Is Celebrity Worship Syndrome A Bad Thing?
I have a friend who is an affectionate fan of Super Junior, the famous South Korean boys group. She can confidently list out the birthdates, height, weight and other details/information of all the thirteen members in the group. She is proud as a Super Junior’s devotee. However, she contemplated and replied me with an awkward smile when I asked her about her parents’ birthdates. As ironic as it seems, but this may happen on you too! You could possibly name many celebrities or even their family members, but you might be clueless about your neighbours’ names. This is rather bizarre as we know someone who is far-fetched from us yet the person will never know us more than the one who is close to us.
Unbeknownst to us, we are living in a celebrity culture. This is an undeniable (adj) [undeniably – adverb] fact. For many people, sneaking a peek at their favorite celebrity gossip website everyday have become their scond nature. Celebrity influences have allegedly paved way to fans’ wild actions, showing supports and affections to their favorite celebrities. However, some extreme cases involving obsessed-fans are truly unacceptable. To exemplify, a dozen of Michael Jackson’s fans committed suicide after his death. One of them barely survived, yet he killed himself anyway as he wanted to be with Michael (Thompson, 1 July 2009). Yang Lijuan from China is another example. She is a huge fan of Andy Lau. Ever since she had dreamt of him during her fifteen, she quitted school and tried all means just to meet and express her love towards Andy. To support daughter’s dream, her parents spent every penny of their savings and even sold their house. After 13 years of waiting, Yang Lijuan finally met Andy but she only managed to take photo with Andy. Her dream did not come true. Unexpectedly, Yang Lijuan’s father killed himself on the following day out of his disappointment (Wang, 29 March 2007). Pathetically, how tragic this society has evolved! These real-life examples truly evince when celebrity obsession has culminated and surpassed a thresold level, fans tend to treat their life lightly.
Indubitably, over-obsession with someone, who is considered as a public figure, will lead people to suffer from celebrity worship syndrome (Murphy, 2010). Inasmuch as such news, the first thought that slips into our minds are undeniably its drawbacks. Thence, celebrity worship is generally being discouraged. Nevertheless, is it an absolute bad-ridden ultimatum? Unequivocally, my answer is NO. Celebrity worshiping is akin to a double-edged sword. Despite bringing disadvantages, it could bestow its benefits on us in the throes of worshiping them.
Inspecting further, celebrity worship syndrome was first appeared in an article of the Daily Mail entitled 'Do you worship the celebs?' in 2003 by James Chapman (Block & Caneva, 2011). According to the researches which have been done by Maltby, Houran, Lange, Ashe, and McCutcheon (2002), celebrity worship syndrome can be broken into three levels: entertainment social, intense personal, and borderline-pathological. People who being categorized under entertainment social involve reading or learning about celebrities and would make the statements like “I love to talk with others who admire my favorite celebrity’. Meanwhile, the intense personal is a deeper level of celebrity worship syndrome in which worshipers believe that they have a special bond with the celebrity and considered the celebrity as their soul mate (Murphy, 2010; Maltby, et al., 2002). Lastly, the third stratum will be borderline-pathological, whereby the worshipers believe that the celebrity is in love with them and they could do anything if being requested by the celebrity.
You might say, "That's not me", but hold on. Statistics shows that one third of the world’s population is afflicted with celebrity worship syndrome and the number is still escalating (Ramnares, 2011; Block & Caneva,...
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