And by that, I mean majorly television and film actors and models. If you check the top trends on twitter, they are generally related to actors if they have an upcoming movie, or politicos during elections, or sportsmen or singers. Very rarely do I see scientists or engineers being publicly lauded. It doesn’t really have to do with being on camera. There are people anchoring the discovery channel and natgeo as well. They aren’t considered to be ‘famous’. There’s a special term for fans of such shows and people: ‘nerds’… which is not even a compliment to start with, in this very popular culture.
Of course, being on national and international broadcast medium helps. It makes people associate an halfway bond with such people. The kind of obsession that people develop for celebs is actually something that one tends to practice in real life as well. Who among us has not gossiped about the most popular girl on campus and about the many scandals in her life? And a hungover guy can go on stalking a girl on facebook, twitter and instagram to get as many details about her life, without establishing a direct contact. Now isn’t that something we end up doing when we go from one entertainment blog to another, trying to find out details about the lives of celebrities? I would say celeb fandom is just a milder, more socially acceptable form of stalking.
Now, why is it, that the personal lives of celebrities are in so much scrutiny? Why does a Kim Kardashian get to be more famous than say a social reformer or a Nobel laureate? Why do scandals sell? Why has fame superseded talent? I would think that a society has to be extremely repressed and incapable, to end up worshiping such people. What people generally seek in celebs is something they themselves cannot do in their own boring lives. What’s forbidden, is fascinating. Rudeness is entertaining. I wouldn’t strip in public, but someone else doing it, makes me curious. Brad Pitt breaking up with Jennifer Aniston is intriguing because it feels nice to know that even rich and famous people have problems.
And yes, the new generation of social media has harbored a sense of familiarity with these very celebs. We have built a different social universe, where there are these ‘friends’ of ours that have completely different lives and they seem to be sharing it with us.
Quite frankly, there’s a dearth of role models for young women like me. To make headway in any non-fashion/beauty/glamour related field can be quite tough. In the light of this, I hope I do come across ‘celebrities’ who are more talented and wise. People I can look up to. As of now, I have decided on shunning this different social virtual universe.