Celebrity Obsession: Get a Life!

celebritiesCelebrity Obsession: Get a Life!  The Newsweek cover story is about the celebrity culture and “Why We Can’t Look Away.” Neal Gabler, the article’s author, writes that a celebrity “is a person who is known for his well-knownness.” Well, duh. Since the time of the silent movies, Americans have become ever more focused on being entertained. Now, Gabler considers it the new art form. Unfortunately today’s titillation has a cynical, nasty tone that’s far different from the adulation of the early movie stars.

There is a natural fascination with the illusion of “everything is wonderful” that we project onto stars like Brad Pitt or Angelina. Who doesn’t want to escape their problems for a few moments with harmless fantasy? The problem is that like any obsession that becomes addictive, it is only a temporary distraction from our own misery, problems, stress or boredom.

themirroreffectWhy are we so addicted to Tiger Woods and celebrity gossip? Drew Pinsky’s book, The Mirror Effect describes celebrity addiction as a “tendency to obsess over damaging celerity stories and to try to solve our problems the way celebrities do.”  Psychology Today tells us: "...with respect to Tiger Woods or any other celebrity, the public desire to put them on a pedestal to attain almost God-like status and then participate in anguish, pity or loathing when they fall, seems to have less to do about the celebrities, and more to do with the mental states of those that allocate them celebrity status." (http://tinyurl.com/yao49yp)

mirror_selfOne of the conditions of addiction is that tolerance develops. For an alcoholic, tolerance means it takes five drinks instead of two to get the same buzz. For celebrity addiction, it means a continual upping of the search for the new rush fed by 24/7 access to the drama/trauma of the famous. My recommendation is to remember the term “moderation,” get help to wean yourself from celebrity addiction if necessary and learn to focus on becoming the star of your own life.