On any given day, your typical newspaper and magazine stand is filled with headlines about the latest celebrity scandals. My favorite TV channel has commercial breaks filled with rich and beautiful stars endorsing cosmetic products. Fanatics race to the movie theater to see the latest flick that features their beloved stars, no matter how good or bad the film.
I see these scenarios as evidence of a society preoccupied with all that is glitz and glamour. Newspapers fabricate or manipulate "news" about celebrities because any insider information about famous people interests the public. I like Nicole Kidman, but I'm not going to buy a newspaper just because it claims to have exclusive pictures of her doing something outrageous, as if that blurry figure were really her.
Companies hire celebrities to endorse their products because big stars equal big bucks. Halle Berry may be attractive, but give it a rest already. I know she uses Revlon - she tells me so every time I turn on the TV.
Film studios invest more money in superstars' super salaries because even a weak movie can draw a crowd with the right leading lady or man. "Anger Management" received a lot of hype before its release, mainly because of its stars, Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. Many moviegoers flocked to the theaters to see what promised to be a hilarious movie, only to be disappointed.
Money-makers depend on society's fascination with well-known actors, musicians, models, athletes and other individuals in the entertainment industry. This fascination even includes family, friends, companions and employees (past, present, future) of the famous person, no matter how irrelevant their information. Do I really care about what Eminem's mother is up to? No, I do not.
People get so hungry for celebrity gossip that "Entertainment Tonight" and "Access Hollywood" were created just to satisfy them. A fairly new show, "Celebrity Justice," revolves around the legal woes of the famous. What a waste of time.
I admit that I'm interested in celebrities and entertainment, but some people take their interest too far. For example, I recently saw a woman on TV who wanted butt implants because she wanted a curvaceous behind like Jennifer Lopez. The woman underwent surgery, and now has a big butt.
Just like Jennifer, other celebrities have the power to create and end trends. Avril Lavigne has done both in the last year. When she entered the spotlight, so did her trademark accessory, a man's tie. This prompted eager fans everywhere to raid their father's tie racks. Then a few months ago, Avril announced she was done with wearing ties. Her fans agreed, and the ties returned to their respective fathers' racks.
It is puzzling how strong a hold celebrities have on us. I like to think that I know when to wrestle their manicured hands away from me.
That's what society needs to do. Stars are just humans, after all. They're just like you and me. Isn't that what they're always insisting?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.