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Why Do We Worship Famous People and Celebrities?

The author has wide and varied interests and enjoys writing about them here.

Pretty Angelina

Pretty Angelina

Celebrity Obsession

What is it about celebrities that so obsesses us? Think about it, we even call them idols. It is not just that we enjoy their work, be it singing or acting or playing golf. We want to know all the nitty-gritty details about their personal life, and the more personal the better. There is a huge thriving industry selling us the dirt on celebrities. Here is an interesting fact; People magazine has a weekly audience of 4.6 million readers and has the largest audience of any American magazine.

That is a lot of gossip, but more frightening, that is a lot of people spending their time and money reading about people they don’t even know. There are also plenty of TV shows running in prime time that are exclusively about celebrities such as Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and Extra. And there are people becoming rich and are now celebrities themselves by blogging about the stars. Perez Hilton (real name Mario Lavandeira) is one such blogger.

A beautiful Halle Berry

A beautiful Halle Berry

Celebrity Worship Syndrome

Celebrity worship is becoming such a problem psychologists even have a name for it, Celebrity Worship Syndrome or CWS.

There are different levels of intensity, but a study done at The University of Leicester found that a whopping 36 percent of British citizens suffer from this disorder. Physiologist and Author John F. Shumaker says “CWS is an obsessive addictive disorder in which a person becomes involved with the details of a celebrities personal life.”

In researching this article I came across one story of a woman who cut her own wrists and throat when her favourite celebrity got engaged. Luckily, she lived to obsess another day.

And another extreme of this disorder is people stalking their favourite star. It was a sad day for the world when John Lennon was killed by a “fan.” While most of us go nowhere near these extremes, there is still a widespread fascination with the famous.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

The O Effect

Companies know this about us and are cashing in on it. Think of all the celebrity endorsed products. Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, J Lo, Halle Berry, Justin Bieber and Madonna all have their own perfume. Do we even want to smell like them? You can get a credit card with The Kardashians on it, Jessica Simpson has her own shoe line and Oprah has made people very rich by just mentioning their product. There is even a name for this; it is called The O Effect.

Candle in the Wind

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

The Rise and Fall

Why do we give them this God-like stature? We put them so high on a pedestal that if they fall, they fall very hard and in the spotlight. And this, of course, is more fodder for the gossip junkies. We almost seem to take pleasure in their misfortune or mistake. We have an almost moral superiority even though we still can’t help but gawk at every detail of their fall. We act as if they have let us down personally, as if they somehow owed it to us to remain perfect.

They owe us nothing. They are business people, that is all. If they have a movie or song to sell us, it is up to us to buy it, or not. This does not give us the right to peer into their personal lives, who they are sleeping with, how much weight they have gained, or how their marriages are going. The transaction is completed when you buy their goods.

Micheal Jackson

Micheal Jackson

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Read More From Reelrundown

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We are living in a time of mass communication and instant information gratification. We can use all these wonderful new tools to connect with real people, advance understanding between people and cultures, and share information that others can build on. The time we are living in is unprecedented and we have many amazing opportunities. Or, we can gossip.

And let’s remember the celebrities are just people. People packaged up very nicely, but people all the same. They have the same ups and downs, fears and joys, successes and challenges as the rest of us. When they stumble and fall let’s have the good grace to look away. We can appreciate them when they entertain us, for that is their job, and then get on with our own lives.

Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, small minds talk about people. Eleanor Roosevelt


Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on October 28, 2019:

When your hot you're hot. When your not you're not !

Bruno56 on October 26, 2019:

Reading about 'celebrities', instead of reading news & more important subjects [even to make money] IS A WASTE OF TIME!!

Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on October 26, 2019:

OH ! for the Golden years of Hollywood. Things will never be the same again.

43yhjkyujyhrdt on October 26, 2019:

I'm sick of beautiful women thinking they're ugly and worthless because they don't look exactly like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner or some other ratbag.

Knarf the hermit. on January 07, 2019:

Popularity still doesn't stop some 'celebs' having tragic lives.

