The other day, I received a phone call from a good friend I hadn’t spoken to in awhile. One of the first things out of her mouth was, “Oh my God, so did you hear Amanda Bynes is back on Twitter acting crazy again?” I walked into work tonight, and overheard a coworker musing to another coworker about whether or not Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez are “on again.” I found myself wondering on both occasions why any of us cared. We don’t know these people; we have no personal ties to them, so why do we care so much about what they are doing and who they are dating and if they are going insane again. And I am certainly not excluding myself, I love to flip through Us Weekly with the best of them, trying to figure out who wore what dress better. It does make me wonder, though, why exactly we find ourselves so interested and concerned with the lives of the rich and famous. I think there are a few reasons:
We wish we could be them
I think all of us somewhere deep down, even if we don’t want to openly admit it, wish we could be extraordinarily wealthy and famous. It just seems so glamorous. Imagine if everyone knew who you were and you could basically do anything you wanted, and have anything you wanted. It’s kind of what we all dream of, right? In some ways, reading and talking about the lives of celebrities lets us live vicariously through them, without having to deal with any of the negative aspects.
They make us feel better about ourselves
This isn’t necessarily a nice thing, but I think that celebrities’ misfortunes are a big reason they are so intriguing to the general population. When we see someone in the public light going through a terrible breakup, or having a mental breakdown, it sort of makes us feel a little better about our own lives. No, we don’t have the money or power they do, but at least that isn’t happening to us.
It gives us a nice distraction
What better way to take a step back from reality and the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives than to immerse ourselves in the everyday lives of people so glamorous and exciting? It gives us a welcomed little break from our own problems and stresses; we can momentarily exit from our “real world” and enter the seemingly fantasy world that is Hollywood and superstardom.
We get to release our inner therapist
Everyone loves to psychologically analyze celebrities, in some way or another. We see a picture or a story about someone famous, and want to express our own thoughts and opinions on what they should or shouldn’t do without actually having to tell them this or back it up in any way. For a few moments, we get to pretend we know what’s best for them, and that feels really fulfilling and satisfying.
It’s just fun
Let’s face it: talking about celebrities is simply fun. We get to say whatever we want, with basically no repercussions because we will probably never actually meet any of these people in real life. We all like to gossip, and this is the best form of gossiping because we don’t know any of them so we never have to feel bad about talking behind anyone’s back. It’s a win-win.
Kaitlyn Seabury | News Cult