.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Message From Captain Obvious

I laughed when I first read this piece linked by See-Dubya at Hot Air. It seems that a couple of USC psychologists did a study on celebrities, and it confirms something that we already suspected:

DO the stars find themselves as fascinating as their fans do? Yes, says a forthcoming psychological study of Hollywood’s celebrity class. It is not just money or career that makes them seem different: it is their extreme levels of self love and their compulsive need for public attention.

Some stars have long been aware of Hollywood vanity. Beyoncé Knowles, the pop singer and actress, said recently: “It’s scary that you rarely meet celebrities that are normal. They live on their own diva planets.”

Two Los Angeles psychologists have produced the first scientific evidence that many celebrities sincerely believe that they are better than the rest of us. The psychologists’ forthcoming book suggests that many pop culture icons are heading for disaster.

Mark Young and Drew Pinsky used a mathematical formula to measure the traits, including exhibitionism and vanity, that make up narcissism. Psychologists believe that in general men are both bossier than women and show off more. However, in the “celebrity class” women are far more narcissistic than men and up to a third are more manipulative and vain about their appearance than the typical woman in the street, according to the psychologists from the University of Southern California.

Young and Pinsky have had rare access: celebrities queue up to appear on Loveline, Pinsky’s nationally syndicated radio show, where he has been compared to Professor Anthony Clare, the BBC psychiatrist, for his revealing interviewing style.

They asked 200 celebrities who appeared on the programme to fill out a standard questionnaire called the Narcissism Personality Inventory. They were asked how they felt about themselves, including whether they felt they deserved compliments or were embarrassed by them and whether they insisted on being “respected” at all times.

Participants remain anonymous but interviewees featured on Pinsky’s website include Renée Zellweger, Jessica Simpson, Jim Carrey and members of Duran Duran, the British pop band.
“It was people like that — actors, comedians, musicians and reality TV contestants — who emerged as the most narcissistic of all,” said Pinsky. “The fewer real-life skills they had, the louder they tend to be in their attempts to hold on to attention.” ...

... Pinsky said: “Vanity is only part of it. They crave attention, are over-confident of their abilities, lack empathy and can behave erratically. But they are often admired and well liked, especially on a first meeting, and perform well in public.”

Knowles said she had noticed a “desperate hunger” around her when she first started making films in Hollywood: “I hope I’m past needing it, as I don’t want to feel the void I see in a lot of celebrities — the unhappiness underneath the smile.”

Young said he suspected that many of today’s Hollywood “fast set”, such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, were in danger of stumbling over the line between fun and malady.

“I have spoken with Nicole Richie, Hilton’s on-off best friend, and she is very polite in private. But she has had a troubled past, her adoptive father [Lionel Richie, the pop star] had admitted he was not a very good parent, and now we see it all coming out in the attention-generating headlines about alleged eating disorders,” Young said.

“They are going further and further. One of these Hollywood party girls is going to be dead in five years’ time.

“We are seeing a new type of celebrity who is famous just for being famous, without a foundation of skills, and this puts the pressure on them to perform ever more outrageously to feed their need for attention. Like Britney being photographed without underwear.”

He added: “We have also found striking differences between the celebrities and their jobs — the more real-life skills they have, such as musicians, the less narcissistic they are.

I'm sure a lot of readers are scratching their heads and saying "yeah, so? What's so important about this?" It's not that it's important, per se. Rather, it's revealing, and it does so in a way that confirms the suspicions that many people have had for years. Today's Hollywood stars and starlets can't compare to those who came before them. Take an actor like Jimmy Stewart, and show me who in Hollywood can even compare to him today. Not only was the man a fine actor, but he served this nation during World War II. The same holds true for Eddie Albert, Johnny Carson, and Art Carney. These men had a life outside of Hollywood, and set aside their acting to serve this nation.

Today's celebrities simply can't compare. They live in a world of fantasy, from one day to the next, and have people who wait on them hand and foot. They have people who stroke their egos anytime they need it on the set, and have agents that butter them up when they really feel the need. And the behavior nowadays can't compare to the class and elegance of bygone days. NEVER would an actor pull the stunts that Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, or Martin Sheen have done. Back in the day, Hollywood supported this nation, but in recent years their celebrity status seems to have given them a de facto pass to act like an ass for all the world to see.

Do celebrities make a point about issues in the world? Absolutely. Though I'm not fond of her except in a couple of roles, Angelina Jolie has brought attention to the plight of children in Third World nations, and devoted a good deal of her own money to helping them. George Clooney, who isn't a bad actor, is constantly pushing the point that Darfur needs help, and has urged the UN to get more active in the nation of Sudan. Sure, these people still crave the limelight, but even they have worthy causes they support. Does this make them any less vain? No, but it is worth recognizing when they do something that is seemingly selfless.

But it doesn't change the simple fact that celebrities, in general, today are self-centered narcissists. They two psychologists bring up Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Not surprising that they seem to garner some of the more outrageous headlines in the news. But what's to be expected out of someone like Paris Hilton. She's never really worked a day in her life, and she is enjoying the party circuit with her family's millions. Her parents obviously could care less about what their daughter does, and with her continued antics, it's clear she is one of those people who craves the attention and adoration of the "little people."

That is perhaps the biggest rub of all regarding celebrities. We are the "little people;" The unwashed masses that, ew, might touch them, or come within their personal little bubbles. These people don't like being around us, yet they depend on us. They want to see their movies, go to their concerts, and be at public appearances, yet they shower nothing but disdain on us. We work for a living. They don't really. There are actors who do go to great efforts to get into a role, like Robert DeNiro for the movie Raging Bull. (He purposefully gained sixty pounds to protray the boxer Jake LaMotta.) Also of note, DeNiro founded the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Company.

This isn't to say that we should disdain celbrities. Many are fine artists, in their own right, but this study puts their lives in a bit of perspective that many of us suspected. It also sends a message to people that try so hard to be like those celebrities that such a life isn't all that's it made up to be.

Sabrina McKinney


Post a Comment

<< Home

weight loss product