Hitesh Poudel on January 06, 2019:

These days I think social medias are also aiding a lot for the popularity of the celebrities. Because of these insta, facebook stories and others posts people are getting more attached to their personal life which is eventually increasing fondness of those celebrities exponentially and people are going more and more crazy for them day after day.

Knarf the hermit. on December 03, 2018:

Because they are achievers in their choice of vocation.

Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 01, 2018:

I once had an immense fascination for the South African sprinter Zola Budd but that was years ago. Now, my favourite celebrity is U.K. television personality Miranda Hart, a natural born entertainer.

Mazda Isphahan on November 30, 2018:

Anyone who wants to know the true value of fame only has to read any of the memoirs written by Warhol's so-called Superstars from the silver Factory days to see what kind of drug addicted, alcoholic, sex crazed degenerates can become famous. Then, you'll realize that fame validates no one and that not all famous people deserve your attention.

Bruno56 on December 10, 2017:

I find most "celebrities" boring. Can't we see they also have flesh & bones like the rest of us? Why people seem to be afraid of "anonymity"? I will never be famous like them & I am not missing a damn thing. Most of us humans will never be "famous" like them & the best thing is to accept it completely. To all of you worshippers of "celebrities, & rich & famous": GET OVER IT NOW!!!

Limpet on September 20, 2016:

The first celebrity whom i physically and metaphorically worshiped was Sophia Loren, that was in the days when she was still single and was then working out of Hollywood. La Divina as i referred to Miss Loren was and still is my ideal. She could portray a Queen with the dignity of royalty or the sauciness of a slave girl which she did more than once. During the James Bond phase Miss Loren even took to espionage a few times.

Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on August 22, 2015:

So sadened to hear of the passing of Cilla Black (real name Pricilla White). The coverage of Cilla's funeral was a glowing tribute to this Diva who entertained us over half a century. However London's gutter press which gave an unwarranted 7 pages the following day is the same 'rag' that misreported the cause of the Hillsborough stadium tragedy and have still yet to retract their outrageous accusation!

Gil on August 21, 2015:

Yes celebrities are not important than a everyday person walking down the street.

Keith Jackson on January 03, 2015:

Sheri, I think you hit it right on the head when you say that celebrities are just people and sometimes have the same problems that we have like paying bills, caring for families, etc! This obsession with celebrities is just what it is............ an obsession! If you want to obsess over somebody, obsess over yourself!

laura on December 27, 2014:

I couldn't care less about celebs. After all they are just people. I do like genuine people and genuine things. I like honesty and trustworthlyness.

Ed on November 26, 2014:


I'd just like to say i found your research really interesting. Thanks for sharing :)

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 29, 2014:


You are very welcome. I meant every word. Keep up the fine work and I cannot wait until you follow me. I can really learn from your style of writing.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on September 29, 2014:

Thank you Kenneth!


Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 28, 2014:


A question for the ages and I think you answered it well.

I really love this hub. And here are the reasons why:

1. This is an excellent piece of writing. Honestly, it is amazing.

2, I loved the way you worded this hub.

3. Graphics, superb.

4. This hub was helpful, informative and very interesting.

5. Voted Up and all of the choices.

6. I loved your topic of this hub.

You are certainly a gifted writer. Please keep up the fine work.


Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on August 22, 2014:

Phil I think the point is that their personal lives are their won...including their battles with substance abuse....just as you and I have our own challenges so do celebrities....they are people...paid to entertain us...that is it! As far as how some look without makeup....why should we care? Why are those pictures splashed all over the place when some sleazy photographer gets an unattractive shot of one of them??? Would you want the whole world gawking at a bad picture of you?? is none of anyones business and as for me...I am too busy living my own life to worry about how someone looks without makeup.

Joe hole on August 21, 2014:

Celebrities frighten me, I don't recognize them but everyone around me does. People start acting strange and more rude than normal. I need the industry for income that the workers bring me but I don't like it. I would rather live a real life than a pretend one as served on TV .

