In the News
Fear Death? Try Obsessing about Celebs
Studies say love of celebs can help with anxiety of death
-Julie Ryan Evans
Stop guiltily hiding your copy of US Weekly beneath the Atlantic Monthly whenever your doorbell rings … your fixation on celebrities just may be beneficial.
According to recent research cited on a Psychology Today blog, celebrity obsession can help us mortals cope with our fear of death.
From the post: “According to “terror management theory,” much of our anxieties and motivations emerge from an existential terror of the nothingness that comes after death. Dozens of studies show that activating thoughts of death (increasing “mortality salience”), even subconsciously, leads us to grasp for meaning and structure in the world by, say, identifying with and endorsing authorities or social groups or cultural mores that will survive our own demise. Because then a part of our essential self – our beliefs and values – will carry on in some form outside our worm-baiting bodies.”
So in other words, we may bite the dust one day, but The Hills lives on.
So next time someone tries to tell you your celeb fixation is unhealthy, you can just quote researcher Pelin Kesebir of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “We all need these buffers. Famous people can serve as inspirational figures. They can provide the kind of existential stamina. They can show that you yourself can become immortal. So they’re in a way what’s best about a culture. They can serve as compasses. I don’t think that’s unhealthy.”
Ah yes … Brad Pitt certainly does shore up my existential stamina! Don’t you agree?
To read more about the data collected and which celebrities rank highest with people in terms of memorability and forgetableness, click here.
To start easing your anxiety about death, just visit Betty’s Scoop section.