“With great power, comes great responsibility,” is the motto of the amazing Spider-Man.
Unfortunately, superheroes don’t exist, leaving only ordinary, mortal humans to abide by this saying. Though they may not shoot spider webs out of their fingers or have the ability to fly, there are some people on this planet who have extraordinary powers and the included responsibilities.
We practically worship them, devote many precious hours to them, and get into heated fights to defend them— these seemingly super and much revered people are none other than celebrities.
Now, I consider myself a pretty normal, rational person. When teenage-girl crazes like Justin Bieber and Twilight emerged, I wondered how in the world it was possible for anyone to spend so much time on a completely one-sided obsession.
Alas I fell to this typical behavior as well when I found out about a British boy band called One Direction. I still don’t understand why my love for them is so deep and my parents still make fun of me for it…but my one wise friend explained to me that it’s just a phase that everyone has to go through. So I guess this means even I’m not immune to the powerful allure of celebrities.
Most celebrities are so famous and well-known, that I might not even believe they exist until I see them walking around Hollywood or performing live. Sometimes I honestly think I have a better chance of seeing Spider-Man jumping off a skyscraper than Tobey Maguire walking down the street.
So how do we devote ourselves entirely to such an abstract figure, someone that might as well be fictional? What is it about public figures that causes perfectly reasonable people to not just like them but to become completely obsessed with them?
It has to be more than just outward appearances and talent.
Despite being famous to the point where they seem out of reach to ordinary fans, I think celebrities really can make personal connections—which is what makes them click with fans. They get their power not just from being extremely attractive or incredibly gifted, but also from their human nature.
It’s during the interviews, video diaries—places where stars show their vulnerability—when fans catch a real glimpse of the people behind the over-done makeup and edited pictures. We may become attracted to celebrities at first because they seem extraordinary, but their ordinariness makes us stay fans forever.
Take One Direction for example. I didn’t fall in love with a famous boy band that goes to photo shoots and appears in advertisements for big name companies such as Pepsi. I fell in love with “the boys on the stairs”—just five normal teenagers who wanted to make it big on a singing show called the X-Factor.
Just like that, millions of other people fall in love with various other celebrities. And as we’re showing them our feelings of love and support, we’re also giving them a little more power.
And with that power, we’re entrusting them with major responsibilities. We rely on them to stay true to the people we originally fell in love with. We rely on them to fulfill their jobs as entertainers and role models.
Just like superheroes, celebrities have the whole word as their stage with special powers and responsibilities to their supporters.