According to the trusty source known as the Internet, almost 40% of the British have celebrity worship syndrome CWS. Which makes me think there must be some reason our brains develop obsessions with people in the print.
At the G20, grown men were hopping with glee at the proposal of seeing Obama the next day. One particular neurosurgeon who had a story straight from Greys Anatomy (season 10) was actually meeting Obama and showed me the POTUS email. Glee, joy, happy happy. I admit I was in on the awe at both his opportunity, and the fact that his hair was exactly like Dr Dreamy too. Go figure. My departing words were insisting he tell the big man that “I say hi”, which he promised to do. Tickled.
So what is the fascination with fame – and I can’t believe it’s just about power. People go woosey over Justin Beiber and the only power he has is to croon moving anthem to youth.
It must be something skewed haywire in our evolutionary wiring. Having given it some thought today, I have decided that the only way we have survived is by being naturally hierarchical creatures. We need/needed leadership and guidance in herds and those that were most conformist to the social pyramids probably survived to tell the tale and propagate. So innate in all of use by inheritance is an inbuilt respect for those that are above us in the human food chain. On the savannah we might never have met the chest-beating alpha directing our community, but we needed to respect and revere him. In our modern world, our brains have mixed the famous accidentally into the leadership basket and identify these people as somehow our saviours.
Ask yourself this simple question which will prove my point: If you were in a bar full of people and George Clooney walked in, would you gasp and giggle (and for those non-gaspers amongst you, don’t try to tell me you wouldn’t think it was cool because I know you would tell at least your mum next time you saw her). Continuing my testing question: if the bar was suddenly raided by machete wielding crazies, would even a little part of you expect George to know what to do? Well I would, I would defer to him. Thank god George is here, I would think, he will know how to get us out of this mess – what with being our leader and all. Granted, I am a women and I watch a lot of TV in which he probably plays the hero, so I may be biased in my view. And look at that picture of him: Who wouldn’t want to be rescued by that man?
Actually, celebrities would be best placed to test my hypothesis. Do they find the unwashed masses defer to them for leadership despite any prior posturing for the position? My guess is the answer would repeatedly be: yes.
I think our celebrity worship syndrome has something to do with this vestigial human nature and now I can see it for what it is, I feel ok about it. Actually I do (and always have a little) pitied those in fame for the weird loss of privacy and bizarre value-skewed lives they must lead. There is not even a shred of envy in me despite my enthusiasm for seeing them. And gasping and giggling.