I recently saw a news item entitled “Best Bikini Bodies of 2011” and was astonished. I know that there are tons of “Best of 2011” lists abounding at this time of the year, but “Best Bikini Bodies of 2011” was the most ridiculous title I had heard thus far. This made me start thinking about how ridiculous celebrity news is in general. Watching shows like Jersey Shore and hearing news reports about Lindsay Lohan’s latest stint in rehab is like watching a train wreck: No matter how much you want to look away, you just can’t. Why are we so fascinated by celebrities?
Humans have always been interested in celebrities: from the scandalous affairs of Samuel Pepys in the 1600s to the latest child adopted by Angelina Jolie in the 2000s, the lives of famous people have always seemed larger than life. Thus, society tends to hold these people on a pedestal for us to either admire or ridicule. Yes, celebrities do provide us with entertainment and uses for our free time, but to keep up with their every move seems to me to be a waste of time.
Some may argue that fame and celebrity status aren’t necessarily good things. Having cameras following my every footstep and having to go incognito in public doesn’t seem like my idea of a good time. It’s a little disturbing when you hear about reports like this one, which states that almost half of children in Western society want to grow up to be actors, singers or fashion designers, whereas many children in developing countries want to become doctors or teachers.
In today’s world, it’s difficult to avoid hearing about celebrity antics, especially due to the Internet, television and magazines like Us Weekly and People in plain view at supermarkets. It’s no wonder children see the glamorized and romanticized world of Hollywood as a place they’d want to be in the future.
All this celebrity worship may cause children and young adults to become narcissistic, with shallow dreams and dim hopes of becoming the next Rebecca Black or Shane Dawson. As a matter of fact, odds are against anyone hoping to become an Internet or YouTube sensation. According to Book of Odds, “The vast majority of YouTube videos are user-generated and of little interest to more than a few people,” and therefore they will not get the widespread recognition and, therefore fame, of videos that made the Internet celebrities famous.
It’s natural to fantasize about being famous and having thousands look up to and idolize you. But it’s far better to work toward your goals, whatever those may be, than to believe that you’ll achieve the overnight celebrity status of Kate Gosselin or the Octomom.