Phil Harminics on August 09, 2014:

Why would anyone want to worship the stars that are druggies, drunks, and trainwrecks? What kind of role models are they? And as far as beauty goes, have you seen some without makeup? They are absolutely hideous. Why people, why?

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on January 25, 2014:

Thanks Eiddwen, I am glad you found it interesting.

Eiddwen from Wales on January 25, 2014:

Very interestign indeed. Voted up.


Keith on January 16, 2014:

Instead of worshiping celebrities, why not worship yourself or God

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on July 25, 2013:

Thanks PaisleeGal...I love that quote too and it is so true!

Pat Materna from Memphis, Tennessee, USA on July 25, 2013:

Interesting topic and thot provoking hub! And so true for so many people.

I think the last quote by E Roosevelt sums it all up! Think I will have to save that quote and put to memory.

Great Job!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on June 12, 2013:

Thank you Flssy!

FIssyVanhggray on June 12, 2013:

True so true, nice explanation... Thank u (:

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on June 07, 2013:

I agree with you. Now S. Hawkings...there is a real life celeb! Thank you for reading and commenting.

Marcy J. Miller from Arizona on June 06, 2013:

While I have exceedingly little interest in celebrities, I do take an interest in the fact that society has become ever-increasingly obsessed with them, and I find it inexcusable that paparazzi hound them to death in the name of satisfying the public's insatiable curiosity about their private lives. It's a sad statement about society that we make idols of actors and actresses -- people who are famous for the irony of pretending to be someone whom they are not -- yet we have little esteem for true achievement. Stephen Hawking? Now there's a "celebrity" I'd love to meet. Angelina Jolie? Please don't give her my number -- I'm busy that year! Seriously, though, you brought up a great topic, and I'm surprised and interested that there's even a working name for the obsession with celebrity! Good job --


Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on May 09, 2013:

Thanks rebeccamealy. I wrote it because all those celeb shows like ET bug the hck out of me, but are soooo popular. I think people need to get on living their own lives instead of worrying about what Angie and Brad are up to. Thanks for commenting.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on May 09, 2013:

Veerrry interesting. This is a fascinating subject. How clever you were to think of writing about it. And, you chose such great photos!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on May 04, 2013:

I agee Suhail. Lots of celebs do amazing work. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on May 04, 2013:

Hi Sheri,

Thank you for sharing an awesome hub on a new topic with lot of originality and creativity in it. I liked it.

Yes, I know people who worship celebrities. I see them everyday on the streets of Toronto and also within my family friends. But most celebrities don't keep up their end of bargain, failing their fans miserably.

However, I do admire those celebrities who go beyond the call of duty to protect disenfranchised people, support nature conservation, cruelty to animals, raising charities. I have my own list of celebrities that I admire (not worship though) and take lot of encouragement from their work. One may not agree with me, but the main picture on this hub, of Angelina Jolie, also reminds me of this person's beauty, from both outside and inside.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on April 22, 2013:

Thanks Ericajean. I agree with you!

Ericajean on April 21, 2013:

What's in a name? What's in fame?

The only difference between Us and Them, is the airtime the celebrities receive. This is why celebrity worship is a clear sign of people without a life. Let me say this gently: There are some celebrities who I respect simply because of their community services outside of television. It is quite alright to watch movies, listen to their music, etc. but where do we draw the line?

We buy their products, quote their songs and sentences, buy hair to look like them and discuss them with friends...and they do not know who we are.

YouTube has made it largely possible for anyone to get airtime. Now, some may be thinking, "Well talent goes with airtime."

True. But there are many talented people trying to make it everywhere so they may get to that celebrity status-and fail.

I watch Japanese Animations mostly anyway. Some stars are too overrated.

Good hub though -Informative.

CJ Baker from Parts Unknown on April 02, 2013:

I agree that CWS is a problem that is inflicting many. I don't quite understand why people feel the need to worship at the church of Oprah and other celebrities. But maybe I'm just bitter that I am not famous and no one is worshiping me. Great hub! I enjoyed it immensely!

