How can we peel our eyes away? The shock, the glamor, the horror, the mortifyingly embarrassing scenario they were caught in…we must know everything about these idolized humans!
I mean they entertain us on stages, screens, courts and fields, in their “realities”, on the news, hosting interviews, soooo naturally this must mean their entire lives are meant to be open for viewing (criticizing/judging) right? I addressed this post to those who purchase magazines that feature celebrities that claim to have the real scoop on their lives and to those who surf virtual-land to get almost instantaneous information about what their favorite celebrity to love/hate is up to. My intention is to offer you empathy for why you are engaging in this curious behavior.
Do you feel a certain thrill of excitement when your favorite actress is supposedly “showing off” at the beach, or a rush of triumph when a celebrity you love to hate has recently gained weight? Does following their lives add non-stop juicy drama to escape into? I am not knocking escape, isn’t that sort of one of the points of entertainment, an enjoyable break from our daily lives? Do you find it challenging to not be curious with people of fame, when every time you walk into a grocery store you see rows and rows of glossy photos of them, designed to lure your eyes and maintain your gaze? Are you just joining in with the crowd in this celebrity curiosity because lets face it, its very likely more people are talking about the lifestyles of the rich and famous more than any social justice issue. So if you aren’t up on the gossip, you may feel out of the loop. I’d guess you’d like to feel like you “fit in” in our culture and are in the know about popular plots? Experiencing the comfort and camaraderie of belonging and acceptance are motivators for many human behaviors.
I think we all enjoy being entertained with interesting characters that capture our attention, tell us a story, sing us a song, or play a game for us and we’ll cheer them on! Participating as an audience for art and athletics to be appreciated is a beautiful experience that adds so much excitement, human connection, interest, and even healing into all our lives. Although I think we can become so enamored with their performances; we can’t seem to peel our eyes away to refocus on our own lives with rapturous attention. It’s even more challenging to avert your stare when they have this otherworldly appeal with how flawless many of them appear to us and their lives are sooo fascinating being sooo unrealistic compared to our own; we can get struck with shock with the glamor and glitz. And sadly we also compare ourselves to these people, many who we see through the illusion of digital distortion, which really takes away their “realness,” and I think makes it even harder to actually relate to them as fellow flawed humans. When they seem so perfect and then you also consider the work they do is so disproportionally reciprocated with money, it adds even more challenge to offer them compassion. Taking all that into consideration, I could see how you may respond with, “Well why don’t they hire someone to give them empathy?” This separation and segregation that fame creates is also why we pounce on them when they make a mistake or put on pounds, its like HAHA, here is proof that you are human and messed up too!!
Many celebrities use the fact that we are so curious about them and feel so artificially connected to them to their benefit. Without us even knowing them, they are able to bank off one of the most effectively simple marketing tools, word of mouth. Oh you like my acting/singing/playing, well then of course I am the person to trust when it comes to your consumer choices. Huh? Honestly I think the endorsing done by celebrities makes it even less likely their privacy will be respected. They are encouraging the illusion of our connection, by telling us what they think we should buy, something a friend would do, someone we know. Well then of course that “connection” grants us friend benefits to interrupt your life to say hello, ask for an autograph, and have a picture taken, right?
I am just trying to figure out this whole idolization epidemic that I honestly do not think is making anyone’s life happier, or more fulfilled, while also not blaming anyone for its existence. Many of us have contributed to it being a part of our world we inherited this worshiping false idols from history. I have already expressed consideration and compassion to both celebrities and members of the paparazzi in an earlier posts and I didn’t want to leave you out! Seriously and sincerely I am concerned about you! I really hope that you acknowledge and discover your own gifts and then share them with the rest of the world and I think this idolizing behavior keeps you from realizing your own potential.
Think about it this way, would anyone want to repeatedly deal with having their intimate dates or family outings photographed and published for public consumption? I think most would prefer to have their privacy honored and we probably all hope others will apply the golden guideline when interacting with us and show us the respect they desire for themselves. Being fixated with a performance is natural and expected when it’s happening through an artistic medium like theater, film, sports, tv, etc, however when those characters walk off their stages, they are not a character anymore, they are, get this…living breathing human beings with insecurities, issues, challenges, relationships and families! They have off days, sh!t to deal with, and are full of feelings like sorrow and joy. They really are just like you …with yes usually much more money. Although just like you and me, they don’t want big brother, or anybody’s sister or brother f-ing with their privacy!
Sadly this obsession with celebrity affects how we value the meaningful and countless contributions of all those in non-entertainment industries. Please consider, the teacher who taught us how to read and encouraged our passion, the nurse who took the time to explain what the doctor said and showed gave us compassion, and the plumber who came in the middle of the night and kept our house from flooding; they all blessed our lives in incredibly important ways, why aren’t we worshiping them and asking them to scribble their name on something? However we are likely respecting their privacy and aren’t prying into their lives and evaluating them on anything other than the service they provided.
If you are open to it, I’d like to offer you a suggestion to replace your desire for drama with the madly mesmerizing myths of the ancient Greeks! They got goddesses, gods, heroes, monsters, magical powers, curses, the unbelievably is unlimited! They can entertain and enlighten you on earth’s literary history of comedy and tragedy!
And just maybe if we treat celebrities how we would like to be treated, they’ll return the respect with more honesty and generosity.