It seems that our celebrity-obsessed culture has become even more obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous.
Dr. Carol Lieberman, Beverly Hills Forensic Psychiatrist and Media Legal Analyst, says people consume celebrity gossip as an escape.
“I think as the problems in the world, the real problems, from natural disasters to terrorism, to shootings, and they’ve gotten to be worse, there is a desire to turn toward something that is lighter, in a sense.”
Paying attention to celebrities’ problems can encourage people to talk about similar issues in their own lives.
“If there is a celebrity who is depressed or having alcohol issues, or committing suicide, or marital problems, it gives an opportunity – people will pay attention to that, and it gives an opportunity to talk about these issues, that everyone, or most people, go through at one time or another. In that way it’s a helpful kind of thing that we can use them as examples.”
But celebrities aren’t always up to the challenge of dealing with public criticism.
“People who are often the most driven to become celebrities, not necessarily the people who are the most talented, but people who are the most driven, are people who as children, weren’t given the applause, weren’t getting the attention that they needed and they go on a search, a never-ending quest, to get that applause from audiences. And so, because their sense of self is so fragile, when there is a criticism of them, then they are least able to handle it.”
Dr. Lieberman was a guest on 790 KABC.
By Sandy Wells