The Slate Speaks: Idolizing celebrities

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The Slate Speaks: Idolizing celebrities

  We all love to focus on the lives and the goings-on of celebrities. Whether they are athletes, actors or Youtubers, as long as they are a recognized name, we love to see what goes on in their extravagant lives. Recently though, many have voiced concerns over how much we obsess over celebrities. People hyper fixate on Pedro Pascal, Jenna Ortega or whoever the “it” person is for that week.

We’ve been obsessed with celebrities for most of human history, so it is not too new of a phenomenon. But mass media has certainly accelerated the sort of boom-and-bust cycle of celebrity worship we go through. It is fine for the most part, but it enters the realm of weirdness when people start being creepy about it. The Jenna Ortega obsession has probably crossed that line already. Pedro Pascal seems to be soaking up the limelight, and good for him. He deserves it after so many great performances, but we should be careful with idolizing people. They are just people after all, with faults and skeletons in their closets. It is not like it is a huge stain against his character, but Pascal was part of the “Imagine” video at the beginning of the pandemic. When we idolize celebrities, we often selectively forget moments like that.

People need to understand that celebrities are human beings. Remember how unhealthily obsessed people were with Justin Bieber when he was a child? He was stalked, sexualized and more by both kids and adults. That took an extreme toll on his mental health. This obsession that people have with celebrities is putting stars in danger, and we have seen time and time again popular figures fall off.

A lot of people are getting very wrapped up in their attraction toward the celebrity, and that makes them forget that celebrities are just normal people. For instance, Jacob Elordi wanted to have no shirtless scenes in one of “The Kissing Booth” movies because he is tired of people sexualizing him. The obsession goes too far when it is invading their personal lives or their career.

Many think about YouTube celebrities and how they are expected to share so much of their lives because they toe the line between celebrity and “normal” person. They are expected to vlog everything and let us into their private lives. So many were really into Dan and Phil growing up, and a lot of their fans pressured them into sharing their sexuality and their relationships with each other. It is not fair to expect people, celebrity or otherwise, to share intimate details about themselves. People can get very aggressive about this desire for more, and that is when it is a problem. 

If you really “love” a celebrity, you should also respect their boundaries as a human person. We have created an idea that celebrities need to bare it all for us, even though we do not even bare it all for the people in our own lives.

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