My family and I have taken several trips over the past few years. I can remember my mom always making a comment about how we were flying into/out of the Los Angeles airport and how we can “maybe see some celebrities walking around the airport since they do fly like normal people.” Ever since then, I too have thought at one point or another that I can potentially see a celebrity walking around LAX just because it is Los Angeles, the city full of famous people. So, why do we care about potentially seeing someone famous?
A recent example of how we are obsessed with celebrities would be the Royal Wedding. Nielsen (2011) conducted research on the news coverage of the event and comparing both the American and British news outlets following the announcement of their engagement last November. Research, including both print and online articles, shows that the American media was more obsessed with the Royal Wedding compared to the British.
Although I could not find any reliable statistics or demographics on who is more obsessed with celebrities, but the fact that several countries all over the world are obsessed with the American media. One of my graduate professors told her class a story about a time she was in Russia. She had met a few locals and they had seen some of her American items she had traveled with. They wanted to buy her items off her because they were obsessed with the American culture. To them, owning pieces of American culture was a big deal in their country.
Whenever I would have the opportunity to chat with someone from outside the United States, it was interesting to hear their comments on the American entertainment culture. When they would ask where I was from, I would respond with, “California.” Almost everyone who had asked me that question, have asked me if I lived in Los Angeles and if I knew any celebrities. I let them down easy as I told them I was unfortunately from Fresno and did not know any celebrities personally.
As I get ready to visit Europe for the first time in three weeks, it will be interesting to see if there are any similarities to how American celebrities are portrayed within their media. I would like to see if any of their grocery stores or magazine racks have the amount of celebrity magazines as we have here in the United States.
I do believe that America is the most celebrity obsessed in my opinion and with my personal experiences. We are the country that most envy and want to be like, including living the American Dream by becoming rich and famous. I would hope that more Americans would be more obsessed with knowing more about what is going on in the world, rather than what a celebrity wears or who was seen with who.
Nielsenwire. (2011, April 25). American News Media Cover Royal Wedding More Frequently than UK Counterparts. Retrieved from http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/royal-wedding-buzz/