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The Loving Cult of Celebrity

By Entertainment

Illustration by Amber Huff.

Illustration by Amber Huff.

What is it about celebrity couples that makes us go crazy? The current public divorce of long-loved power couple Brangelina has been broadcast over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We can’t help but salivate over their divorce with the same vigor we had when they first got together.

And how about last month when Drake announced at the 2016 Video Music Awards that he has been in love with Rihanna since he was 22? Oh, you remember that, right? It was when the internet exploded.

At the same time, is their — or any other perceived celebrity relationship — relevant to our lives? What is it about the relationships of celebrities that causes us to freak out?

Celebrities live a life of perceived perfection. They are worth millions of dollars, they walk as if they just came off the runway, their clothes and accessories carry brands of names that only exist in Vogue — they possess everything anyone could ever want to bring (material) happiness. So, when two of them come together in a relationship, that perfection is doubled. But perfection is not real, and we shouldn’t fawn over two successful people just because they decided to like each other.

People fall in love, make love, and break up all the time. They don’t make national news; they aren’t trending on Twitter; they are just normal people living an ordinary life. Everyone is susceptible to the twinges of attraction that can transform into rollercoasters; we can all feel our stomachs flip and our bodies go crazy with the sky-rocketing speed of love.

Maybe that’s why we enjoy watching celebrity couples so much. It connects us to them; it cracks the door to fame open just a crack — a world most of us will never witness firsthand. So, when we see celebrities acting “ human” (isn’t that disturbing?) we freak out. We “break the internet;” we swoon. We are distracted from our own ordinary lives.

Within the current neoliberal zeitgeist, where the commodification of the self is the ultimate signifier of success, celebrities are the ultimate success story. Their talents have seemingly carried them to the top; their dreams have come true; their prayers have been answered. They worked hard and now are reaping the benefits, and that’s what we love about them because if they can do it, so could we. 

I am not dismissing the fact that many celebrities are extraordinarily talented. I not only think they are talented, but I think they are very intelligent, because they know how to brand themselves. There are millions of people who are just as naturally talented as some of the biggest celebrities out there, and we will never know who they are, just because they aren’t as media savvy.

The majority of celebrities are products, very similar to all of the merchandise they sell and record. How many times have you wanted a certain perfume, piece of clothing, make-up product, pair of shoes, etc. because insert your favorite celebrity here also had it? (Or maybe even designed it?)

Celebrities meticulously and intentionally construct themselves to be the people we want them to be. They are the perfect representation of a package wrapped in façade and tied with a bow of deceit.  

Instead of idolizing celebrities so damn much, we should try harder to idolize and love ourselves, for all of our beautiful normalcy. Striving to be like anyone other than yourself will continue to make you undervalue yourself, and in turn, it will make you want to continue to consume in order to hide the pain.

If a celebrity couple makes you happy now, how long will it be before your own loneliness starts to creep back in? How long will you continue to overvalue celebrities, and undervalue yourself?

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