ARTICLE BY BEN LEE, JOURNALISM STUDENT
“Hey, did you know that The Rock went to Freedom High School?” said every Freedom High School student ever. About a few months ago, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson delivered a special surprise to the Freedom High School football team with new gear, equipment and an electrifying video message our school would never forget. Even though this happened months ago, the event still remains relevant at Freedom today and likely years to come. This is just one example of the mass influence celebrities have over people. In some scenarios, celebrities are even worshipped like gods. Fans will cry, pass out or even attack other people for their favorite celebrities. A good example would be BTS fans attacking someone on social media who shared a negative opinion about the Kpop group.
This begs us to ask the question: why do we do this? Why do we worship celebrities? James Houran, a psychologist at the consulting firm HVS Executive Search who helped create the first questionnaire to measure celebrity worship, states… “Celebrity worship, at its heart, seems to fill something in a person’s life...it gives them a sense of identity, a sense of self. It feeds a psychological need.” Of course, celebrity worship in most cases is not too serious. However, celebrity worship can go over the top.
Analyzing the recent situation between Will Smith and Chris Rock, there have been very strong feelings towards the issue on both sides and this story stayed inside the news for multiple weeks. While there is an entire war going on, a story of two celebrities took up the headlines for weeks. This is a great example of celebrity worship in our society and how the media exacerbates this. Regardless of your feelings towards the situation, all celebrities ultimately have flaws and are not perfect.
A major factor to pushing one down the road of celebrity stalker-life is personality. Being egotistical, irritable, and impulsive are key personality traits in determining one’s likelihood of falling into the rabbit hole of celebrity worship. Specifically, considerable changes in someone’s life such as a divorce or being fired as well as finding one’s identity are the biggest reasons. To elaborate, this struggle with identity is likely the culprit of why more teenagers, on average, worship some kind of celebrity.
At the end of the day, celebrity worship is not harmful in many cases and it can even provide a social outlet for some people. However, celebrity worship can easily become toxic and we should all remember celebrities are people just like us. And they have flaws too. Don’t make someone else your personality; find who you are.