Fixation on Celebrity Life


Courtesy of E! News

People have an unhealthy obsession over the details of celebrities’ lives.

Juliette Fournier, Editor

From actors to models to singers to reality stars, celebrities undeniably consume the attention of people throughout the world, particularly in America. They’re such a significant part of our culture and constantly command our attention. When you really think about it though, it seems rather unusual: essentially, its like constantly seeking to know about the lives of people you’ve never even met. So why such an adamant fixation to keep up with their lives? Why do they matter so much?


For many, celebrities serve as a way for not only entertainment purposes but also a method of connecting with other people. People need interaction and being up-to-date on the latest celebrity gossip provides a common subject to discuss. In fact, according to Live Science, celebrity fandom can serve as a way for those who are shy to find a way to make conversation with others. Celebrities’ problems become our problems or open up discussion regarding certain issues in our society. On top of that, celebrities can provide a sense of completion for many who feel their lives lack something. We feel like we know them through interviews or Instagram feeds or Snapchat stories or movies. This is deceiving, however, since many celebrities may wear a different face for the camera than they do in their everyday lives. Therefore, oftentimes people see the rehearsed, well-groomed celebrity and cultivate an image that may be far from what they are actually like in real life. Such obsession can become dangerous if one becomes addicted to the celebrity to the point of closing themselves off from their own world.


Celebrities also serve as idols, since society almost deifies them. They serve as the epitome for success; therefore, it’s understandable why their lives hold so much value to people. People see success and seek a way to observe a celebrity’s everyday life in hopes of achieving fame as well. That, in turn, is the other reason why celebrity scandals hold so much value to the public. Again, those who have fame and fortune appear as almost superhuman with perfect lives. Seeing one of them mess up is comparable to seeing the failure of a hero; it reminds us that even the most seemingly perfect human being is flawed, re-emphasizing our own human flaws. It almost feels as though it’s a betrayal of one’s expectations.


By contrast, some people actually seem to seek the faults in celebrities as a way to detract from their own insecurities. A model with too much makeup appears fake and yet without makeup, she’s a mess. Or a movie star without ‘ideal’ body type can be criticized as fat, thereby prompting celebrities to feel the pressure to photoshop their bodies to fix imperfections. Roxane Fournier (11) argues that while on occasion “focus on celebrities can be entertaining, it is not beneficial to society when it’s excessive. It creates this perfect image of what life should look like, and makes people strive for something that it almost unattainable. It shouldn’t be such a critical part of our lives.”


Furthermore, the rise of social media and the Internet now provides the general population with a quicker way to access more celebrity gossip. As a result, celebrity’s lives are essentially on display for people to judge and criticize. For example, a few weeks ago, there was criticism raised regarding Pete Davidson’s new girlfriend, Kate Beckinsale, who is about 20 years older than he is. Why does it matter? Because people say it matters. Though not looked upon well, such news would not be particularly significant if neither of them was famous. However, it’s due to their fame that it appears to be such a huge deal. By contrast, the huge college scandal involving Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin helped to expose certain problems regarding the college system. Being well-known, they took much of the heat despite many other parents being involved in the scandal.