Celebrity & Entertainment Obsession: By Michael S. Levy.
What a fascinating book – and subject – this is. There can’t be many people who haven’t noticed that today’s interest in celebrities is more than just a passing one — it really is an obsession. Why is this? The author investigates thoroughly in this easy-to-read book.
Until I read the book, I was under the impression that society’s obsession was a recent phenomenon. But that’s far from the case. However, the type of celebrities that are now hero-worshipped is very different to those in times gone by.
Today’s celebrities tend to largely be from the world of entertainment. Some of them – as far as I can tell anyway – are famous for, well, being famous. I suppose another way of putting it is that they are ‘media stars’.
Of course, with the speed of our various media today, it’s easy to see why. Anyone can follow a famous person on social media and it will seems to them that they’know’them and are getting daily bulletins regarding their innermost thoughts and mundane daily activities.
To a great extent, our heroes of the past were portrayed in a good light – they genuinely were heroes such as world or religious leaders, innovators, inventors and scientists. Today, we expect our heroes to be flawed.If they go into rehab, have a messy divorce or act disgracefully in public we accept this as part of modern day life.
The media that shapes our obsession with celebrities – warts and all – also creates within us the desire to emulate these ‘heroes’. The author explains that today many children and teenagers, especially girls, want to be slim and attractive simply because of the hero-worship that is accorded to attractive celebrities.
And he has the statistics to prove it. Did you know, for example, that in America eighty one percent of ten year olds are afraid of getting fat? Astonishingly a survey was given to girls between the fifth and eighth grade. They were given the choice of five jobs they would like to have when they grew up. 9.5% of these girls selected the option of being the head of a major corporation. At the other end of the scale, 43.4% said that of the options given, they would choose being the personal assistant of a famous singer or movie star.
In common with many older people, I am inclined to ponder about the future of our society where the total amount of money spent monthly by eight to twelve year olds collectively on beauty products is $40 million. Yes, per month. And where only 13.6% of girls would be interested in becoming a U.S. senator.
I was just looking to see what’s trending on Google. What are people searching for? In the listings for yesterday there are twenty top trends. Ten are sports topics or sports personalities. Seven are ‘celebrities’ I’ve never heard of before. Two are about the lottery. Only one is what I would call a ‘serious subject’.
We don’t need to seek out celebrities on Twitter and other media. They are in our faces whether we like it or not. Remember the days when the face of Princess Diana was splashed all over every magazine and newspaper? It was unavoidable. So many people were – and still are – living their lives via celebrities. We feel that we know them – they become our ‘friends’.
Not only that, we become obsessed with them. We crave for news about our celebrities. We are often deeply upset when one of our celebrity dies. (Diana was a case in point – I remember reading at the time about the huge number of American women who needed professional counselling to recover from Diana’s death.)
So why are we obsessed and can we (should we) change?
For every minute we spend living our lives vicariously, that’s a minute we are not living our real lives. A minute we are not spending with our friends and family, a minute we are not being creative or not enjoying the wonderful things that life has to offer.
And it’s especially a problem for the younger generation. Do we really want a young girl to have as her role model someone whose life we ourselves don’t particularly admire? As the author says, we should not belittle our children’s heroes but it is possible to gently point out additional people who are fine role models.
Discover why we have an entertainment and celebrity obsession and how we can control our lives, our happiness and that of the younger generation in this fascinating book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR