The tabloids are abuzz with the dirt on Lindsay Lohan, Naomi Campbell, Mel Gibson…. Enter the hot-headed celebrity du jour here. These are the recent ones making headlines, but next week, it will be an entirely different list. Why should a celebrity breakdown make news? People like it when they see those they have set on pedestals dragged down a notch. It makes them feel better about themselves when they hear of outrageous behavior from someone they think is better than them.
Who hasn’t ‘snapped’ in a stressful moment? Celebrities are certainly not immune from this behavior. In fact with the perpetual glare of the camera in their eyes, I am surprised that stories like this aren’t more common. Yet somehow people act all shocked when they see any celebrities acting human.
People are so quick to deem them “prima donnas” or “spoiled,” or “out of control.” There is no need to justify their behavior, nor defend them in anyway. In a way It is kind of fun to see the starlets dragged down a notch. But isn’t there a double standard here? Why is it rude when Naomi Campbell does it, but if anyone else were being chased by the intrusion of a camera, it would be perfectly acceptable to tell him to, shove him or tell him to “go to hell.”
The Fight or Flight Stress Response
Celebrities are human, but just like everyone else, they have a reptile living in their brain. (The human brainstem is the entire brain of a lizard). It is this lizard brain that reacts under stress, causing all kinds of slimy, unrefined behavior characteristic of these pond dwellers.
It definitely makes for some funny behavior, in hindsight, of course. It also keeps them in the tabloids, which is rarely a bad thing.
Of course, it’s a stress that most people would gladly take. It would seem hard to feel sorry for them. They have access to have all sorts of “stress relievers’ and/or cures at their disposal. However, just the very nature of being in the public’s critical eye constantly would be enough to drive anyone crazy. Just think of Michael Jackson.
It is doubtful that most can imagine having your entire life, embarrassing moments and all, chronicled for the world to see being a good thing. And worse, having no way to escape it. For the majority, just having their own circles of people knowing their business is enough.
The Glare of the Spotlight
Dr. David Baron, psychiatry professor at Temple University School of Medicine tells the NYDaily news,
“How resilient and able to handle stress they are has a lot to do with their support system.”
Therapist Jonathan Alpert says, under the glare of the spotlight, someone can “lose her core identity and develop a grandiose sense of self,” Alpert says. “This can lead them down a destructive path as stress stacks up, is internalized and manifests in the form of anxiety and depression.”
Fame is like any other job, except everyone gets to see up close your bad days, and how you handle stressful situations. Most people would have to admit that they are glad there’s not a camera following them around to see the many not so graceful ways they handle stress.