The most unexpected individual to be shunned by society is a smiling, recognizable face of American television. Shunning has been an integral part of human society from its inception, when man first left behind individual lifestyles and banded together to create the precursors to modern civilization. All cultures, societies, and civilizations contain those that would seem unwanted, which ultimately results in the shunning of individuals. When a community shuns a citizen within it, it is because the said individual has been marked by society, most likely due to their actions or their heritage.
This demarcation of an individual puts them on a pedestal before their peers, on which their actions are constantly monitored. The publicity of celebrity lives often offers a greater chance to be shunned by society. The pitchman of Shamwow and Slap-Chop products, Vince Shlomi, experienced such degradation when he was arrested and publicly humiliated after assaulting a prostitute. It’s an unfortunate occurrence when a once much respected character “falls from grace”. Though shunning may have changed in method, it certainly has not changed in terms of intent or principle over the centuries.
Sexual acts and misconduct have often drawn some of the worst ire from society due to the stigma of sex in most society. This sort of misconduct has been causing shunning since the early 16th century. In the case of Vince Shlomi, it was a sexual and violent misdeed that defaced his fame. Shlomi lost his endorsements after hiring a prostitute and battering her after she “bit his lip and wouldn’t let go” (Huffington).
The prostitute was brutally bludgeoned, and the media took the story by storm. The circumstance caused Shlomi’s downfall.Sexual and/or violent encounters such as this, which draw the eyes of the public can obviously be seen as some of the problems most looked down upon in society. Even in the early years of America’s founding, sexual misdeeds were considered some of the most heinous acts to be committed, especially adultery.
The “sin” that Shlomi committed is worthy of looked down upon because prostitution is considered by many as immoral and sinful, and practically unforgivable. Within Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter, Hester too committed such an act that was thought of as sinful by her Puritan community.Although the instance of Sholmi and the prostitute happened centuries later, the social response was comparable. In both early and modern societies, the shunning of the individual is a community effort with instant and long term effects that change how the world is viewed by those who are shunned. In the case of Shlomi, he first faced arrest with the assault charge (Smoking Gun), in the long run Shlomi lost all credit and ability to go back to his previous career of television advertisement.He has not been in any running commercials since the incident.
As if the public humiliation wasn’t enough, he was then marked as a social pariah. Shlomi has not attempted to regain his social status, and remains shunned. Thus, his status has yet to change. The immoral act committed lead to a fast-paced downfall of popularity, much like Hester’s. In comparison to Hester Prynne, Shlomi’s shunning from society is similar to hers.
Both Shlomi and Hester become social outcasts, and looked at as being sinful.Both took part in sexual misdeeds, thus creating a wall between them, and how they used to be viewed. Sexual misdeeds appear to be the most looked down upon in society, and severely affect a person’s social stigma. Besides the obvious difference of the crime committed, there are differences between Hester and Shlomi worth noting. Unlike Hester, Shlomi wears his sin with shame while Hester embraced it.
“But the point, which drew all eyes, was that scarlet letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom.It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, enclosing her in a sphere by herself (Hawthorne 51). ” While Shlomi is cowardly about his shunning, Hester gained from it. Although being shunned is a negative occurrence in most cases, it can be used positively. Humans have a tendency to shun others, so it’s enhancing to one’s self to embrace it.
It is obvious that there has been little change in society’s actions over the centuries. Humans naturally want to shun the people that aren’t "benefiting" the community.They exclude those who are dishonoring the social “norm”, thus bettering society. The people more commonly shunned in modern society are celebrities.
Any mistake they make induces shunning from the public. The constant monitoring of celebrities’ actions puts them on a constant pedestal. Although these cases of shunning aren’t as common as they used to be, they still appear in society today. So overall, the act of shunning has not changed throughout the centuries, merely the circumstances.