by Catherine Goldberg ’20
Three years after calling “Jelena” quits for what seemed to be the last time, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are giving their romance another shot. After Gomez’s traumatic lupus diagnosis and kidney transplant recovery, it seemed that Bieber wanted to be by her side.
It was not long before the “Where Are U Now” crooner tried to sweep the Disney alumna off her feet once again. In the past few weeks, pictures of the two getting cozy together have been flooding, the web. Some find the past tween sensations rekindled relationship to be adorable, while others feel that Bieber is toxic for Gomez. In any case, there is a bigger question: why do we care?
The public does not know Bieber or Gomez personally, so why do we care whether they are together or not? It is a peculiar thought, yet something most of us are guilty of doing. We are curious about what our favorite entertainers do in their day-to-day lives.
The reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians validates the fact that human beings are fascinated with the lives of famous people. The Kardashian clan appears to be celebrities for no apparent reason other than the fact that people are intrigued by their glamorous and over-the-top lifestyle.
When you peel back the layers, our preoccupation with popular culture mirrors an extreme interest in other people. It appears that as human beings, we are hardwired to gossip and in the 21st century, celebrities have provided us gossip for our everyday conversations. In our highly mobile and industrial society, they often serve as the only “friends” we have in common with a world of other people. They provide a similar interest and topic of discussion between people who may not have much to say to each other. They aid informal interactions in helping people become comfortable with new people or in new surroundings. Being involved in the virtual world of the internet can make a person seem more socially adept.
Although the relationship between Gomez and Bieber may not be the most important thing in the world right now, as curious beings, we want to explore it. It is entertaining to distract ourselves with the lives of people whose job it is to entertain us. After all, that is what it is—entertainment. It is ultimately harmless, and often a tool to facilitate social interaction between people who would never meet otherwise.
Therefore, it seems that caring about celebrities’ lives may be a socially important phenomenon. So, if you find yourself becoming rather intrigued with some silly story about a celebrity, do not beat yourself up. It is engrained in our human nature.