Americans are overly obsessed with celebrities

Riley Schwengel

Writer

Modern news seems to be dominated by celebrity scandals and mishaps. Whenever a celebrity gets arrested, does drugs or does something “immoral,” their faces immediately appear on the front page of the newspaper and thousands scream for an apology. But why do we care? Why must celebrities apologize to us? It’s not like these people are politicians or religious leaders who actually have a significant impact on the people they represent or preach to; these are just movie stars, athletes and entertainers. I think the reason celebrity apologies have become so prevalent is that we’ve become a society that worships celebrities along with the entire idea of fame. The reason many need these people to apologize to them is that they’ve become like gods to many people, and when celebrities make human mistakes they become angry with them. It may sound ridiculous, but celebrity worship has become a religion that a dominant percentage of Americans subscribe to.

In the past, celebrities were nothing more than a mild form of entertainment. People would see them on the television or hear about them on the radio and perhaps would stop by their house if they were in the neighborhood. To many, they would have been role models, but vague ones, acting as model citizens for others to aspire to be like. Now we follow their every move, from what they eat, to what they did on Saturday and even to whom they sleep with. Just open up any copy of People Magazine or Us Weekly and glance at the many ridiculous articles that line their pages. Fifty years ago if we had followed celebrities as intensely as we do now, we would have been called obsessive stalkers, but now it’s the norm. This obsession has raised celebrities to god-like status, and we have started to believe that they are perfect and infallible. But they are not perfect; they are human and they make mistakes. When they make mistakes, the general population is outraged and acts like they deserve an apology from these demi-gods but the truth is they don’t owe us anything.

Lindsay Lohan got caught snorting cocaine and got a DUI, but does she owe every American an apology? No, she doesn’t; she owes one to her family and her friends but not every person who sees her mug shot on a newspaper. Lance Armstrong got caught using performance-enhancing drugs, should he apologize to me? No, he should profess his regrets to his teammates, his competitors and the sport in general but not to me. These celebrities don’t know you and probably never will, so don’t act angry when they do something wrong. It didn’t affect you in any shape or form.

I think it’s high time that we end this ridiculous hero-worship of celebrities. If you want a hero, look for someone who deserves your praise, like a medal-of-honor recipient, a charity organizer or a fireman who carried a child out of a burning house.

The next time you see some scandal in the tabloids and feel the blood rushing to your head in anger, just remember that all the beautiful people you see on television are only human and that they are going to make bad decisions just like you and I.

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