The Cult of Celebrity: What Our Fascination with the Stars Reveals About Us
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
America’s fast-growing religion is—let’s face it—celebrity worship. From gossip magazines to entertainment TV, from blogs to ads featuring famous faces, the stars are our new gods and goddesses. But why are we so quick to put them on pedestals? Why are we even more spellbound when they topple back down to earth?
The Cult of Celebrity is the first book to explore this phenomenon comprehensively and yet in eminently readable terms. In a compulsive read, Cooper Lawrence maps out the psychology behind the behavior of the stars—and that of the millions out there who follow their every move. She points both to the benefits and dangers not only to society but also to us personally; to our spending habits, health, social awareness, attitude toward personal failure and toward relationships, and above all, our self-image. And she offers practical tips on keeping our interest under control. Drawing on the latest research as well as interviews with fans and entertainment industry insiders, as well as celebrities themselves, The Cult of Celebrity is as accessible and sassy as it is thought-provoking.
couldn’t understand why he’d stopped responding to her as she tried to discuss something in the paper. Then she looked up and saw his pale, stricken face and thought, “Oh my God, I’ve got to call 911.” Turned out Molly had been at the counter for a few minutes, but he had been unable to say or do anything. She slipped straight past them and out the door into a waiting limo with her iced mocha before he even had a chance to regain full consciousness, let alone ask for an autograph. Star sightings
didn’t come on vacation with you. Now let’s say Sarah Jessica gets up and walks over to ask if she can borrow the spicy mustard off your table. Dumbfounded, you hand her the mustard, unable to speak because you weren’t expecting to actually interact with this celebrity. Then she says, “Thanks. You can’t have a pastrami sandwich without the spicy mustard, right?” “I’ve never tried spicy mustard,” you manage to say. And the celebrity says, with her winning smile, “Really, you should, it’s New
a willingness to take on a large burden of the recruitment on the East Coast and has indicated that Steve Allen, or someone like him, could be enlisted for the same task on the West Coast.” He concluded, “There is no shortage of recruiters within the entertainment world.” Novak argued in the memo that a celebrity’s participation in a politician’s campaign can be measured “in dollars and cents” and “substantial campaign contributions.” Celebrities also bring other, less tangible benefits, because
encompassing a balance of different things: financial security, job fulfillment, a happy family life, health, a group of supportive friends (or in Kirk’s case, a wealth of dogs). Apply those standards to the world of celebrity, and suddenly stardom doesn’t look like such a worthy benchmark. Success is Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney, Brad Pitt. It’s Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady. It’s winning a Grammy, Super Bowl or a PGA tournament. Winning an award can ensure you
the screen. In a 1956 article in the journal Psychiatry, they argued that it all came down to “the illusion of intimacy.” We have a seemingly intimate relationship with celebrities: We become very familiar with them because they’re continually looking out at us from a screen or the pages of a magazine. Let’s be honest here, we probably see their faces as often as we see some of our friends’. And we know an extraordinary amount of personal information about them. The intimacy is all an illusion,