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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Why Are We So Obsessed With Celebrity Relationships?

Recently, there has been a lot of traction around Taylor Swifts new relationship with Kansas City Cheifs Tight End Travis Kelce and its sparked up so much discourse online. (The Cosmopolitan)

Since the golden age of Hollywood in the twentieth century, American society has idolized celebrity relationships to an obsessive extent. We’re constantly theorizing, talking, and posting about whether two actors or musicians are still together, if “HE CHEATED ON HER?”, about when they’re getting married or if a baby is on the way. 

For some god-forsaken reason, we feel entitled to know every intimate detail about the innermost personal aspects of their lives. This fanatic, uncontrollable fixation has been exemplified by social media.

 Before the existence of apps like TikTok and Instagram, the only insight we had into the lives of stars were snippets in interviews or traces of reality bleeding through into their work.

However, the prominence of the internet has given us a window into their lives; with one quick Google search you can find out their hometown, how many siblings they had, who the last person they dated was, and their favorite color, all within thirty seconds. 

This unlimited access, combined with any personal posts the celebrity may have uploaded to social media, can culminate into a deadly combination, resulting in many fans developing parasocial relationships with their idol of choice.

A parasocial relationship is defined by Psychology Today as a “one-sided relationship in which a person develops a strong sense of familiarity with someone they don’t know.” Despite the fact that fans have never met, and will most likely never meet, the object of their affections, this connection only grows stronger as time goes on.

Even though this dynamic has become far more normalized as of late, our societal obsession with the personal lives of celebrities has been around for decades. Infamous celebrity couples like Elvis and Priscilla, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Prince Charles and Lady Diana, Sean Penn and Madonna, as well as Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, have ruled the Hollywood social scene.

Whether their relationship is like a car crash we can’t peel our eyes away from, or if they “prove true love exists”, every single twist and turn of these relationships compels fans, pushing us to want to know more and more about them.

This innate desire stems from our natural disposition to compare our lives to the people around us; by either putting celebrity relationships on a pedestal or rooting for a couple to break up, we can compensate for shortcomings in our own romantic lives. 

Although this dynamic may initially seem harmless, many people seem to forget that celebrities are just human beings. They have flaws that we will never know about, their personality is a facade they present on social media, and the majority of the time, we only see the parts of their life that they want us to see.

To assume that just because you know a few fun facts about someone means that you’re entitled to know everything about them is an invasion of privacy. You don’t go up to a stranger on the street and ask them how their divorce is going.

Furthermore, this type of speculation can have genuine consequences. Instances where fans have “shipped” (the act of creating a romantic pairing between two people or characters who are not otherwise romantically linked) two co-stars or members of a band can cause a rift to develop between two people, driving them apart and ruining their friendship. 

At the end of the day, we’re all guilty of this, myself included. It’s not my intention to shame or scold anyone for this, but rather to provide insight on how this can impact celebrities. They’re people first, regardless of fame, and it’s important that we remind ourselves of that before we hypothesize about their personal lives online.

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