The Obsession With Celebrities
The Obsession With Celebrities
Drew Pinsky (Addictionologist) gives expert video advice on: Why are we so fascinated with celebrities?; Why is the media and society obsessed with girls like Lindsay, Britney and Paris?; Do celebrities have a predisposition for addiction? and more...
Why are we so fascinated with celebrities?
It seems to me there's a basic... It's in our human nature, quite literally, to want to create or deify certain people. We have monarchies, aristocracies and celebrities, we've done that throughout human history. What's really interesting, though, is that not only do we deify people, but that once we deify them we have a tendency to scapegoat them. We tend to sacrifice them, tear them down. That's mostly what we do with celebrities these days. Nobody is immune from our desire to scapegoat.
Why is the media and society obsessed with girls like Lindsay, Britney and Paris?
The really interesting thing where we seem to be in to now, is that we're not just interested in creating celebrities. We're interested in tearing them down. And we seem particularly interested in young females who have been sexual objects. That seems to be our sweet spot. Kiefer Sutherland, big celebrity, goes to jail for DUI. No big deal. Britney Spears parks her car in the wrong place, international news. So there's something about the young female. And I think it probably has many different reasons. I mean as I study cultures that have done this, all the way back to the Aztecs, they used to sacrifice young females and actually flay them and put on their skin. They had a very special preoccupation with the young females. We also have a time now when women are more sexualized. Young women that can be threatening to other women, maybe they're acting out some envy. The men, maybe are fearful of female sexuality and have to try to push that down in some way. There are many different ideas here. Underneath that, ultimately though, is a deep acting out of a common feeling that we seem to have, an excessive burden these days which is envy. And envy is the need to tear somebody down. It's not just jealously where I'm mad at them for what they have, or wish I had what they have. But what they have diminishes me so I have to bring them down. We seem to be acting that out constantly now. Why, is open for discussion.
Do celebrities have a predisposition for addiction?
Yes, our research showed very clearly that regardless of how long you've been a celebrity, you've got some pathology in the spectrum of personality functioning, attachment, and addiction. That the people that need to be celebrities, that fight and dedicate their lives to that, come to that celebrity status with significant narcissistic issues and addiction.
Do all people pursuing celebrity have a pathology?
The only correlation we could make was that the more somebody had a discipline and a skill, like if you were a newscaster, or a musician, or a journalist, or something, the lower on the narcissistic scale. But the more you were just there just to be on TV, like if you were on a reality show or something, the more narcissistic.