Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Strange Celebrity Fetish

I was just watching the news while eating my lunch and was reminded of America's odd fascination with celebrities. A caption flashed on the screen that there was a "breaking news story." I assumed it would be news of some large-scale, world-wide event, but was shocked to find out that they were simply announcing a new reality TV show on teenage mothers that will air on MTV. Wow!! Great news!! Who cares?!?

But yet, often the answer is "I do." For some reason the Western world (and now seeping into the Eastern world) is obsessed with celebrity. We desperately need to know how this movie star or that musician is doing at all times of the day. When are they having their baby? Where are they going on vacation? Are they splitting up with their spouse? What did they eat for lunch? When I list out these questions, it seems so silly that we would care about the answers, especially since they are coming from a group of people we have never met. But yet, we are obsessed. We tune in to the newest reality TV show. We purchase the newest celebrity gossip magazine. We follow thousands of random people on Twitter. We talk about these folks as if we are best friends.

I wonder if we are so fascinated with celebrity because we have often failed to build strong, healthy, real-life relationships. Few of us are really interested in getting to know others in an honest and intimate way, and even fewer of us are willing to be vulnerable with our friends in allowing them to know us on the deepest level. My opinion is that if we were actually courageous enough to bare our souls to our friends, we would realize the abundance of life that comes through these intimate friendships, and would no longer be interested in trite, pseudo-relationships with celebrities. May we have the courage to bare our souls to others, and the curiosity to allow others to be bare before us.

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