There are many reasons why the human brain is so engulfed by the idea of fame. In the article What Explains Our Fascination with Celebrities? By Robert Reeves it highlights the psychological theories on why we are so obsessed with the idea of fame and people who are famous. The three degrees of celebrity fascination are entertainment-social, intense-personal and borderline-pathological.
The entertainment-social level is using celebrities as a topic of conversation. This means the people who watch shows on celebrities and use celebrities as a topic of conversation. In this level people are not totally obsessed with celebrities lives, but they are still interested in popular culture. The second degree of celebrity fascination is intense-personal. On this level people are more enthralled with who the celebrities are and what they are. This is a bit more obsessive than the first level. The third and final degree is borderline-pathological. On this level people find themselves completely enthralled with a celebrities life. They believe that they have personal relationships with the specific celebrity, this could lead to stalkerish tendencies.
In the article it highlights that the higher the degree of celebrity obsession the less self esteem the person has. When a person is overly obsessed with a celebrity it is usually because they have issues with their own personal image. They try and overcompensate by looking at celebrities as models of a “better” life.
In another article titled Why Are We So Obsessed With Celebrity Culture? The author attempts to explain other motives that lead to us being so attracted to the idea of famous figures. An idea that I found very interesting was the idea that celebrities make us feel better. Some celebrities show off their cosmetic surgery or how they impulsively bought something expensive without a care. In this article it highlights how the satisfaction of feeling good in your own skin while someone with fame and fortune does not gives us a feeling of better self esteem. This also connects to the satisfaction of buying something expensive. Let’s say a celebrity bought something expensive or nice, it does not give them a feeling of self satisfaction because they buy luxuries all the time. However, if an ordinary person had been saving up to buy something nice and expensive they get the feeling of self satisfaction and achievement.
The psychology behind why we are so fascinated with celebrities cannot be perfectly pinpointed, because every person has a different perception on who they believe is a celebrity. However, the American culture has made it very easy for people to come overly obsessive over celebrities with media outlets. Celebrity fascination can be used in positive and negative ways. In a negative way people can become overly dependent on celebrities to make them happy, this creates a one way relationship that is not healthy. On the other hand, celebrities can be used as an outlet for bringing different communities together, such as concerts. how people look at their favorite artists, sports teams, talk show hosts, bands, authors etc. determines whether we give people in the spotlight power over how we feel: it all boils down to perception.
Our Perception of Celebrities by Jillian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.