Americans have a unhealthy obsession with celebrities

Americans have always been infatuated by the rich and famous and the lives that they live, but in the past decade or so some people in this country have developed a brutally unhealthy obsession with the lives of celebrities. An article in The Washington Times entitled “A pathetic obsession, a crazed world” elaborates about this obsession by saying, “It seems all too many Americans want to be celebrities or be around them. The obsession is sometimes pitiful, sometimes sad, manifesting itself in a number of astonishing ways.”

Popular culture magazines such as Rolling Stone have been introducing us to the men and women behind the music and films for many years now, and they have been doing a great job. But some other publications take their interests in the lives of celebrities to a whole new level.

With the rise of the gossip tabloids Americans have become disgustingly obsessed with the lives of the famous. These crazed tabloid reporters stalk celebrities and wait for one of them to have a slip of tongue, weird habit, or an outrageous feud. These tabloids are unnecessary and stupid because they focus on the personal life of the celebrity rather than the talent they possess that has made them famous. I don’t care if Britney Spears just got inked up at a tattoo parlor, shaved her head, or was caught not wearing underwear by some ridiculous paparazzi crotch shot, and I certainly do not care about the newest stunt Paris Hilton pulled at a Hollywood nightclub.

Give the public something that is interesting and not filled with pointless rumors that expose every celebrity flaw. They are not perfect; in fact, no one is. Paparazzi act as if celebrities are not human but of some kind of divine nature. They make such a huge deal when celebrities do something that normal people do every day.

Take having a baby for example. Paparazzi will pay outrageous prices to be the first to publish a photo of a celebrity couples’ baby. It’s just a baby, they are born every day. Tabloids act as if celebrity babies are the second coming of Jesus Christ himself.

I believe that it is much more interesting and relevant to learn about an upcoming movie or album from a celebrity rather than learning about a secret lover or a drug addiction. Problems and flaws are their own business and the personal lives of celebrities should not be constantly invaded.

Do the crazed reporters think just because they are famous it is okay to try to ruin their lives? If those same rumors came out about normal people there would be an instant lawsuit over some slander issue. Celebrities are constantly harassed by the paparazzi and they can’t even lead a semi-normal life.

These tabloids also cause crazed fans to become obsessed with certain celebrities to the point where they lose their grip on reality. In a June 2005 episode of the Dr. Phil show, they discussed people who have become this way. The show featured a woman named Marie who is unhealthily obsessed with Brad Pitt. She cannot stop reading and fantasizing about him, and she believes one day she will meet and marry the movie star. The worst part about this is that she has children and she brings this abnormal and unhealthy obsession into her household.

The focus of the arts and entertainment business should be on the work that these famous movies stars and musicians produce, not what they do in their personal life. They are famous because of what they are good at and that should be what is written about. The work that these celebrities do should be critiqued, not their personal lives. The tabloid reporters are a disgrace to the business of mass media and they give the art of journalism a bad name. It is because of their slander habits and rumors that make a lot of people not want to talk to the press.

The only thing that these tabloids produce is a bad reputation for the entertainment business while making journalists look like rumor-spreading scumbags. The celebrity obsessions that many Americans have are unhealthy not only for themselves, but for the rest of our society as well.

Send comments to Scott Recker at [email protected]