Celebs, not to idolize

These days, every checkout at the grocery store has a rack of celebrity gossip magazines. Kate Middleton is pregnant? It’s baby bump watch time! Al Roker pooped his pants during a press day at the White House? Let’s hope Dateline covers it (these fecal matters are delicate issues, but they deserve to be recorded). Even though it can be interesting to sneak a peek at what Lindsay Lohan is up to these days, celebrity obsession has gotten out of hand.

Celebrity babies. What have celebrity babies been up to recently? Emerging out of the womb can be interesting to a certain reader, but not as interesting as photos of the baby on People Magazine. Or, a segment on Entertainment Tonight about the parents selling the photos to People Magazine for a large sum of money. “Why would they sell out their own kid?” you might ask. “Won’t they be embarrassed someday?” Probably not. Tom Cruise needs money to buy Suri a new pair of heels.

Obsession with the glamorous lifestyle of celebs starts with admiration. Certain celebrities have special qualities that are appealing to everyone. Physical attractiveness plays a huge role. You’re more likely to buy a magazine with a bodacious, tanned actress gracing the cover. A gallery on a gossip website invites you to “Guess the celebrity cleavage.” A YouTube thumbnail, looking slightly suggestive, beckons you deeper into the never-ending maze of videos. It can be denied, but hormones do the talking in entertainment media.

A celebrity can be compared to an insect under a microscope — every detail is magnified. A streaky spray tan or pimple will simply not cut it, only to be torn apart the next day with close-up photographs on Perez Hilton. A private life is an extravagance to those with more than 15 minutes of fame, which begs the question, did they know that when they chose to enter the business (or were thrown into it)? Either way, it can be handled with grace (Anne Hathaway, dazzling viewers in “Princess Diaries,” then completing her butterfly metamorphosis with the recent “Les Misérables”) or despair (Amanda Bynes, starring in “The Amanda Show” as a young arachnid, developing spider legs with each hit-and-run charge). The fame life cycle is short and distanced from the everyday reader, making it easy to forget that celebrities are humans, not bugs.

Whether eyeing celebrities with fascination or disgust, it’s important to keep in mind that they are real people, no matter how much plastic has been added to their faces. They are not otherworldly, and they have no special superpowers that we know of. As the almighty and magnificent Beyonce said, “People look at us head to toe, judge us and think that we’re not human. We are. Nobody’s a celebrity but God.”

Class of 2014

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