There is a biological reason why we are so obsessed with Celebrities. It’s primate. No, that’s not a typo for private, it’s truly primate. Let’s go back to our primate beginnings and explore the results of a recent test where a group of monkeys were given the option of eating sweet cherries or looking at photos of other monkeys. The photos specifically selected by the anthropologists conducting the test depicted attractive monkeys and monkeys within the primate group’s ranking who were perceived to be hierarchically dominant. Now, do you think the monkeys snatched and ate the cherries or stared at the photos? The suspense is overwhelming, right?
If you think the monkeys delayed eating the cherries in favor of looking at the photos, you know your monkey business. Monkeys have facial recognition skills and are also drawn to attractive and higher ranking hierarchical members of their group. So much so, they forwent eating the cherries. By the way, the monkeys weren’t hungry during the testing, the cherries were considered choice treats. The point is… since the monkeys weren’t hungry, they suppressed temptation to eat sweet treats in favor of looking at the photos. It displayed their desire to gaze at attractive, desirable and dominant members of their group. And so we, too, want to gaze at attractive, desirable and dominant members of our group, read about them, follow them, even obsess over them. The only difference? We don’t delay eating our cherries. While reading our favorite celebrity gossip blogs and Twitters or gazing at Instagrams we would rather combine noshing, chowing, crunching and slurping with our primate-based celeb obsession. It seems that human primates simultaneously indulge in both activities, eating treats and staring at celebs, as guilty pleasures.
Kanye West finally said something I can agree with… In an interview on BBC Radio 1 from which I will quote, and an advance thank you to the Radio Show for eliciting such pith from Yeezy and for allowing me to use the quote on the Celeb Slap blog, Kanye basically stated that we might use him as a little rush, a little caffeine boost:
“If you’re a Kanye fan, you’re not a fan of me, you’re a fan of yourself. I’m just the espresso. I’m just the shot in the morning.”
Isn’t this a shot of truth? Most of us follow celebs and their exploits, by watching tv, reading blogs, tabloids, mags, listening to terrestrial, internet or satellite radio. We devour words and images. In reality, we are not in contact with these celebs unless we tweet them, we do not share much if anything at all in common with them. But when we need that boost, that little something extra, we might seek out the latest on the celebs we love or the celebs we love to hate. Kanye included.
You readers, yes you, could probably name off the celebs of interest to you now, the list might be different than last year’s, than the year before, than a decade before. I even remember my elderly great-grandmother chatting with my grandmother and mother about film stars and their secret, sordid lives. There were gossip columnists and tattlers in newspapers, tabs and mags as soon as motion pictures launched. Larger than life celebrity figures were created. Were people truly fans? Or did they just want to get their celebrity fix since the dawn of celebrity gossip?
While there are a handful successful former Disney stars who have gone on to an enchanted life, think Kurt Russell, Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake, on the flip side, there are Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Fergie and other stars who have gone bad. Going off the deep end isn’t the sole purvue of former female stars, Disney stars Shia LeBeouf, Mitchel Muso, Orlando Brown and Omar Gooding boast DUIs on their list of credits. Zac Efron has been in rehab twice this year for substance abuse issues. While Fergie has bounced back and triumphed over addiction, some former Disney stars don’t triumph over their demons or deep depression. Lee Thompson Young, a former male Disney star, recently committed suicide.
While we are certainly not headshrinkers, it doesn’t take someone with a Psy D or MD to figure out that the essence of their problems is the child star syndrome. The child star syndrome basically manifests that these former stars never had a chance to really be kids or teens or follow the same arc of growing up that regular kids, tweens and teens do. Often, their parents act as their managers. At first, their parents probably want to protect them by managing their careers, but then their parents often end up getting bitten by the greed bug and pushing their offspring to do too much, too fast, too soon. Their parents end up exploiting them in a twisted sense.
In another area, think of the child behavior pattern where negative attention is better than no attention at all. Do you possibly think this might be why Miley Cyrus is acting out to the extreme? In addition to finally being able to act without parental or handler supervision and rebelling against the authority imposed on her for years where she had to keep up a clean Disney whitewashed image? In addition to the fear of fading away and no longer being relevant, no longer being desired?
