On Jan. 31, it was announced to the world that singer Rihanna is pregnant with her first child. Social media was flooded with her pregnancy pictures. Her name was trending on Twitter. It was even brought up in a conversation I had with a friend, which begs the question: why are people so invested and interested in the lives of celebrities?
From fan pages to news outlets, there are many different ways to follow a celebrity’s life. It’s what the paparazzi has been doing for years, except now it’s on the internet instead of magazines. Anyone can create a fan page on social media dedicated to a person or group and post updates about them with pictures taken from the paparazzi. These accounts can have thousands of followers with daily activity from similar accounts.
In a way, it’s an escape from reality. For a moment, we’re entering their world and seeing how they live their lives. Isn’t that why reality television is a big success? That doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be a negative thing, though. Being interested in others is normal. It’s human nature to want to have some sort of social interaction, even if it’s through a screen.
This evolved to putting celebrities on pedestals and having pressure on them to be a different person. For example, women in the music industry are criticized for making sexual music even though men have been doing it for years.
In 2020 when the song “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion was released, news reporters were conversing about how it’s inappropriate and children shouldn’t be listening to that sort of music. It’s not a song for children and having others change because one person doesn’t like how they’re portraying themselves is absurd.
How celebrities portray themselves is a huge factor in how big they become. In the past, they have been out of reach and seem to have their life together. Recently, people want to see someone they relate to.
Emma Chamberlain became popular on YouTube because she was a teenage girl who loved fashion, made fun of herself, and was honest about her personal struggles. The way she filmed her videos made it seem like you were on the phone with a friend.
As a result, people wanted to see more of this specific content because they felt like they had a connection to her and she wasn’t seen as an extremely wealthy person. She was a young woman that people could relate to.
It seems like every couple of years, the acceptable reasons to like someone change. When social media and YouTube first became a thing, it was about who could do the best makeup. Next, it was who had the best fashion taste. Now, it’s who’s relatable and funny. The level of obsession can vary as well. For example, it’s considered normal for teenage girls to be infatuated with their favorite singer or band, but it’s frowned upon as an adult.
It all comes down to what society deems is a sufficient reason to admire a celebrity. Maybe in the future, it’ll be common to not be interested at all or to not care.