Celeb Obsession

What is the Buzz about?

It is not much of a secret that many Americans have developed an incredible fascination towards celebrities. This has become more and more the case in recent years as this interests in others' lives becomes more dominant and widespread. Most Americans either know someone or are someone who is completely engrossed in the lives of celebrities, almost as if they were divine or supernatural beings in their appeal. Knowing about the latest highlights like parties, weddings, pregnancies, divorces, clothes, and every last minute detail has become for many people a very important part of their lives—often times as important, if not more, than keeping up with world and political affairs which more directly impact each American's life. The evidence for the craze is apparent everywhere we look; it is in the tabloids at the supermarket before checkout and on TV and the Internet. So why is it that our society has become this way? 

Are we crazy?


The world of celebrities has come crashing down into the world of many modern lives, and in fact it is taking up more and more space in today's society, demanding more room and attention as the fascination grows bigger. People live vicariously through the lives of the famous and instead of talking about ourselves we now discuss celebrity lives. In fact, according to some, this craze is putting celebrities at the forefront of our minds even before those normal, non-famous people we can actually interact with. 


There are several different theories for why Americans are enamored with celebrities, but perhaps there is truth in all of them. One idea that certainly makes sense is the advancement of technology and the Internet. Technology and the Internet have made it much easier for people to become closer and more familiar with the famous. Now, we can follow them on Twitter and Instagram, get celebrity news alerts sent straight to our phones, and look up any detail online that we want—from the height, weight, age, and history of a celebrity. Big events in an important celebrity's life even make international news quite often. Although this is, perhaps, an outlet to the frenzy, feeding many American's addictions, there has to be more to it than just how easy it is to get information about singers and movie stars. Some people may argue that we are more interested in celebrities because of all of the ways we are now exposed to them—and others argue that the demand arose before the supply. People magazine sprung up during the 70s, and in the 90s it along with Entertainment Tonight were our only primary windows into the lives of celebrities. It is true, of course, that people have always been interested by the rich and famous, often seeing them to some degree or another as royalty, such as Elvis, the Beatles, or Marilyn Monroe. That interest exploded over the change of the century, however, as suddenly that interest was thrown wide open and a whole host of other tabloid magazines and TV shows came unto the scene. If you want to keep up with your favorite celebrities, get a subscription to one of these Time Warner Cable Packages.

Love Appeals

Celebrities are viewed, among many, as gods or idols and given that they are endowed with such a great degree of prestige it is no wonder that so many people are interested in their lives. With their flawless faces and bodies (until a magazine comes up with the scoop on a few extra pounds or plastic surgery) amazing mansions, brilliant cars, and names that everyone across the country knows—they have transcended the average, ordinary human life. We want to know when celebrities hook up and of course then the hybrid nicknames, like “Brangelina” become virtually as famous as the individuals themselves. We want all of the details about the wedding gown, and then the children, and then the divorce. Why not? Everyone is talking about them everywhere, everyone knows them, and they have advanced to a level that is almost of a supreme being. Many people are also interested in the failures or tragedies all celebrities face eventually, because it brings these people that we idolize as gods down to a level that is human. Even famous people get divorced, lose loved ones, fall to addictions and poor ratings, and in the end die. Ultimately, however, the big reason for “celebrity worship,” according to many people, is escapism. In fact, this type of behavior has even been related to drug addiction, as when people become obsessed—not just interested —in the lives of the famous, it is usually to dull emotional pain and distract from real and agonizing things in our lives. It is a fantasy world that people dive into rather than living in our own boring, “normal” worlds.  


There is a lot of concern as to how this new change in American society is going to affect people and what it is doing to us as a nation. Some scholars from universities in Britain and the United States have even considered “celebrity worship” to be a psychological condition. Of course, many people may read an occasional tabloid or watch a tabloid TV show, and this is considered to be natural and even normal to some degree. There is nothing wrong with being intrigued by the famous, but for many people the interest has become much deeper than that and has shifted into the waters of obsession. The other sad part of this increasing degree of obsession is the fact that we are giving less and less interest and recognition to the struggle of normal people living everyday lives. Not only is there nothing wrong with living the life of a non-celebrity, there is the merit and the glory that exists in every human life. Without cameras pointed at us or the paparazzi following us we still find romance, have children, struggle through life, and in the end most of us try to be good people and help others, and that is much more honorable than the credit it is given.