Do you suffer from CWS? That’s Celebrity Worship Syndrome, a recently identified psychological condition. It is believed that one in three people are so obsessed with someone in the public eye that the obsession affects their daily life. Psychologists at the University of Leicester say that the number of sufferers with some form of CWS, or mad icon disease, is increasing.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with following your favourite superstar in moderation, of course. However, it’s important to make sure you focus more on your life and the things you’re in control of.
Do you follow them because they’re rich and famous or because of their bad boy/girl image? Perhaps we follow them because of their success plan and what they’ve achieved?
Ask yourself, do they have a positive or negative influence on you and on society itself? Are they real or fictional characters? Could you, or would you like to, emulate their success? Most importantly, do they add value to your life?
CWS vs Role Models
So, is the celebrity you like simply an obsession, or are they a role model? Is what they do and represent a good influence on you?
A role model should be someone who positively influences your life and inspires others to imitate their good behaviour. Celebrities can be fantastic role models. You will find that 99.9% of them have worked very hard to be where they are today. However, if a celebrity is your obsession rather than a role model, this is no longer a positive influence on your life. Worshipping a celebrity and doing all you can to imitate them to the extreme that you want to be just like them is associated with several mental health problems. If you try to become someone else, you can lose sight of who you truly are, which can be confusing and cause dissociation or a lack of identity. There is only one you in the world, and only you can be you. So, why try and be someone else – be proud of who you are. Instead of obsessing over a celebrity, find a role model who inspires you and positively influences you. Study your role models and see what makes them successful. Look at their good habits and life lessons and see how to incorporate them into your own life.
#MiloSays, is it cool to be famous?
Our world and the world
Our name is on the life we own, which is the world we have direct control over. We will call this ourworld. The entertainment world is there to entertain us, and there is no problem with this. We just have to choose how much we believe or pay attention to it.
If you watch a shocking programme full of people arguing or fighting, ask yourself, do I want to argue, fight or be peaceful? Is this real or entertainment? Is it shocking or entertaining me? Is it wasting my time, or is it educating me?
You can ask yourself these questions for everything you watch or look at on social media. If your answers are mostly negative, then consider that it is possibly wasting your time or, at the very least, be aware that it is not real if you decide to continue to watch. Then, based on your answers, think about how you could alter what and how much you watch to balance real, educational and entertainment.
Remember, the media paints a picture
Newspapers and news channels – bad news sells. The goal of the news is to catch your attention, and sadly, humans are attracted to drama. So, most news stories contain the words – disaster, shame, accused, crime, death, murder, and suchlike. Rarely do the news headlines report a lovely story as the feature article or document the thousands of wonderful things that happen every day.
We probably already know that television and films are not real. They are designed to entertain, shock, or influence our opinions. Even Reality TV shows are not really that real. They are scripted, edited, and screened with the parts designed to shock you the most. In most cases, some scenes are edited together to create a scenario that didn’t actually happen, but it looks real to the viewer. These scenes have been taken out of context and edited in a way to add drama to a show.
Musicians create Music videos to sell music. These videos allow the artist to communicate with the audience, tell a story, send a message, or grab your attention. Some videos fit the music, and some do not. There are some that are sexy, and some are violent. Some are meaningful, and some are just plain weird. They ultimately cost a lot to produce, and the main aim is for the artist to sell their music. The editing of these videos can make the world look ideal and the life of the artist to be wonderful. However, be aware that most music videos are not a realistic depiction of their lives; it is a form of entertainment.
Magazines contain glossy pictures that are nearly always airbrushed. So, the images you see in the magazine are most likely not what the person or place looks like if you saw them in person. They are designed to glamorise and make their subject ‘perfect’. Magazine use airbrushing to improve the public’s perception of the advertised person, product or place. However, this can damage the reader, as they compare themselves to an unrealistic beauty standard. This can negatively influence how the reader views their own body image and can impact their self-esteem.
The above statements are not saying that all television, news reporters, actors, musicians, sports stars and marketing companies are evil. In fact, they are far from it. If they are passionate about something and can make money to live from it, that is brilliant. For example, music can positively influence your mood, attention span and feelings, which is a good thing.
We just have to decide what is important to our world, not the world.
Milo says, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken!” You can read more in our chapter Y is for Your Life from Don’t Get Your Neck Tattooed, available in our shop.
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