I really wish Dr. Phil would do a show on this. I can route several “guests” his way who would be good candidates for this study. Hm. Maybe I will send a copy of this article over to him on his website and see what pans out.
I am a movie buff, as anyone who knows me can attest. I have been since I was a kid. So with this said, I can appreciate movies both old and new and along with it, a bunch of different actors past and present fill my list of favorites. I guess I have always looked at actors and actresses much differently than most people do. For one thing, I know they are just ordinary people with very public occupations and many of them make more money than they know what they will ever do with, simply because they receive a small cut from each and every person who sees their work. It adds up. If an actor was paid a dollar for every movie ticket sold, one could see how they could easily rack up a million dollars in a day if a million people went to see it. (That’s not exactly how it works, but I am simplifying it for the general public.) So I don’t understand how some fans can turn around and not only develop an unhealthy obsession, but they also seem to put these people on a pedestal and slip into some sort of unrealistic fantasy land that they don’t want to get out of. You would expect that a fifteen year old girl, but not out of a woman who is married and has children, grandchildren!
(I will cite some examples later in the article. I changed some circumstances just a bit to keep anyone from being recognized, and this is as generic as it can possibly get. If anyone reading this happens to recognize a pattern, keep in mind I am not targeting you specifically, but if you DO recognize a pattern, you must really analyze what it is you are doing in your life and seek help. I’m serious!)
I used to belong to a group dedicated to a certain actor I admire for his work and nothing more really. I quickly got out of this group because some of the women in there acted much worse than teenage girls with a crush. These women were downright vicious and relentless to not only me, but to one another as well. It was as if they were all assuming he was lurking in this group forum and if he wasn’t then someone who was close to him was among them. They were competing with one another for his attention. (These were all women over the age of thirty, many of which were in their fifties and sixties. I was 34 at the time and was one of the youngest members). So they were showing off, claiming they knew everything there was to know about this fellow, and yet forgetting he’s not particularly fond of the whole fame thing. (I can safely say the only reason he does what he hates so much is because he’s done it enough that he’s reached a “point of no return”. In other words, what else is he going to do? He’s so recognizable that he can’t just go flip burgers at McDonald’s even if he wanted to.)
They were also constantly talking about what he had between his legs, (news flash ladies, all men have them. He’s not anything special.) talking about all the women he’s assumedly had sex with, (why would anyone possibly care? He’s not having sex with anyone in that group and never will) both past and present, and the only scenes in many of his movies they particularly cared about discussing were the sexual scenes. (Which in my opinion is an insult to the work he actually does in them.) This is an actor who many times has mentioned that it embarrasses him to no end when people walk up to him and wig out, start crying or fake a faint at his feet and start in on how good looking he is. So, I guess I offended a few women in this group when they admonished me for discussing something in my life with women I thought were friends (but who weren’t). They were jumping down my throat because ‘how dare I post something that HE might find offensive?’ Well for one thing, this guy has always been known for having a mind of his own. Who were THEY to speak for him like this? Secondly there was that pretense that he or someone he knows was lurking in their group again. And thirdly, I asked the all important question, “assuming he really IS lurking in this group, I want to hear from HIM directly what about my post he would find offensive as opposed to five hundred posts a day that mention his crotch?” The owner of the group said that I was extremely out of line by daring to cross that line and ask that question. Yeah, I was out of line but yet I belonged to a group of over 150 women who all believed he had nothing better to do than sit around and listen to a bunch of older women who should know better than to believe he had that kind of time, and would be impressed by the many attempts to outdo one another. At this point I told these women if what I posted was so offensive, then they didn’t have to read it and I’m sure that the actor in question would pass it by if he were equally disinterested.
Some of the women from this particular group actually posted stuff like this:
There was a woman who had an adult mentally challenged son, and every time the autograph subject would come up, she would start her pity party about how her son was always upset because he had asked for an autograph many times and never received one. The way she was talking, I thought this was perhaps a four year old boy. It turns out her son was a grown man. Several ladies in that group contacted his agency and asked them how they could help. Apparently this fan had already been a royal pain in the ass to his agent and publicist, who did something nice and got in touch with an agency that gives gifts on behalf of ill people and the woman turned it down flat. It became obvious at this point, that she was holding out for him to deliver this to her doorstep in person, since he worked closely with this particular charity, and he had done that before with certain ones. But he’d not done it for a sixty five year old woman and her adult son who was mentally challenged but not in a life threatening manner, and he had enough wits about him to write to this actor on his own if he had the mind to and ask for his own autograph. Finally to get her to stop pestering them, this woman got an autographed photo sent to her. And that started another fight. Where to put this picture. She had invested in a $3000 lighted curio cabinet that would sit in the middle of her living room, as a place of honor, so that anyone who walked into her house would see it first thing. Again, idolatry being carried to an unhealthy level. She should have also promoted this guy to sainthood and put crosses and religious relics in the cabinet with it. But no. This was the ONLY thing that would go in the cabinet. I guess this woman’s husband was upset that she spent that much money on it. Her son would hear none of it. He said it was his and he simply wanted to hang it in his room. The woman asked the group what should be done with it and she was extremely angry when the group sided not only with her husband, but her son too. It was her son’s supposedly, let him decide what should be done with it. The picture was ultimately ripped to little pieces by the son, because of the many family arguments that started over it. This woman was merely using her son as bait to manipulate someone, to get what SHE wanted. I guess she thought she would be more likely to get something from him by doing this instead of getting it on her own. I am betting, knowing who the guy is, that if she had merely followed the same procedure everyone else does to get a picture she would have gotten one. I got one that way.
