Celebrity worship

Fans are increasingly affected by the activities of their favourite celebrities. But what makes them so attached to these onscreen entities?

Recently, Hollywood biggies Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced their separation after eight years of being married and having a son together. The collective fan following of the two stars went reeling into a pit of extremely radical reactions. Fan comments range from “If these two can’t make it work, how will I ever make it work?” to “I no longer believe in love.”

But there is one interesting question: why do fans feel so close to celebrities, who they have never met, and who they have know only through fictional characters on the big screen?

Even affairs relating to yesteryear stars still have a lot of takers among their loyal audienceEven affairs relating to yesteryear stars still have a lot of takers among their loyal audience

The number one contributing factor is that somebody else’s life is way more interesting than one’s own, believes consulting psychologist Kinjal Pandya. “All our lives, we are looking to escape reality. We watch films, read books, some even resort to doing drugs, but the easiest way to do so is concentrate on somebody else’s life. That is exactly why gossip is such a stress-buster,” she says. This is also why celebrities are at the bearing brunt of some many gossips doing the round. “The lives of celebrities are out in the open — anyone can easily comment or pass remarks. That’s what people do,” she says.

Closer home, Indian fans have always been obsessed with the personal lives of their favourite celebrities. Back when the audience’s favourite star couple Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan broke up, the fans didn’t have any reservations making their opinion loud and clear — a lot of them were obsessed with the break up. Even affairs relating to yesteryear stars still have a lot of takers among their loyal audience.

Sara Khan, life coach, agrees with Kinjal. “People are easily influenced by the day to day activities of celebrities. And not just their real life but also the reel life characters they play,” she says. Sara remembers a time when celebrity worship was such that when viewing the famous Mahabharata television serial, fans among the audiences used to sit with aarti plates whenever it aired on television. She also adds that there is an attach and detach mechanism when it comes to things like these. “Fans get attached to certain aspects of the celebrities and detach from some. So fans are usually more interested in the personal ongoings of the star than maybe what they are doing professionally,” she says. Sara also adds that the media, television, radio and Internet are all responsible for how people consume celebrity news. “Anything occurring remotely different than the general life of a celebrity is termed as news and gossip, and so, has many takers in the audience,” she says. Kinjal also adds that glamour is what makes fans out of people. “There are fans who have built temples around the country for their favourite celebrities — this is literally celebrity worship. Celebrities become idols their fans look up to,” she exclaims, adding that because of the rise of social media, it has become easier for fans to have a minute-by-minute knowledge of their celebrities’ activities.

However, this kind of behaviour isn’t harmful, she says. “You are just very keen about what your celebrity is doing. You need to start taking this seriously if you become completely obsessed with the subject,” she suggests.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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