Thursday, December 1, 2011

Celebrity Worship Syndrome

Our first guest blogger of the month—Latoya Bess—sees danger in the nation's preoccupation with people famous for being famous.

During the Great Depression, celebrities like Charlie Chaplin, Rita Hayworth, and Fred Astaire took millions of Americans away from the troubling thoughts of their financial struggles and into a fantasy realm of Hollywood heaven.

Today, with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the stagnant U.S. economy, Americans have again found an escape through numerous celebrity tales from Kim Kardashian’s quickie wedding to Beyonce’s long-awaited pregnancy. While this may seem to be harmless entertainment, many Americans have fallen to an obsessive-addictive disorder, dubbed by psychologists as Celebrity Worship Syndrome.

With a plethora of media outlets constantly exposing and glamorizing the lives of celebrities, it’s no wonder that people are becoming more obsessed with entertainers, athletes, and political figures. Ever notice the slew of magazines such as People, The National Enquirer, and Star in every grocery store line and newsstand? What about television shows like Entertainment Tonight, The Wendy Williams Show, countless reality shows, and even entire networks like E!, that offer the most personal and sometimes irrelevant details of celebrities’ private lives ?

As if the papers and TV shows aren’t enough, the world of social media has become a gateway for immediate access to your favorite star’s every move, with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, blogs, and fan sites.

While it is normal to admire celebrities and public figures, we must be careful not to emotionally connect ourselves with people we do not know. We should only use celebrities as inspiration to live our own lives the best way we can.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Latoya is obsessed with travel, fashion, and entertainment. She is a recent graduate of Clark Atlanta University and is now pursuing a Master’s in Public Relations Management at NYU.


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Anonymous said...

You suggest that we shouldn't become emotionally connected with these celebrities, but isn't that exactly what most Americans WANT to do? Dazed or numbed by the drone of "real news" and demoralized by their own problems, they feast on the larger-than-life strangeness of celebrities. They embrace it. It's something they can talk with friends about, cry over, ridicule, obsess over...would you take that fake/real emotional roller coaster away from them?

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