I don’t know why my mind suddenly decided to ponder about this topic, but somehow it did, and here we are.
You probably know how people become fans. They watch a movie of a certain actor or actress, read a book of an author, love a song of a singer etc., like what they see/hear, start exploring other works of that person and slowly become a fan. Later, if they watch interviews of that celebrity, and find similarities of mindset, they start adoring that person even harder. Some people even become a little “crazy“, they get obsessed with that celebrity, making him an idol. They watch, read, listen to everything that person does, buy all the merchandise, follow them in every social media, do everything to meet them and get their photo or autograph.
This whole situation is already kind of strange. We take another person, who is only a human, just like us, and start idolizing and glorifying them. There’s nothing wrong with loving an actor/singer/writer, doesn’t matter, but this whole hardcore fangirling seems more like a worship, and in a negative way. But that’s not the topic, so let’s move on.
So how come it happens, that after being a huge fan of a celebrity, people suddenly become a hater. Many famous people lost lots of fans, same J.K. Rowling, Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, and many many more. And it just makes me wonder, why do people all of a sudden switch places? Of course you can simply say, well they found out, that their idols did or said something really bad, and got disappointed. This is an obvious initial answer, but in reality there’s a place for digging a little deeper and understanding the case better.
The first reason is quite simple. People make celebrities into heroes. And as we know from books and movies, superheroes are perfect. Though now there are lots of counter-movies, showing how even superheroes have flaws, but that’s not the point. People themselves make these celebrities ideal, and when they find out, that oh no, this person actually wrote a racist joke 10 years ago, it becomes a solid reason for them to become a hater.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say that it’s okay to write anything that will hurt others, I’m just trying to solve this case.
Same when people find out that their idol smokes, drinks, cheats on their partner, lies etc. Basically, anything we, simple humans, do all the time. I don’t mean separately, I mean generally, as a whole. So subconsciously we get disappointed, because we put all our trust and beliefs into this person, who all of a sudden appears to be a human, who did some things wrong. They don’t really get disappointed because of that racist joke or cheating, no they become a hater, because they feel betrayed, as the person isn’t exactly the superhero in their minds. When your feelings get hurt, that love that you had becomes a hatred. Just like in any normal relationship.
Second reason is a little deeper, and is actually kind of contradictory to the first one. It’s because we, instead of treating actors/singers/writers as people, whose job is to write, act, sing, in a word-to entertain, we humanize them. Sounds a little weird, so let me explain.
When you go to a doctor, you treat that person only as a doctor, a good specialist. You don’t really get to know how the doctor is in their personal life, you don’t know his mindset and worldview, whether he/she smokes, drinks, whether that doctor is a honest, sincere person, whether he/she lies to their friends or wife/husband. You just don’t care about it, because what you need from them is a good treatment. Same with hairdresser, cook, cab driver, lawyer and any other specialist. That person provides a service, we either take it or not, based on their skills, whether we trust them or not. But somehow when it comes to celebrities, we don’t want to see them as specialists.
We don’t want to perceive Johnny Depp as merely an actor, we don’t want to focus on his acting skills, we want to know him “personally” as well. We want to know what he thinks about this and that, what he likes or dislikes, how he spends his money or free time, whom he dates etc. And then we find it-a flaw, something every single one of us has. But somehow his flaw becomes unacceptable and unforgivable, just because he lives in the public eye. And instead of judging him by his acting skills, we judge him by his personal life and suddenly decide that we’re not going to hire him or watch his movies anymore. Kind of stupid, isn’t it?
I brought the example of Johnny as an instance, but there are so many celebrities who suddenly lost all the respect, even deals and contracts just because of a personal mistake.
This explanation sounds more accurate to me, because I remembered all the older “celebrities“, old singers, writers, directors etc. You don’t know much about them. You never know, whether Marilyn Monroe or Charles Dickens were racist, homophobic, cruel to animals, were pathological liars etc. We like or dislike the same Dickens based on his works, whether we liked his writing style, his stories or not. And I think this is the right mindset. Because he, as any other person has the right to make mistakes, say and do wrong things or even generally have a “wrong” and differing mindset. And it shouldn’t concern his job.
I’m not talking about those celebrities, who do an open propaganda against anyone or anything, who spread aggression and hatred. This is a whole separate case.
Again, I don’t know what was this whole post for, but since it came to my brain I decided to write about it. Maybe it will help us remember, that we shouldn’t glorify anyone, even celebrities, that they’re just humans, with both good and bad. And instead of throwing hate, just become a little more logical and objective. You like Justin Bieber’s songs? Great, listen to them, go to his concert, no matter what kind of a person he is. You don’t like his songs? Fine, don’t listen to them, don’t read about him. But also don’t throw hate. Just because you don’t like or understand sth, doesn’t make it bad.
That’s how simple things are. Don’t waste your most precious things – time and energy on “spying” on people you don’t like in order to find a little flaw and comment about it. Instead of that, follow people, who bring the best in you, who inspire you, influence you in the best way. This is one of those small, micro-ways of bringing harmony and peace into this world, something we all desperately need right now.