With the release of the new movie, ‘Fan’ starring King Khan of Bollywood, there have been hot debates on celebrity worship. A closer look into the topic reveals how various stars of diverse arts are received and respected by fans of different nationalities.
The growing popularity of social media can be, in a way, attributed to the presence of celebrities and vice versa. Unlike the older days, when you had to stand in long queues or large crowds, just for a handshake or an autograph from your favourite star, is long gone. Many claim that with networking sites, it is much easier to get in touch with them on a personal level.
A tweet or retweet is considered to be more valuable and appreciative than an out-dated autograph. Even though it seems to give us a peek into the personal lives of our idols, it is often a mode of advertising and promotion of their work. Anything more would be an invasion of their personal space, which is hardly ever respected by the paparazzi and the media alike.
The lives of the celebrities, especially from television, film and pop, are glamorised excessively by magazines and T.V shows. Majority find it as entertaining or a way to relax after a long day of work, they hardly ever think or read about them otherwise. Still, there is a small portion of the society that gets addicted to become feverish fans voraciously dedicated to each and every detail of their favourite stars.
It is only natural to look up to successful figures in the society and wanting to emulate their fame and fortune. But it crosses the boundary when one’s object of worship becomes the central figure in his/her life. This is referred to as ‘Celebrity Worship’ as coined by Dr.McCutcheon and her colleagues, which was later described as Celebrity Worship Syndrome(CWD) in a Daily mail article. It is rather a ubiquitous syndrome, seldom acknowledged.
Researchers have found that, in addition to anxiety, depression and social dysfunction, victims of this syndrome also suffer from poor body image. Also, studies have shown that absence of a sturdy role model while growing up supplements to this syndrome, as they are more vulnerable and often devoid of a good support system or friends.
Acts of tattooing celebrity names, cosmetic surgeries to look similar to their idols, stalking, breaking in, are a few examples which showcases the extent to which these fans are willing to go for capturing the stars’ attention. Celebrities are often repulsed than flattered by these actions.
Moreover, many fans have been served with restraining orders and in extreme cases, arrested for disrupting the lives and security of the celebrities.
In such a light, care should be taken to promote celebrity achievements, so that it motivates people through their work to reach aspiring heights, than cultivate a culture of blind worship.