Joanne M Olivieri on April 02, 2013:

Putting them on a pedestal as you have said is the problem. They are just people like us but because of they are famous we look at them in a different light and expect them to be perfect. It is very sad, really. Great hub.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on March 30, 2013:

You are right Marcy. Famous for being famous! Thanks for reading!

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on March 30, 2013:

We are definitely obsessed with well-known people who are mostly known for being known. And so often, it's for the most shallow reasons. Someone lives a life of excess, and we want to watch it every week.

Great hub, as always!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on March 25, 2013:

Thanks Midget38. Yes I don't get it either. I was just talking to my hubby and out of all my hubs this one is getting the most hits by far. He thinks I should write more movie star stuff, but it is really the last thing I am interested in.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on March 25, 2013:

I have often pondered why people spend time finding out things about people they don't know. Perhaps its CWS....or something about them that strikes a chord. It's puzzling, and sometimes worrying. The kids in one of my English classes actually decorated the entire back of the classroom with Justin Bieber posters and for the life of me, I still wonder why! It can be an addiction if not careful. Thanks for sharing, Sheri!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on March 20, 2013:

Thanks David. I appreciate your support. So far I am loving this new life.

Dave on March 20, 2013:

Nice job Sheri! The inner writer has emerged!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on March 14, 2013:

Thank you for reading Careermommy. And they put on their pants one leg at a time just like you and I.

Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on March 14, 2013:

Nice hub Sheri. People worship celebrities because of all the glamor and prestige associated with them, and their lifestyle They are unreachable and a fantasy for many people. But you are right. They are just people just like all of us and go through the same things as we do. Thanks for a nice read.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on March 04, 2013:

Thanks CrisSp. Yes I thought M Jackson was a brilliant artist. I love the work of lots of actors and musicians, I think there is a difference between appreciating the work of someone and being personally obesses with the artist. Thanks for reading!

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on March 04, 2013:

Generally, these celebs and their lives fascinates us, let's admit it. However, I am not that personally crazy about them and not one to waste my money on celeb mags, although I'd read them while on the waiting line cash out in the supermarket. Why not? :)

I love Michael Jackson (as an artist) and his music though and for that I am guilty, your honor.

Great entertaining hub! Thanks.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 28, 2013:

Thanks for your comment Wendyjean. You are right!

wendyjean2001 on February 28, 2013:

Great article Sheri Faye. Celebrity idolization is an epidemic in our western society. Just look at American Idol and The It Factor and shows like that. They confirm, especially to young people, that to be famous is the ultimate success. Great job bringing this to our attention.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 27, 2013:

Thanks Kathryn. I know what you mean about "fluff". I have much better things to think about than movie stars! And I would not want to live in the public eye all the time either. I don't know if all their lives are spectacular. So much drug use, suicide and broken marriages. Well, at least they have lots of money to help ease their pain. Thanks again!

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on February 27, 2013:

I get a little irritated with all of the press about celebrities. It's just "fluff" to me. There are some that I don't mind hearing about briefly, but to me they are just regular people with spectacular lives, living right there where everyone can see them. I would not want to live like that, but at least they get paid a lot.

This is a great article. Thanks for sharing your research with us!

I bet the photo is going to attract a lot of people over time. Jolie is one of the most popular actresses in this time, and she is so pretty.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 27, 2013:

Thank you DIYmommy. It was a a coincidence that I published at the time of the Oscars. I watched the Oscars too and really enjoyed the singing. Thanks you for dropping by!

Julie on February 27, 2013:

It's funny that you had published this so close to the Oscars. Perfect timing. I admit, my husband and I watched at least a portion of them....and, if nothing else, it is fascinating to see the extent that people are infatuated by celebrities. From who they are dating, to what they are wearing on the red carpet, people become so engrossed in the lives of celebrities that, even at a steep cost, they have to do or have they latest things they are promotiong. Great (and very timely) hub!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 25, 2013:

Paul thanks for your comment. Funny you should mention religion. In the research I did some are saying our lack of religion is one of the reasons CWS is such a in apparently we need something to worship.

