You only have to step into a local shop and look at the rows and rows of glossy magazines to see that we are a nation that is obsessed with celebrity. Heat magazine is one of the biggest selling magazines in the UK with a circulation of over half a million, and this is only one of a long list of celebrity gossip magazines that is produced each week.
The title of the ultimate British celebrity magazine should probably go to Ok! magazine. It is a favourite of many celebrities who will turn to the magazine to reveal any revelations or scandal in their lives. Ok! covers more celebrity weddings, pregnancies and engagements than any other magazines. Most celebrities will use Ok! as a platform to promote something good in their lives and it is well known that they will receive a hefty payment in return. Ok! magazine was first published in 1993 and since then there has been a huge influx in rival magazines all claiming to be the first port of call for inside celebrity gossip.
But what is it about celebrity that fascinates us so much? In my opinion there is more than one reason. For some people it is simply a case of lifestyle envy. Celebrities appear to have it all: money, looks, a fabulous lifestyle and worldwide recognition. They seem to live a magical lifestyle that some Kelly Stables of us aspire to achieve. Celebrities have become a new form of god figure and we allow ourselves to fantasise that our lives could one day be like theirs. Some people even feel that proximity to celebrities will elevate them from a normal person to celebrity status. Or perhaps they think that maybe they can befriend a rich celeb and that they will share some of their wealth with them? Either way this is a pretty deluded state of mind. It is very unlikely that a celebrity will allow an average Joe to ride on the coat tails of his or her success.
Another reason for our celebrity obsession is our natural human instinct to be interested in other human beings. Essentially we are pretty nosy creatures. We like to hear what is going on in the lives of people around us. This becomes heightened when directed at the world of celebrity as their lives are so different and more extravagant than ours. We are naturally fascinated by the unknown and unfamiliar. However, this curiosity can be a double-edged sword. We are fascinated by the seemingly perfect lives of celebrities but at the same time we are always waiting for something to go wrong.
We do not always want to hear how well someone is doing and it is a well known fact that scandal always sells more than good news. Sometimes it takes someone else’s bad news to make us feel better about our lives. Of course this seems a twisted logic but it is a fact, and the magazine circulation numbers back this up. People are much more likely to want to read about a married footballer’s sleazy affair with a page three model than the good news that a pop star is set to break America. Just look at the current Cheryl and Ashley Cole situation. The bottom line is: scandal sells.
Each week the media churn out pictures of flawless celebrities that have been air-brushed thus setting an unrealistic goal for the likes of you and me. This is why when a celeb is spotted without her makeup we feel better because they are instantly put on a level with the average person. An element of normality is created. We rejoice in seeing a celeb looking bad because it makes us feel better about our bad hair days and so-called fat days.