Thursday, 28 July 2016

Celebrity Obsession: Do we need a Reality Check?

What is it about celebrities that we become obsessed with these individuals? We even call them idols. It is not just that we enjoy their work, be it singing, dancing, acting or playing cricket. We want to know the minutest details about their lives that we adore and fascinate about all the time. There is even a thriving industry that celebrates its market standing by selling us all the dirt. There are plenty of magazines and even TV shows running on primetime that are exclusively about celebrities.

Movie stars, for instance, are fascinated idols of millions. They are “stars” to be adored, admired, worshipped, no matter if they are perverts, drug abusers, or law breakers. Like a herd of rumbling, yelping folks, the general public swipes towards these people who portray fictionalized characters on screen, that do not actually exist, shouldering each other out of the way in a quest to get a glimpse of their beloved idols. They stare with their glassy eyes, clutching the autograph pads in their hands, absolutely mindless in their own euphoria. Many sports players became Gods overnight too, with their winning stroke, or an unlikely conquest of the world cup, or when they sweat away and wrestle themselves through.

From the military to corporate business, from the science lab to ski slopes, from the nerds to the cool dudes, these adored, admired, respected, gifted, groovy, and talented personalities, continue to overawe, dazzle, delight and inspire millions with their special kind of heroism.  Heroism is apprehended differently by different individuals. For some, when Salman Khan takes off his shirt and fights off the rouges with his robustness and stoutness, may fall under the label of heroism. And maybe for some, when a bus falls into a river and hundreds of people watch, the hero may be the person who jumps in, to save lives. Obviously, media contributes to the making of heroes, there’s no doubt about that. We can also say that the society, in general, qualifies someone to be a hero or rather decides whether someone’s actions are suitable for the tag.

Celebrity worship is becoming a problem, to the extent that psychologists even have a name for it, “celebrity worship syndrome”. CWS is an obsessive-addictive disorder in which a person becomes involved with the details of a celebrity’s personal life.  Generally, it is said that those who are deeply fanatical about the celebrities are living with their own phase and development. They want to peep into their personal lives, satisfy their quench pertaining to the information of who is going out with whom, how much weight have they gained or how their marriages are going? Maybe, that is the reason why, people are actually inclined towards knowing where Kareena will deliver her baby or why Kim Kardashian named her girl North West or when will Taylor Swift release a single about her former ex.

We are living in a time of mass communication and instant information gratification, AGREED. But, instead of attempting to create parasocial relationships with the rich and famous, maybe these tools can be utilized for establishing a real connection with our peers. We try to imitate our favorites, an autograph or a click with them is like getting a stamp of approval which can be bragged about, we wear similar dresses in an attempt to capture the glamour we venerate. But we can also read the great writers or review the great painters and musicians to learn their tricks of the trade in an effort to emulate, and is some cases surpassing what came before us. Right? 

We, as humans love to live vicariously, through those who are more beautiful, richer and sexier. And these celebrities, tend to be such exemplified role models by showcasing how perfect and beautiful life can be, makes us romanticize about the delightfulness of such a scenario. Often, we place them on such a high pedestal, that if they fall, they hit the ground very hard, which of course, is more fodder for the gossip junkies. We act as if they have let us down personally, as if they owe us something. But in reality, they are just humans, who are packaged exquisitely and gorgeously, but deep down they are the same. They have some ups and downs, fears and joys, successes and challenges as the rest of us. So when they stumble upon, let’s have the good grace to look away.

Yes, everybody loves entertainment. But now at the cost of making our entire universe revolve around that one celeb that we consider our Hero.

Written by Chhavi Minhas
“A free spirit, dreamer and admirer of this puzzle called life”

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