I know the Will Smith and Chris Rock moment has passed, but this pop culture moment that had all of social media talking reminded me of a very important concept; we should not idolize celebrities.
As social media has grown and fan bases grow, celebrities are gaining an almost cult-like following with the way their fans obsess and fixate on them. While surfing on social media, I find fan pages, meme accounts and fan fiction about X celebrity and what could happen to them with this extremely specific scenario.
Some fan bases become so obsessed and fixated on a particular individual that they start insulting and terrorizing another celebrity. Rachel DeSantis, of People Magazine, explained how Joshua Bassett, the star of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, expressed that he was receiving hate from Olivia Rodrigo, who stars in the show alongside Basset. The two had a romantic relationship, but it did not work out. Rodrigo’s hit song, Drivers License, is rumored to have been written about Basset and their breakup. Since the release of this song, Basset has been receiving serious amounts of hate and threats from Rodrigo’s fan base.
Thus, we have a group of people, who idolize one person significantly, so they decide to verbally attack another individual. The Basset and Rodrigo scandal is just one of the more recent examples.
When people become fixated on celebrities, they start to pick up on their lifestyles and agree with everything they speak. They soak up the words of celebrities and become influenced by their daily lives. Instagram and TikTok pages are created in their name, and people begin comparing themselves to these celebrities. This creates communities that essentially view X celebrity as a god.
Now, I don’t think being a fan of celebrities is necessarily a bad thing. I think people need to be aware of just how much they grow to appreciate and view a celebrity.
Celebrities are no better than any regular person walking on the street. They mess up, they stumble and they certainly are not the golden girl or boy. Throughout the media, we see celebrities who go off on the deep end. Just think of Robert Downey Jr., Justin Beiber, Demi Lovato and Lindsey Lohan.
These are people who made it in Hollywood, got caught up in bad behaviors and choices, and set their life off track for a couple of years. Why? Well, I have a guess that the money and power got to their heads. These specific individuals did eventually get their lives turned around, but they are reminders that we should not follow in celebrities footsteps.
Let’s turn back to the Smith-Rock moment. Here we have two men, who have fame and power, and one says a lousy joke insulting the other’s wife and the other responds with violence. Two bad choices.
As “normal” people, I think we should stop putting celebrities on pedestals and viewing them as greater than ourselves. It can cause us to do horrible things to other people, and they are just as sinful as the rest of us.
Instead, we should focus that energy on our loved ones, being respectful and closing the gap with those in our community; not lifting up Harry Styles or Taylor Swift as these magnificent beings. They make great music, but I really don’t care what they do in their personal lives.