Being a famous celebrity always has its perks, but there is always a muzzle placed on the evil mouth of the dark side of being a celeb. Apparently, some people either feel the need to relentlessly stalk and harass certain celebrities or are mentally ill and focus on celebrities as the objects of their sick obsessions. These celebrity stalkers do crazy things like try to follow them around everywhere they go, do all sorts of research on them including things as intimate as background checks and family trees. Some even go as far as to create a personal shrine in their home just to worship the celebrity that they’ve developed their obsession with. It’s pretty insane if you think about it, but these examples and situations have all happened.
One example of how celebrity stalking can be dangerous is a recent occurrence right at one of the homes of Jennifer Lopez. Luckily, she was away from her Long Island home when a stalker took up residence in her pool house. According to police reports, a deranged man lived in her pool house for the week she was gone. The man was discovered by some people who maintain Jennifer’s home and they alerted the police. The stalker already had a restraining order placed against him by Lopez and was charged by law enforcement officials with possession of burglary tools, two felonies, second degree burglary and a first degree criminal contempt for breaking his restraining order.
Another example of recent over-obsession by celebrity stalkers is one involving Selena Gomez. A nutcase who was extremely obsessed with the beautiful singer and actress claimed to have had actual conversations with God himself about killing Selena Gomez. When Selena and her legal team found out about this schizo, she applied to the court for a permanent restraining order, but for some ignorant reason the judge declined the request until the man showed up in court. When the man admitted his crazed obsession with Selena, she obviously got her restraining order.
Yes, we said it in an earlier blog post about how annoying paparazzi can be. Paparazzi are like buzzing gnats – extremely annoying, hard to get rid of, and they follow celebs around wherever they go. Sometimes the question is raised as to whether or not it is worth it to be stalked and harassed by paparazzi based on the sheer amount of money that being a celebrity is worth. Imagine if you were a celeb being followed around by paparazzi waiting for you to make one wrong move, bait you to say the wrong thing or let a body part become a bit too exposed depending on the camera angle. Sometimes the pictures that paparazzi actually obtain are pretty phenomenal in a sensationalistic way, while others are mundane. Some wild celeb photos taken in the past that have made paparazzi thousands of dollars depending on the celeb and what the photo captured.
There have been many instances over the years where stalkers and paparazzi have attempted to sue celebrities because they’re just that ignorant and desperate to get their hands into the deep pockets of a celeb or even a tabloid magnate such as Perez Hilton. Gossip king Perez Hilton was sued by paparazzi for alleged copyright infringement back in 2006. The paparazzi claimed that Hilton used a bunch of photos without permission and apparently seven other companies felt the need to get in on the litigious blood bath. Another example of crazy paparazzi harassment stalkerism is an attempt to sue Keanu Reeves, claiming that Reeves actually knocked a photographer to the ground in a $40,000 Porsche. Likewise, recently, for Kanye West and Lamar Odom who had run-ins with paparazzi where camera equipment was tossed and possible physical altercations took place.
A final example of paparazzi harassment is a very recent one. Many celebrities object to their kids being followed and harassed by paparazzi. Halle Berry’s daughter has been being followed on her way to and from school and Halle states that her daughter doesn’t even want to go to school because she knows there are (primarily) men trying to follow her around with cameras. Berry lost her legal effort vs. her baby daddy to be able to relocate to France to avoid the nuisance of paps around her and her daughter. Now, Berry, along with other celebrity moms, including Jennifer Garner, have been fighting to get a new California law added that would limit paparazzi’s ability to take pictures of celebs’ kids.
Since the dawn of fame there has always been one massive nuisance which has plagued the celebrity community and they are known by the nasty name paparazzi. This word stems from an Italian onomatopoeia used to describe the sound of the annoying buzz of an insect and was first used in the film, La Dolce Vita, to refer to a particular annoying news photographer. Now, the word paparazzi is used to describe people who go out and take photos or videos of celebrities, athletes, politicians, royalty and any other influential persons. They tend to be independent with no ties to any major journalism company who sell photos they snap to the highest bidder. However, there are select celebrity media entities and tabloids who may have their own photographers and videographers on staff.
Paps have many ways to get the desired shot they want of someone famous whether it be climbing trees, riding in a helicopter or staking out the person’s house for days on end. Many celebs have complained about the lengths that paparazzi go to in order to invade the celeb’s personal life. Fortunately, there are certain laws in places, such as in France, which limit the ability these people can take to invade space by inducing curfews and staging events where the paparazzi can not take pictures or they would be subject to fines or imprisonment. But there are no such laws in the States. And the irony is, the way people are these days, obsessed about wanting to know everything about their favorite stars, has created the photo feeding frenzy which the paparazzi supply.
