No fault in our obsession with the stars

red carpet

By Nafisa Hossain

As I sit down on the couch, remote control in hand, I eagerly wait to watch the start of the latest awards show, where the biggest celebrities are bound to be. There could be a number of reasons why I am sitting down to watch the latest awards show. It could be because I love fashion and the way the stars strut on the red carpet wearing their flashy designer dig. Or, because I am watching purely for the entertainment value.

But one thing is certain, in this day and age, many people are obsessed with watching celebrities before, during, and after awards shows as they mingle with their fellow stars and chat with reporters.

This has led to a lot of speculation and sometimes criticism towards the 20 million Americans who tuned in to watch the Golden Globes last month.

Thanks to modern technology, keeping up with celebrities is part of the 21st century cultural norm. Why is it that before some huge awards show or celebrity glittered gala that we get so involved and caught up with the details of the event? A large part of it may be due to our accessibility of information.

For instance, at the grocery store checkout, tabloids are available for us to read that contain news of celebrities’ reactions to their nominations or details on which snazzy designer dressed them for the occasion.

Everywhere we look, whether it is online or on television, there is constant talk about the upcoming event, like the Oscars, Grammys, and Critic’s Choice Awards.

From a physiological standpoint, we are naturally social creatures. “We evolved—and still live—in an environment where it paid to pay attention to the people at the top. Celebrity fascination may be an outgrowth of this tendency, nourished by the media and technology,” according to LiveScience.

And LiveScience has a valid point. Are we not all just a product of our surroundings? With this constant influx of news and gossip we cannot help but be intrigued by celebrities. Our observation of celebrities is a nice contrast to our daily lives, which are seemingly monotonous in comparison.

There does not seem to be anything wrong with it; it gives us momentary happiness to revel in a celebrity as most of us do not separate them from their work.

And since we do not make this separation, it makes all the difference. Keeping up with celebrities and constantly being aware of them is not as harmful as critics would believe.

Celebrities are admired because they help us feel contentment and exhilaration through entertainment.

For example, watching a comedy makes us laugh and bond with the people we are watching, without us actually having to physically experience the actors’ ridiculous, mortifying situations firsthand.

Celebrities speak to our hearts and emotions in this way, especially through music.

For instance, a group of girls could be belting out Taylor Swift’s songs at a slumber party because it made them feel a bond between each other and feel slightly wistful.

Being obsessed with celebrities is no worse than being obsessed with characters in books or comics. They both allow you to live vicariously through them. In the mystical world of Greek gods and Camp Half-Blood you are swept away into an adventure without having to partake in fighting off any mythological beasts.

Similarly, in the star studded red carpet, you can envision the glamorous life of the celebrities without having to go through the pain of heightened security and tightened personal freedom.

People, however, seem to be more supportive of those who are obsessed with the fictional characters in “Game of Thrones,” “Harry Potter,” and comic books, as evident by the large crowds that appear at book releases and events like ComicCon.

There is really no harm in our obsession because it shows the celebrities how much we appreciate the work they have done.

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