Fans terrorize celebrities to feel better

Since her DUI scandal, actress Amanda Bynes has been bombarded by paparazzi and accused of acting out in the midst of a Britney Spears-type meltdown. Now, Bynes is under the microscope and her every move is labeled erratic.

Reports of Bynes driving aimlessly in Los Angeles for hours, smoking marijuana in her car and laughing to herself in the parking lot of Home Depot seem unusual when they are uttered out loud.

However, each of these actions can be justified. Perhaps Bynes was having a hard day and wanted to take a long drive to clear her head; perhaps she turned to marijuana to relax the way many people do. As for laughing to herself at Home Depot, perhaps Bynes recalled a hilarious joke and was simply laughing about it to herself.  Granted, Bynes has been driving under a suspended license and does have a criminal driving record.

But all celebrity actions are advertised for the world to see. Celebrities get criticized for outrageous driving tickets, experimentation with drugs and breakups. Famous people deal with issues that can happen to anyone, yet we have no hesitation when it comes to tearing them apart.

We condemn those in the spotlight for crimes we are also guilty of committing. We turn famous people into our scapegoats and we project our insecurities onto them. The second Christina Aguilera puts on weight, we pity her. We never consider that Aguilera is a normal person — a concept often shoved aside when it comes to Hollywood stars.

The average person doesn’t have a perfect complexion or rock-hard abdominals; our lives are not glamorous, we do not stay in fancy hotels and P. Diddy never invites us to his parties. Our lives can be so boring that we seek entertainment in the downfall of the famous.

We poke fun at them, find their flaws and bully them because they are untouchable and not “real.”

It is so easy to be attracted to celebrity gossip because we don’t think of celebrities as real people.

Their lives are displayed to the masses and their dating lives become front-page news. When a celebrity finds conflict, it’s not only front-page news for one publication  — it becomes front-page news for multiple publications.

We want to see when celebrities make mistakes because it makes us feel better. When we falter, it is reassuring to know that the entire world doesn’t know about it and poor Bynes has it worse. Celebrity scandals make it easier for us to cope with similar mistakes and while we disparage them, we are also relieved when someone else fails, especially flawless celebrities.

Bynes is just a regular woman, doing fairly regular things and making mild mistakes. If Bynes wants to smoke marijuana in her car, it wouldn’t be the first time anyone has ever done it.

If Bynes wants to shave her head, it wouldn’t be the first time anyone has ever done that, either.

 

Reach the columnist at jhgee@asu.edu or follow the columnist joc_gee


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