Wildoves thank for the comment. You may be right and that is funny about the size one and the cost.

wildove5 from Cumberland, R.I. on February 24, 2013:

I think for some, reading about the trials, tribulations and fame of others is what makes some of us realize we are all human. We put our pant's on the same way, except, for some, their pants are a size 1 and cost more than mosts monthly salary. Good write!

Paul Bisquera from Los Angeles on February 24, 2013:

I think people are delusional worshiping another person, who is usually a "bad role-model" but that's the way society is nowadays. If there was no religion (which is barely hanging on to their own followers), this is what society would be doing 24/7 today.

Great topic Sheri Faye!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 24, 2013:

Hey Bill,

Yes I was sure Donny Osmond was the only boy for me when I was a tweenie. Alas, he seems to have made a good life for himself without me. And I am sure ever red blooded male had a crush on Marilyn...such a beautiful lady. Thanks for dropping by Bill..BTW is there any way to know who new hubbers are? I would like to connect with other newbies and don't really know how to do this. If you can help, thanks!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 24, 2013:

I don't think I have ever been in awe of celebrities as an adult. I do remember a serious crush on Monroe when I was a kid, but any rational human being, once they become an adult, should realize that celebrities are just people with the same, if not more, problems. Good job on this one, Sheri!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 23, 2013:

Angela thank you for your comment. I have a friend who was a huge fan of a celeb and she got to meet her....and...well...the crush was off!

Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on February 23, 2013:

It is pretty amazing to see how fame elevates a person seemingly "above the masses" so to speak. I think worship is the key word here as well, some people devote whole shrines to certain people they're infatuated with! Very interesting read and voting up Sheri!

Angela Blair from Central Texas on February 23, 2013:

Absolutely delightful article. I feel sure if some of the "worshipers" actually got to know the object of their intense affection they might decide they aren't fans of that particular entity at all. Among those I've met there's the good, the bad and the ugly -- and the delightful few who remain true to themselves and are actually real! Very enjoyable read and I thank you! Best/Sis

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 23, 2013:

In thr research I did they didn't say how they treated those with CWS. They did say that they were usually anti social and with drawn..maybe they are living in fantasy instead of real life. Thanks for dropping by and I appreciate your support!

Zia Uddin from UK on February 23, 2013:

I enjoyed reading your article, thanks for sharing. Celebrities are indeed ordinary people and it's the fans that made them so famous. Celebrity worship syndrome? I learn something new everyday, but I wonder if these psychologists have the answer to this problem and how to treat people with CWS.

I myself adore many celebrities but did not go to such lengths as if to worship them. Generally, those fans who are deeply obsessed with celebrities usually are living their own phase and development, and as they get older, this obsession of worshiping celebrities will eventually pass away. That's what I think but some fans are die hard fans and may require psychological help. Voted up your hub.

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 23, 2013:

Yeah! See he was right...he is not the only one!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 23, 2013:

Sheri, Imagine is the epitome of my outlook on life. It's one of those songs that I tell everyone to hush up and listen whenever I hear it!

Sheri Dusseault (author) from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 23, 2013:

Hi Torrilynn...thanks for dropping by. I don't think we all worship celebs but some people do. I think about poor Diana...poor woman was hounded to death.

Carol thank you. I learned a lot researching this hub.

Bravewarrior Thank you and I love John Lennon's song Imagine. His death was a big loss to the music world!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 23, 2013:

Sheri, it's funny you mentioned John Lennon in the beginning of this hub. That was the exact thought that came to my mind as I was reading.

Very well written, by the way!

carol stanley from Arizona on February 23, 2013:

I think some people are obsessed with least we love to read all the gossip and know what is going on in their lives. Very well done.

torrilynn on February 23, 2013:

sheri faye, i don't think that we necessarily worship celebrities, i think as a society that we find them extremely beautiful and powerful associating as always in our society that the more money you have, the more power you have. nice hub. voted up.

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