I've done it. You've done it. We've all dabbled in a bit of celebrity gossip. But, why do you care about Kim Kardashian-West? Why do we need to know what's going on with Liam and Miley? Why are these people "household names"?
Well, there are a few reasons why you and I love to talk about these guys:
1. Looking for Guidance
Celebrities are normally at the top of their game. They excel at their craft. We hope to emulate them by watching their every move. We want fame and success for ourselves. We keep up with the trends set by the celebrities in order to replicate their successes. Maybe if you buy Kylie's nail polish, you can start to be more like her, whether it's a conscious decision or not.
2. Finding Our Kindred Spirits
We tend to use familiar tones when gossiping about celebrities. We talk about them like we know them. We know we don't, but that doesn't stop us from acting like we do. Emulating them sometimes causes us to empathize with them and we begin to grow attached. You got an opinion on the Drake-Meek Mill debacle? Of course you do, you see one of them as your boy. Regardless of who, you argue with your friends to protect their integrity. You've never met them, but you're already loyal. Why? You see yourself in them.
3. Give Us The Bad News First
Some psychologists think we are feeding the negative bias. We use their slip-ups to avoid making similar decisions, we learn from not only their victories but also their failures. It has also been argued that we enjoy watching them make mistakes. Why pay attention to them if they aren't entertaining? What's more entertaining than wardrobe malfunctions or baby drama? To some people, not much.
4. Their Realities Are Better Than Ours
Daydreaming about running off with your favorite celebrity provides a great escape. Instead of facing the stress of student loans and finishing my degree, I would love to run away with Henry Cavill, but I can't and that's okay. There is also a downside to indulging in your escape too often. When this happens, these daydreams become obsessions. This sort of thinking can evolve into dangerous mental disorders. Get help if it gets to be excessive.
5. Bonding Without Guilt
Gossiping can be used to "build[s] social bonds because shared dislikes create stronger bonds than shared positives". Also, some people feel there's no consequence to gossiping about people you don't know. There's a slim chance you'll meet these people and they'll most likely never find out what you said about them. You can learn plenty about a person through gossiping. If a person doesn't like the same tweets from Iggy Azalea as you, you may find that your value systems coincide. Gossiping is used as a tool to assess what those around you find important.
I'm definitely not saying gossiping about others is good. I'm just recognizing its presence and use in society. It's not a big deal when done in moderation. Just don't forget the real people in your life. Celebrate your friends and family before you praise a stranger. Try to mean it when you say you love something, don't just throw that term around when you talk about famous people. Don't get lost in cameras and flashing lights. Celebrities are just people doing a job.