Saturday, February 18, 2006

Why Does Anyone Care?

I picked up some medication from Wal-Mart today (been very ill lately). As I waited to pay, I saw a lot of magazines and tabloids featuring Jennifer Anniston, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Jessica Simpson and NickLachey, Britney Spears and Kevin whatever-his-last-name-is. I realized these are pretty much the same people and same stories that are always in these weekly mags.

Now, if you don't know who any of those people are, you are either very young ("Dora the Explorer" age), very old, or VERY blessed. But, unfortunately, most of us do know because their images are practically everywhere. Even if you're not a person who pays much attention to celebrity culture, you still have a tangential idea of what's going on in these celebs lives.

But for those who may not, here's a quick recap: Brad dumped wife Jennifer, slept with Angelina, she's pregnant with his baby; Tom went crazy on Oprah's couch, proposed to Katie, their relationship is incredibly annoying and may be in trouble; Jessica and Nick were in love, married, then split (didn't see that coming); Britney and her jobless husband, Kevin, have a baby and now, possible marital problems (No! Really?). There, you're all caught up.

Now you may be asking "So what? Who cares?" EXACTLY what I thought. These are all the "beautiful people " whose somewhat pampered real lives seem more like daytime soap operas than anyone I know. Yet, these tabloids and magazines sell quite well. If they didn't, there wouldn't be so many of them.

For the record, I don't care what these peoples personal lives are like. But, I am intrigued by why so many other people do. Even the news media is prone to reporting celebrities' ups-and-downs. Certain news channels have special segments devoted entirely to this. Is it the appeal of the celebrity culture? The soap opera melodrama of their lives? What?

Don't get me wrong. Celebrity culture does have its appeal. I remember watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous hosted by, the appropriately named, Robin Leach. For a short time the show, which showcased celebs and their amazing mansions and beach homes, was enjoyable. That is, until it started feeling more like Lifestyles of the I'm Better than You Are.

From a human standpoint, I find this whole thing interesting. Not the celebs, but the people who follow their lifestyles. Does what happens in these famous peoples lives really affect us in any way? Does whether or not Brad and Angelina get married make a difference in your paycheck? I haven't noticed one yet in mine. And don't even get me started on Paris Hilton. As long as her parents don't put her in charge of the hotel business, I'll be fine.

We all have our own lives to live and our own goals to accomplish. We have dreams for ourselves and our children that don't involve cameras following us around 24/7. But for some reason many are drawn to these people and their experiences. Did you ever wonder why?
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