Emma and Andrew. Halle and Olivier. Gwen and Gavin. Jen and Ben. Looks like it’s celebrity breakup season yet again. It seems like every time you check the news, another famous couple has called it quits.
It’s not as if divorce is a rare occurrence in our society. People we know and/or care about are also breaking up on a daily basis, unfortunately. Why is it that we’re so invested in the relationship status of people we’ve never actually met? Let’s discuss why we care about celebrity breakups.
In today’s age of social media, internet, and ready accessibility to all kinds of information, it is simply too easy to know a great deal about the lives of celebrities. We might even feel like we are friends with them, because we know more about their personal situations than most of our actual buddies! Thus, when something bad happens, it almost feels like it’s happening to someone we know.
Is this healthy? I would argue not. Yes, it makes these rich, successful people seem more real. They have the same problems that you and I do – go figure. I mean, yes, they have money and careers, but they’re still people. It seems like now more than ever, the average TMZ.com reader would understand that…but when a celebrity pair splits, there is shock amongst the masses.
It then becomes a weeks-long, sometimes months-long, media saga. The details are dug out, speculated over, and debated. The same “fans” who claim to personally care about these celebrities are the very people voraciously devouring the painful, very personal information now exposed to the public eye.
Yeah, they’re all real people too. Maybe we should treat them with a little respect when they are going through difficulty…like we would actual friends.
Just a thought.
I think we care because we feel both despair and relief. It’s depressing to see yet another high-profile, seemingly perfect love story end. On the other hand, it confirms that money, beauty and power still cannot buy happiness. I think some secretly take joy seeing a glitch in an otherwise flawless-looking existence.
I think what we all need to remember is that the immaculate images are, too, constructed by the media. They know that we as consumers eat that stuff up, so they feed it to us. Like dummies, we take it all greedily.
I have an idea. Let’s stop investing so much time and interest in the lives of famous people who have absolutely nothing to do with us. Maybe we should try putting that effort into our own lives. It might work wonders.