Then there’s the fans who talk about not being able to afford their bills, or groceries, but yet can afford plane tickets to attend premieres that he’s going to be attending, go to considerable expense to travel to a wax museum for the specific purpose to photograph themselves posing with and doing stuff to the figures and even going so far as to harass and stalk impersonators of the guy because they are more accessible than the real thing obviously.
Nearly all of these women are married. I have to wonder about their husbands and what their roles are in this situation. I know of a couple who were the classic enablers. These women would practically gush in their blogs that their husbands bought them the latest memorabilia from the most recent movie this actor had done, and spent several hundred dollars on it for their anniversary. Something is definitely not right in the romance department when a husband spends hundreds of dollars on an anniversary present that supports an obsession and not focusing on them as a couple. If one must spend that kind of money, it’s not an appropriate anniversary present. Birthday or Christmas maybe, but not anniversary. Even sadder, these women are fortunate enough to have husbands who even remember their wedding anniversary in the first place. But at some point these poor saps can only get appreciation when they have to be reduced to buying life-size cardboard stand up dolls of another man to stand in the bedroom next to her side of the bed, instead of giving of himself.
Some women even neglect their kids in the name of certain celebs, in the case of one who had a husband who was not only an enabler (he complained constantly about her obsession but yet would turn around and purchase men’s cologne for her because that’s what she had heard the actor smelled like.) but her kids had to suffer the brunt of her obsession as well. She put this actor ahead of her family. Where was child protective services in all this when she decided to stop and finish the last twenty minutes of a movie this guy was in, (one she owned on DVD and could watch any time she pleased) instead of taking her kid to the ER when she cut her foot? This little girl was doing chores her mother should have been doing but instead she was glued to the TV screen because her obsession was airing. This woman openly admits to channel surfing and if, landing on one of this guy’s films, everyone in the family has to stop what they are doing and watch it. When this woman’s son had problems in school, I have to wonder what was going through the principal’s mind when this woman explained to her that her son was merely acting out scenes from that movie and that the actor in the movie was a very important part of her family’s culture. No, her kids were acting out because they were playing second fiddle to a man who was more important in their mother’s life than they were by her own admission. She would then backpedal and claim that her family was important. I guess her family was so important that her husband finally had enough and divorced her and took the kids huh? And she doesn’t even really act like she cares. She’s busy pursuing a career that would hopefully drop her right in this actor’s lap. But deep down, there’s a reason she’s always been at arm’s length from him. I have to really wonder why a person dedicates their entire life to a celebrity instead of appreciating and working on what they have before them. If there’s problems in the family, counselors can work wonders. Let’s say, if God forbid this guy ever kicks the bucket, she’s the type of fan who will be in total and complete denial about it because she’ll swear up and down he’s still alive, and just decided to fake his own death to get out of the limelight. Yeah, she should keep on believing that and when she is on her own death bed, I hope she’s looked back on her life and can honestly say she wasted it, instead of making the best of it in other areas but too late to do anything about it.
But this begs the question: what is it about certain celebrities in the first place that invites this type of deep obsession? Some seem worse than others. I have been on fan boards for a few others and the fans on one board for a particular actress are always pleasant and cordial to one another, while a different actress has male followers who act like many of these women do. When the men do it, it seems stalkerish and crazy. When women do it, it is equally so but it doesn’t seem as bad when they do it, because of some unwritten double standard that is in place. The majority of fans of certain celebrities only appreciate their work, and that’s the category I myself fall under. If I get to meet them, fine and if I don’t get to meet them, that’s fine too. But there are certain individuals that some people get fixated on, then become the subject of many fantasies that the people who slip into this fantasy world don’t want to leave. It’s not just about the way they look, because Hollywood drives its industry on having people who look good on a screen roughly the size of a skyscraper laid into a horizontal position. With the advent of big screen televisions and high definition, looking good is as important as ever. It’s OK to admire them for their good deeds and actions, but keep in mind some of these celebs, (not all but some) do these deeds and actions because they have publicists who encourage them to do it to boost their general overall approval rating. And let’s face it, a celebrity may really love animals and support an animal rights group on their own accord, but who’s going to get more people to come in and support that same charity; a famous actress or someone they pull off the street with a plain run of the mill face such as myself? Clout really does pay off for the charity, as well as the animals they are helping. So it’s OK to admire them for that, however anyone can do that. I simply do not understand what it is about certain stars who make fans lose their grip on sanity and reality, that goes beyond just admiring their work, and their deeds and the fact that they are pleasant to look at. Someone enlighten me please!