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Celebrity Obsession: Can We Ever Get Rid Of It?

What happens when people have a celebrity obsession? They forget what's around them and get entangled in their personal lives!

The answer is pretty straight: NEVER!

And even if you want to, the media will leave no stone unturned to never keep you at bay from such obsession. Now and then, you will find headlines about some celebrity’s alleged relationship or break-up.  

News websites and social media are flooded with pictures of someone’s wedding, photos from the parties and functions they attend, and photographs snapped at various places in and around the city. The media wants you to know everything about their lives.

Let’s consider some examples

To make things clear, consider this:

“Shahid Kapoor reveals his favourite south Indian food, and it’s not dosa!!” Or something like,” Kiara Advani and Siddharth Malhotra have allegedly broken up!” and” What did Kiara Advani hint at when she said:

Mai kisiko bhulana nahi chahungi?”

I mean whatever his favourite dish may be, why does this have to flash in the news headlines of national news websites for days? And if at all they’ve broken up, what is the point of discussing it again and again? Who likes to see news about their personal affairs all the time in the headlines?

The rich lives of Bollywood couples!

If a Bollywood celebrity is getting married- all the events that are going to take place before and till their wedding would be reported continuously, just like the minutes of an important meeting held by the government.

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“The invitation card is finally here. The sangeet is at this time. The list of all the guests arriving- it’s going to be a destination wedding. The groom’s family has arrived. The bride looks gorgeous in the Haldi ceremony. The bride’s mother gave the groom expensive gifts.” 

Then the pictures from their grand wedding would be flooded everywhere. Is there nothing more important happening in the nation? Why is their wedding the only thing everyone’s so involved in?

Is the media solely responsible for this?

Well, it’s not just the media that is to be blamed. We are equally invested in learning about celebrity gossip. All they’re doing is, serving our interests. At this juncture, we must ask a few things to ourselves:

Why are we so obsessed with celebrities and their lives? Why do we want to know everything possible about them? Aren’t they just people like us? Isn’t acting just another profession?

Of course, they’re all human beings like us. But we give them so much importance that we put them on a pedestal and treat them to be superior. Since we treat them like that, we suppose they should always be correct and that they’re infallible. 

As a consequence, we troll them for the smallest of mistakes they commit, even spelling errors.

In an interview for The Print, in ‘Off The Cuff‘ by Shekhar Gupta, an interviewer asked Varun Dhawan, “Do you think actors need to speak about everything happening around them. Because you are role models, and youngsters are going to emulate you?”

celebrity obsession- celebrity

To this, he said:

“Some of us don’t want to be role models. Aap role model ho, aap role model ho, haan thik hai maine role model hun!” He further said, “I am a human, and I make lots of mistakes. Love me, hate me, do whatever you want with me. I work hard and give my hundred per cent. But I want people to like being me, not for speaking about things, for things I sometimes don’t feel for, because my PR tells me, ‘Yes, now should speak about this, this is the right time; people are going to love you because you said this.’ But trust me, if it’s not coming from my heart, and I speak about it, people are going to see through it. We look presentable because someone’s doing the makeup and doing the hair. But we’re as normal as normal people.”

Can a celebrity feel social pressure?

It is the truth. Actors and actresses are always under social pressure to do things just for their public image. People expect them to be flawless and morally right all the time. They have to speak about everything, and that too say things that are going to please everyone.

 It does not matter what their personal views are. Many prefer to be silent or not give a lot of opinions because somewhere in their hearts, they’re afraid of being hurtful to public sentiments and eventually become a target of trolling and hatred. 

Such things are common in this era of cancel culture: if you don’t like someone’s opinion, you brutally troll them. It’s as if they’ve been assigned the duty of being perfect- of being everyone’s role model, whether or not they want it. 

And if they do something good, and a movie of theirs is going to be released, its worth is reduced to a publicity stunt.

A celebrity’s job is to act

But all of this has nothing to do with the celebrity’s job, with their profession. They are not answerable for anything that concerns their private life and not answerable for all our assumptions and presumptions about them.

All of us like some actors or actresses, but it should be for their work and for the people they are, and not for being the people we want them to be. 

We all want to know more about them, but there’s a limit to everything, and that’s where you need to draw the line. If you admire someone then you must learn the positive attitude she or he has, and get inspired by them.

 Being frantically obsessed about every post or story of the celebrity, judging them based on reports that may not be authentic and assuming it to be the eternal truth is what everyone has been doing. 

Of late, the film industry, especially Bollywood has been held so accountable for everything as if there are no flaws in any other institution or industry.

Being aware and questioning is one thing, but criticizing and spewing hatred against a single industry is unjustified. When everyone trended hashtags of ‘boycott Bollywood,’ no one thought that it is a big industry, that is sustaining thousands of people and their families, besides actors.

Is there a solution to this?

The solution would start when the media stops stalking celebrities and intruding into their private spaces. Many celebrities like to interact with reporters and the paparazzi. 

Following celebrities and publishing stories about them is indeed their job- but it is the moral duty of these reporters and paparazzi to understand how much is enough and where to stop.

Many news portals keep comparing the outfits donned by actresses daily, and they even compel their viewers to rate and make choices regarding who looked best out of all of them. 

Such things might help improve viewers’ engagement, but it is responsible for creating a much undesirable obsession, and viewers keep reaching out for more and more related content.

Although the media might not have better ways to engage their audience, we must understand the same. 

You should not judge anyone based on their outfits or makeover

Looks are transient, and it’s unjustified to judge a particular celebrity by their outfits or makeover. Actors and actresses might have varying opinions, with which we may or may not agree. 

So let them have theirs because everyone has the right to own their opinions. We might not like choices they’ve made in their lives, but understand that it’s their life, and their preferences concern none of us. To simply put it in a few words, treat them like any other normal person.

It’s not that easy though, because of their socioeconomic status in society and the privileges they might be entitled to, but that doesn’t make them any less human beings. 

Being born into a wealthy or privileged family is not something anyone chooses before birth. And finally, what matters the most to us, is our own opinion and beliefs- and keeping them right is our only duty.

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kshama Misra

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