Only on Facebook, Shakira has dozens of fan groups, with between
1,000 and 40,000 members. Ricky Martin doesn’t have such a large
social network, but still has around 8,792 members.
But not only the famous have followers; several brand new musicians already have their fan club, with people who follow them wherever they’re playing and know the lyrics of all their songs.
The Positive Side of Fame
Ever since celebrities appear on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, people increasingly recognize admiring them. Some yell it out loud, leading or being part of a fan club, while others admire their idols in silence, enjoying their music or movies at the comfort of their homes.
This subject was discussed by researchers Jaye L. Derrich and Shira Gabriel from the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. The study, which was published in Science Daily, concluded that admiring a celebrity may help people with low self-esteem see themselves in a more positive way.
According to the experts, a person with difficulties in establishing social relationships may benefit from “parasocial” relationships, a phenomenon that occurs when a spectator enjoys a show for such a long time, he/she might have the illusion of having an affective relationship with the character. This way, people with low self-esteem could reap the benefits of “parasocial” relationships to feel closer to the dreams they have for themselves.
Researchers performed three studies with over 100 students each, who had to identify their favorite celebrity and describe him/her through an essay. People with a lower self-esteem found that they admire celebrities with a personality similar to how they’d like to be. In some cases, the similarity between people with a low self-esteem and their celebrities was even higher than the similarity perceived with their mates. For those without a mate, admiring someone can have benefits and virtually no risks, because there is no chance of being rejected, while it provides an opportunity of minimizing fears and feeling closer to their personal interests.
Although they don’t state it on their work, experts suggest that if you’re a big fan of Brad Pitt, you can continue with your idyllic relationship! Not only you won’t harm anyone, but also you’ll feel so good, eventually you will find someone who makes you sigh like Brad.
Source: Wiley-Blackwell (2008, June 6). Admiring Celebrities Can Help Improve Self-esteem. ScienceDaily.
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