in common apart from the fact that they were once A-listers. Now, not so much.
Fame's short. If you aren't always in the media and always working on something, that C list status soon turns not just to Whomdom but to "why are we talking about them?".
The Wholebrity world
The Who, and the why, also how and again why: it's the best way to describe how we feel during fashion weeks, store openings, and afterparties.
Wholebrity is a celebrity who is still unknown, yet the presence is increasing. Their address is Whodom, and if you're enjoying the social media, soon, you'll find them more and more intriguing.
Many are proofs that you can be famous for your eyebrows. What's unfair is that those with zero talent are rated similarly to those who have something to show.
Should we add the whole alphabet or drop these ratings?
Whether we should consider making stronger criteria and introduce the whole alphabet or let things be is debatable.
The only people safe in the fame game are A+ celebrities, most of them deceased.
As for the B or C list celebrities, the line's thin. One person's wholebrity is another's fashion icon.
A-listers mostly reply with "no comment." However, their publicists, "BFFs," and other sources will tell you everything you need to know.
B and especially C listers like to talk. They share their lives on Instagram stories and drop names, labels, etc., just to get a headline.
Yet, despite all the similarities between C listers, we need to understand that some people simply do have talents. Being a content creator for your Instagram isn't quite the same as going to drama schools or playing the piano since you were 5.
One's pure luck. The other is talent and work, and that's why this whole thing about celebrities... sucks!