Understanding Our Obsession with Celebrities and Avoiding the Ignorance It Entails  

Kosi Onyima, Staff Reporter

Nowadays, it is uncommon to ask someone about their favorite celebrity without getting an answer. Everybody has a famous person they admire and like to keep up with. There are countless examples, spanning from musicians, entrepreneurs, actors, writers, and athletes. There will always be someone that embodies the ideals and mannerisms that followers find appealing. And while having admiration for someone might be beneficial, we also need to be aware of the risks associated with excessive celebrity idolatry. 

Clouded judgment is one of the most destructive factors associated with one’s fixation on a famous person. By glorifying average individuals, we unknowingly conceal their shortcomings from the general public. Because they are consistently glamorized and praised, when a celebrity does something wrong, supporters find it challenging to acknowledge the error and hold their idols accountable.  Excuses are given or immoral behavior is disregarded, which only furthers the idea that celebrities are superior or exceptional because they get a pass. The consequences? Dangerous individuals are left untouched, encouraging further immoral behavior in a certain industry. 

Most of the time, we tend to forget that celebrities are regular people just like us because of our enthusiasm for them. Just like any other individual, they bicker with their siblings, do the dishes, get breakouts, and take out the trash. The distinction between your neighbor and your favorite star is that one has the privilege to be celebrated by mass media for their accomplishments.  We will never genuinely know a celebrity, regardless of what we may believe we know. Our understanding of them is only shaped by what they have presented to us. 

There are several steps people can take to increase their awareness of reality and to avoid making the previously described misconceptions. One would be looking up information about the celebrity. Discover their characteristics outside of work. Which social causes do they back? Do they actively engage with local and global concerns and use their privilege to try to make a difference? The response could be revealing and say a lot about the role model you’ve chosen. As a fan, it’s also likely that this search will turn up some unflattering facts or shameful deeds your idol did.  Now, no one is advising you to crucify them on Twitter or spam their Instagram comments. It may, however, be beneficial to take a step back with your support during that period. Then, you can consider their transgressions and decide whether you want to continue having that influence in your life. 

Some may not realize it, but famous people really can play significant roles in our lives. They set many fashion trends, act as a source of entertainment, or can even be someone to look up to. Yet it’s important that we don’t allow ourselves to forget that these celebrities are still people. They are bound to make mistakes. We can either choose to learn from them or fall prey to ignorance that will only prove to be detrimental to our own character.