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May 27, 2006


nathan kirk

I've been searching the web for someone discussing this theory of celebrity:
Every human being has the fundamental fear that they are unloveable and unacceptable.
This is the driver of most behavior--those that are not biological/instinctual.
A celebrity by definition is fundamentally loved and accepted.
NOT that the celebrated person feels that or avoids the human condition of feeling unloveable.
Rather that the celebrity is invested by the rest of us with that quality.
In fact, the dissonance between the celebrity's personal wrestle with the human condition of feeling unloveable and the public's unconditional adulation requires every celebrity to make some introspective adjustment, and makes some celebrities just plain nuts.
Given that each of us desperately yearns to be loved and accepted--at all times, in all behaviors, for all our thoughts and desires, the existence of someone who has such quality is extremely attractive.
Such a condition of being unconditionally loved at all times is an almost god-like condition.

Proximity in any degree to celebrity then conveys to us in some degree that condition we crave.
The greater an individual's awareness of his unloveableness, the greater his worship of celebrity.
Those who do not give any attention to celebrities, have not conquered their basic lack--they only recognize that celebrities haven't conquered it either, and public adulation will not conquer it for themselves.

Stielstra, Oh Celebrated One, Author of International Renown, your response to my ignoble, obscure speculations would be most prized and revered! (Please detect irony)

Mia  Church

Thankyou! I am go glad I came across this information. I have been searching for months for someone to discuss the dissonance in my life and brain. I am married to a celebrity and I find it wholely ridiculous, the adulation, the unstudied reverie, for what? a job, certain human behaviors that happen to be captured on electronic media?
I like the theory of the human condition being one of inherent insecurity and seeking affirmation and a "hub", I also believe that people are addictive in their search for an "I am real" feeling, whether that be through spirituality or being said Hello to by someone who's been on tv.
Quite possibly celebs seem more "real" to us and in turn if they see us then we must be real and worth more too. What do you think. I know that if we as a recognized couple are doing our own thing, eating with our family etc, and do not respond to shouts and papers in the face, people get very offended. I believe they feel so slighted that it scares them, invisible? that much closer to death, if this person sees me, smiles at me, engages me, I am very alive and worthwhile. I think it all goes back to survival. I'm sure before electronic media, the man about town, or the caveman known best was the most sought out to qualify our goodness and right to stay on the planet. If only in our minds. I am refreshed and gladdened when someone acts normal to my husband and I, I yearn for friends who can see beyond this psychological barrier. I yearn for depth. For intelligence and peace.
Thanks for the forum. Mia Church

Greg Stielstra

First let me apologize to both Nathan and Mia for taking so long to discover and respond to your comments. I don't always return to posts I wrote a while back and only discovered your comments today.

The Psychology of Celebrity is one of my favorite posts and so I was very pleased to see that at least two other people found the topic as interesting as I did.

I'll address both of your comments in two consecutive replies.

Nathan, I agree that people want to feel loved and the fear that they're not drives a great deal of behavior.

You raise an interesting possibility; that people associate "being known" with "being loved." If you get noticed then you are somebody. If you are ignored then you are a nobody.

If I understand your comment correctly, then you are also saying that when we meet a celebrity or have a brush with fame that we become known by association and thus become more of a somebody than a nobody by trading on a little of the celebrity's fame.

That idea fits with my original speculation concerning networks and makes sense to me.

Now, as for being a "celebrated author of international renown..." Well, not exactly. When people hear my name the most common response is, "How do you spell that?" :)

Spread the fire. GS

Greg Stielstra


I have often thought that being a celebrity or a celebrity's spouse would be incredibly difficult. I speculated, and you confirmed, that the worst part would be trying to have real relationships. How could you know if your new friends were genuine and enjoyed you for who you really are?

I wonder whether the solution to improving encounters with fans involves breaking the spell. Could it be that the people who fail to "act normal" are engaging you and your husband based on the characters he's played? After all, they don't really know him and are forced to use the only connection they have (past characters)to work an introduction.

If that's true, then the conversation will remain superficial and fake as long as it revolves around the fictional character.

Rather than letting the conversation linger on films or TV shows, could you quickly shift it to some "real" fact about you--something that reveals your humanity? Since this information would be both new and unfamiliar to the fan, they may start to listen more closely. They might also let go of their stereotypes and assumptions and be forced to engage you as people.

It might be as simple as introducing them to the other people at the table. "I'd like you to meet my uncle Ernie from Topeka..."

If you try these things please stop by and leave comment telling us how it went. I'm very curious. Finally, I hope you find the intelligence and peace you yearn for.

Spread the fire. GS


Hi Greg, Thanks for your insight. I've tried those tactics and to some degree they work, but for some reason it still is annoying to me, because if someone you just met started talking to you about say building a fence you may lose interest, but when the celebrity does it there is this facination that "hey I am talking to so and so about every day things" we are cool, we are friends etc. And then at every turn when we run into these people they cling. and my problem is the knowledge that I have that every person on this earth is equal and it almost hurts when I see others who worship someone because of media. Does this make sense to you? I appreciate my position in life, i want to be successful and be praised for my sincere contributions but not treated as a God, and I know that my spouse is uncomfortable with it as well. It may just be a symptom of our media driven society. I wanted to start a celeb. forum, of course you would have to be screened but don't you think that's a good idea to get this stuff off our chests!? Thank you for letting me vent. See you at the next premeire MC
Books I've discovered: In the shadow of fame-Sue Erickson Bloland
Celebrity and Power-P. David Marshall
Fame-The Pychology of Stardom- Andrew Evans and Dr. Glenn D. Wilson

psikiyatri uzmanı

The great article. Congratulations.

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