In general paps can make up to $250 a picture of any star, but they make most of their money from videos and pictures of controversial or international stars including: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Due to the large amount of money that can be brought in from a single photo, it has driven many people to go out and try to do this on their own just to make an extra few bucks. The thing is, no one likes paparazzi, but sometimes paparazzi are used by a clever agent or sneaky celebrity who will text alert paparazzi to a photo op. But in general, the paps do nothing but cause problems for celebs and even the non-famous neighbors of these people. When will this end? Will it take another tragedy like the car crash which took the life of Princess Diana in France for laws regarding paparazzi to be drafted and enforced in other countries?
Cultural Fascination with Celebrities
Do you ever wonder why people are so fascinated with today’s celebrities and the latest gossip? This human social behavior has been around for thousands of years. Celebrity fascination dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans who would share stories about deities, rulers and aristocrats. They even had their own equivalent of gossip columnists. Stories about powerful gods, goddesses, politicians, noble men and women were popular with citizens of all socioeconomic classes. This trend has lived on for centuries. All the juicy things we hear now on tv or read on the internet or in the tabloids about celebs, politicians, reality stars and the rich only seem to increase our drive to talk about and consume everything we can about these personages. The dark side of celebrity fascination is that people these days seem more concerned about what celebrities are doing vs. what is going on in their own lives. People want to know where they are, who they are dating or cheating on, what they are wearing, etc. It is, in essence, a form of worship. Yet people are no strangers to worshiping false idols or indulging in idolatry. Take the Greeks again, for example. They worshiped many Gods and Goddesses of their time. Their entire lives revolved around deities and how to please them and conform to what these Gods and Goddesses expected of mere mortals. One contrast from ancient to modern times would be in today’s society when people go out and buy designer clothes and accessories to mimic others and “please the Gods”.
Is it even possible to step away from celebrity worship and focus on ourselves and what we need to do to make ourselves happy? Or are we doomed to keep up the celeb obsessions which has been part of human behavior for many millennia. At minimum, worshiping celebrities and participating in gossip is passing entertainment. In fact, celebrity worship can create a feeling of inadequacy, that our lives are meaningless without money, fame and material possessions, when the opposite is true, we can be happier, rich even with what money cannot buy.
Guest blog: Cori/CA
We received an email inquiry here at Celeb Slap about whether we knew who billionaire businessman and philanthropist Arthur Blank’s latest girlfriend is. Unfortunately, we don’t know who the mysterious Arthur Blank girlfriend is. One clue is in a quip to the media from Blank regarding the old Atlanta Falcon’s stadium – that he had girlfriends older than the stadium and, yes, the Falcon’s owner used the plural – girlfriends. So most likely Blank is “playing the field”. Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. Blank would certainly be a catch for any gold digger looking to date or land a wealthy man. Blank built his fortune as a co-founder of the Home Depot stores. And for Blank, who is divorced, why not enjoy the company of lovelies interested in dating someone from the Billionaire’s Club, men who live in another decimal digit, make that multiple decimal digits.
Falcons Stadium Revenue
Back to Blank’s biz. Realistically, the old Falcons stadium was neither built for maximum profitablity in the future nor was the stadium making the type of revenue that Blank wanted now. In football, almost all popular teams sell out tickets to every game, there are only 16 games in the regular season. Fan ticket sales are not the issue here. What is the issue? Maximizing profit from corporate luxury boxes sold or leased to major corporations. And the new Falcon’s stadium is designed for exploiting this spendy ticket market.
Arthur Blank Girlfriend – Truth or Rumor
If we three bloggers hear who Arthur Blank’s new girlfriend is or who his new girlfriends are, we will definitely crank out a blog post with the details. Thanks for getting in touch with Celeb Slap and to anyone else with a burning question, use our Contact feature and we’ll see if among the three of us, we can answer with truth or rumor.
Miley Cyrus first lopped off her long locks and tossed her hair extensions in favor of a shoulder length cut and also bleached out the tawny brunette color to a light buttery platinum blonde. Shortly after, she hacked her hair to the pixie length “Pink” lookalike cut. A day after she Britney’d her hair, press releases stated the Miley Cyrus haircut was for charity, but realistically, her hair length wasn’t long enough for a charity hair donation to make wigs for cancer or alopecia patients and she supposedly cut her hair in a hotel room. Methinks the story about she “cut her hair for charity” was damage control by her publicity team. Miley had been on Twitter cryptically tweeting about being depressed and sad, stating that while she was there for people, they were not there for her.
