Breaking News: There is a serious disorder sweeping through North America. It has been present since the 60s and has only grown in severity. The number of people affected has grown exponentially. This is serious and serious measures need to be taken to ensure the spread does not continue.
What “disorder” am I talking about? Autism? Downs Syndrome? ADHD? No. Nada. Sorry. None of those has me up in arms. I’m talking about celebrity worship.
I hear you all screaming “that’s not a real disorder!” and I’m sure half of you are headed for the back button on your browser but please, hear me out. This is a social disorder that I firmly believe needs to be addressed.
It has been bothering me for some time, and for many reasons. Why are people obsessed with the lives of movie stars and musicians? Why do I care about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s marriage? Why do I want to know what Reese Witherspoon ordered at the coffee shop last Tuesday, and why do I care that she was wearing sweat pants?
I get it that these people are talented. I can’t act, I’m too self-conscious, too much of an introvert. I can sing but I’m really only good enough for church choirs and bonfire sing-a-longs. I’m not being hard on myself, I know I have talents and strengths but acting and music aren’t high on the list. I understand that people who play sports are talented too. Again, it’s not my strength – I’m an out of shape stay-at-home mother after all. Even at my physical peek back in high school I didn’t play on any school teams. Sports do not interest me unless I can sit in front of the TV and watch big guys in tight pants smash into each other for an hour or two.
That being said, I know a lot of other people who are very talented. Brain surgeons for example. I can’t do that. I can’t deliver a baby either. I can’t split particles or develop vaccines. All of that takes a lot of dedication, talent, and passion.
My talent lies in the written word. I write books and I know a lot of other very talented writers (whether I know them or simply know of them, it’s sort of the same for this article). So why doesn’t Stephen King get his 30 seconds on TMZ for wearing sweats to the coffee shop? I’ve never seen a brain surgeon’s divorce on the cover of the gossip magazines.
What is it about actors and musicians that makes them so irresistible to people? It can’t be the money. Bill Gates has money and he doesn’t show up on TMZ every night. Donald Trump has money and I’ve never seen a photo of him getting the newspaper in his pajamas.
I know why they’re famous. We all watch their movies and listen to their music. We all know who they are. But why this obsession with their lives off the screen. Just because I love The Avengers and have a major crush on basically everyone in that movie (shush, my husband already teases me about it) I don’t follow Robert Downey Junior on Facebook, I don’t stalk Tim Hiddleston on Twitter, and I don’t cut out magazine articles about Chris Evans.
I don’t care how many nose jobs someone has. I don’t care how hard they party. I don’t care if they’re getting a divorce or getting married, or having kids. I don’t care if they drink lattes or smoothies or what they wear on their own time, or if they look good in a bikini (unless it’s in a movie, then I care, but only for the duration of the movie). I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!!
Please, someone, explain this to me!
Now, I suppose I owe an explanation for why I think this is a “disorder”. We’re obsessed. As a culture we’re obsessed with this trivial crap. And that’s causing a lot of problems.
1) In general people are paying more attention to what Kim Kardashian names her kids or wears to the store than you are to the political turmoil in North America. Look at what’s trending now on MSN or Facebook. Most of the time it’s celebrity news.
2) We are ruining their lives. I can’t imagine the stress of having to examine myself in the mirror under a microscope to ensure I look paparazzi perfect just to go to the corner store for milk. I can’t imagine the stress of having my kids’ temper tantrum in Wal-Mart aired on TMZ. I can’t imagine the embarrassment of having my marital struggles on the front cover of a magazine. THEY ARE PEOPLE. They are allowed to go to the store in sweat pants. They are allowed to have lives!! Why are we scrutinizing and judging them every second of the day. Seriously! Why do you think so many celebrity marriages end in divorce and so many of their kids are fucked up? Maybe if we just minded our own business and didn’t butt into theirs they wouldn’t be so messed up.
3) We are comparing ourselves to them. I will never be as pretty as these movie stars because I have to spend at least 6 hours a day in front of a screen writing to even scratch some spending money together. I cannot afford a gym membership, fancy equipment, personal trainers, plastic surgery, designer clothes … I can’t even afford to spend more than fifteen minutes on my personal appearance in the morning. If my hair and teeth are brushed and my clothes don’t clash I’m doing great!
We will never be as pretty as these people. We will never look perfect and airbrushed like them. But we still sit their and ooh and aah over their dresses and their hair and their styles and their waist sizes. Why? We can’t be them. Why would we want to? When did individuality and self-esteem get replaced with trying to be carbon copies of celebrities?
Culturally we need to pull our heads out of our asses. We need to spend less time staring at the tabloids and more time visiting art galleries and museums. We need to spend less time watching TMZ and more times watching documentaries and the news. We need to stop worrying about our waist size and start worrying about our overall health. We need to stop judging people for what they wear to the coffee shop and start judging them on what they are doing to make the world a better place.
I always love to hear about how Emma Watson is speaking out for women’s rights and how movie stars visit children’s hospitals. That makes me happy. I also love to hear about ordinary people protesting, or setting up memorials, or holding fundraisers for good causes. I love to hear that the pandas in the zoo in China successfully had a baby and maybe they won’t go extinct after all.
I don’t like hearing about war but I feel obliged to know about it. I don’t want my head in the sand. I want to know what’s twisting the world up and tearing it apart. I want to have an educated opinion on it.
Where do you stand on all this? Harmless distraction? Entertainment? Or is celebrity worship turning us into sheep?