As I alluded to in my post, ‘The Strangest Kind of Blessing,’ I am completely uninterested in the culture of celebrity; as a matter of fact, I kind of hate it.
Why people fawn over or even ‘love’ people who they’ve never met, or care about people who would never, EVER talk to them is something I don’t understand. There is even a name for such relationships in academia; they call it a ‘parasocial relationship,’ and it happens when one person knows so many things about another, but the object of interest knows nothing of that person and, to be honest, could probably care less about them.
Am I a celebrity hater?
As a matter of fact, I do feel moments of deep respect for a celebrity from time to time, especially with writers or musicians. And I’ll even go so far as to admit that it was a bit cathartic when I shook a well-known musician’s hand, told him that his music meant something to me, then taught him what agoraphobia is upon his asking. There’s only one other person who I’d be interested in having a short conversation with, as I’ve enjoyed his writing, acting, and music composition since I was 14 years old, but even with him, there’d be no goo-goo eyes and nervous titters, because I know that this person doesn’t know me or care about me, and never will.
When you are able to let the fact that these people will never care about you sink in, ignoring all of the magazines, TV shows, and the people around us saying that we should all but worship these people, it clears some give-a-shit room for those who are in our lives…those who DO or WILL care.
I admit that there absolutely WAS a time that I, too, all but worshipped celebrities; it was years ago, but it happened; consequently, it was also a time when I’d never felt worse about myself. I’d ask the universe why I was the weight I was, why I didn’t have money, and why people didn’t think the world of ME and everything that I’d accomplished…why couldn’t I be like THEM? They were obviously doing something right, and therefore were deserving of my love and attention…and jealousy.
I wanted to be skinny and have perfect hair and be rich [fun fact: I had to retype the word ‘rich’ three times because my fingers aren’t used to typing it], and I felt bad about myself when I couldn’t be or have those things…worthless, even.
As I aged, things became different. I value different things, and I’ve essentially shut myself away from that stuff; I prefer cartoons to live-action TV. Seriously, if you were to come into my house at any given moment and the TV is off, if you turn it on, the channel is on ‘Cartoon Network.’
I FUCKING LOVE ‘CARTOON NETWORK.’
…Back to the point.
Two summers ago, I had a week or two off of work, and one of my friends logged into HBOGO on my phone with her account. I love me some vampires, so I spent the week marathoning ‘True Blood.’ After watching that show for a week, I looked in the mirror and thought I was chubby for the first time in a LONG time. The majority of the women they cast in that show are size 0, and I realized that by subjecting myself to those images, even temporarily, that body type (one that I will never have, as I’ve been a size 0 and still didn’t look like them) became the ‘standard’ body type, and it had a significant impact on me. Thankfully, that dysmorphic episode was only temporary, and I snapped out of it.
(Stay tuned for part 2.)