Psychology Behind Girls Cutting their Hair
Miley is still engaged to her fiance, surprisingly enough. Typically, this type of hair cutting follows a break-up. There is a psychology behind girls cutting their hair. Now, Miley’s hair has been pro-styled to look more flattering. She carries off the short mopsy cut well. But… there is probably some turmoil inside Miley that she needs to address. Aggressive hair cutting and coloring is indicative of personality issues and attention-seeking. Hopefully, those around Miley will make sure she gets the attention she needs, professional or otherwise. And hopefully, her team doesn’t just dismiss her actions like they did re: the hair cutting with strategic press releases.
Hair Cuts Reflect Change
Still, Miley looks happy with her new haircut. Maybe she wanted to see a change to reflect a change she wanted to make in her life or to show people she had control of her life. Especially when her image is one that is to a degree controlled by others, perhaps she was asserting: I can do whatever I want. Who could blame her for that? Former child stars have been “over-handled” by parents and handlers from a young age and to disastrous results in some cases, a la Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, et al. Here’s to hoping Miley Cyrus is in charge of herself and happy.
So, it looks like John Mayer has shed his temporary hipster skin in light of his recent break-up with Katy Perry. In fact, he looks very similar to his old self now that he is no longer sporting the 60’s hipster hair and floppy hat. I’ve noticed the pattern of some celebrities deciding to try on the hipster look which seems to happen more often between movies and albums than any other time. A perfect example of this would be none other than Shia LeBoeuf *cough*. Maybe on the in-betweens, celebs just get bored or forgo shaving and getting haircuts as too much effort? Or they decide to hide behind a hipster disguise as a way to sneak past paparazzi till their hipster look is outed? Or perhaps, they see their careers plopping into the toilet and decide to front an anti-stardom ungroomed look like Joaquin Phoenix did when he went with the 60’s Manson image and toured various cities as a lame-ass one man rap show? I won’t pretend to know.
But it seems that maybe after 2 years of being out of commission as far as recording any new tunes, Mr. Mayer decided to just cut his locks and draw some motivation. He was recently espied at a local L.A. bar drinking a Moscow Mule…a very hipster drink! I mean, the man is worth $40 million, so how much of a hipster can he really be? But, I’ve come to realize that most musicians turn to crap after they get rich. Why work even harder to make better, more inventive music when they’ve already reached stardom? Hell if I know! All I know is John Mayer seems to be leaning back toward his roots a bit in changing his wannabe-hipster style.
Looks like Taylor Swift has a new beau. She recently bought a five million dollar home in Hyannisport, close to her new beau-friend Conor Kennedy, of the famous presidential blood line. Does she think she can become American royalty by landing herself an 18 year old high school student from America’s most infamous family? It’s a possibility. Yet, why would an 18 year old Kennedy think about marriage with a 22 year old woman at such an early age? First of all, Conor’s mother committed suicide recently, in the tragic wake of divorce proceedings from Conor’s father. Conor’s father has been publicly involved with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actress Cheryl Hines and spending a lot of time on the West Coast. Where does this leave Conor? A lost young man… Taylor Swift swooped in and love saves the day and night of the pain and abandonment that Conor must be feeling. She even flies him from his home in Massachusetts to wherever she is, by private jet. And the Kennedy family is now concerned that Conor will forgo his final year of high school to spend it jetting around with Taylor.
Yes, Taylor seems to be rushing this relationship a bit too quickly after her massive expense on a new home close to Conor. Why not rent? Although to Ms. Swift, spending $5MM on her Hyannisport mansion is like buying a doll house considering her total net worth is over eighty million dollars. And not to mention she has two other high priced homes in Nashville and one in Beverly Hills. One of her mansions is even up for sale. So why would she buy a brand new manse close to Conor, until she knows her relationship with him is set in stone? In my opinion, stupid move. What if he doesn’t want to go through with this relationship and she ends up stuck with a house she wont even live in? Not to mention her past love life has been filled with nothing but utter disappointment with such stars as Joe Jonas, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer and more.
Gossip blogs and entertainment tv shows are criticizing the Taylor Swift Conor Kennedy relationship and especially for Taylor taking advantage of Conor at such a vulnerable time in his life. But on the flip side, he may need someone who showers him with love and affection, if her love and intentions are true.