Imperfect Idols

December 23, 2010
Think of somebody REALLY famous. Really, really famous…
Okay, so who where you thinking of? Be honest, was it Shakespeare or J.K Rowling or Audrey Hepburn? Or was it Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan or Snookie. Be honest, which category did you think of? Most likely it was the latter.

The celebrity. The perfect, plastic, person that graces the covers of magazines everywhere. But why do we idolize these people? In truth, once the makeup comes off and the sweatpants come on, they are normal people. What makes them so extraordinary? Is it their beauty, grace or talent? In most cases, the answer is NO. It’s their personal lives.

If you look at it, who does the media love? Whose faces sit upon the flimsy covers of tabloids everywhere? The public loves drama. Which article is going to sell more? Miley Cyrus dancing on a pole at the Teen Choice Awards or Emma Watson’s life at Brown; Brittany Spears shaving her head or Hilary Duff’s gay rights commercial? We feed upon other people’s problems, it’s in our nature.

This need for drama is also seen on “reality” T.V. shows like Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians or The Real Housewives of New Jersey. These shows are filled with make-ups, break-ups, secret love affairs, nose jobs, Botox and all night partying.

But, why do we need to read and watch these “trashy” stories? Many people do it to make their own lives shine in comparison. Any woman would see her love life as a shiny jewel after reading about Kate Gosselin’s messy divorce or watching Brittany’s latest break-up. Between cheating, divorce, plastic surgery gone wrong, custody fights and who dissed who; even the dreariest life would seem consoling. We read these stories as a comfort, a reassurance that what we are going through is normal, that someone out there has it worse.

But why do we do this? Why do we feel the need to feel reassured that someone’s breakup was messier or that someone’s idea sucked worse. It’s because as humans, we feel the need to put others down to make ourselves feel better. These tabloids act as the ultimate comfort; the perfect reassuring best friend, the tub of double chocolate ice cream and the sappiest chick flick. They act as the security blanket, the one that keeps us sane and helps us believe we are the epitome of normal, the cookie cutter of society. It helps us all convince the world (and ourselves) that we stepped right out of the Barbie box and onto Wisteria Lane.





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