June 1, 2016
Celebrities have been known to land themselves in all kinds of trouble: plagiarism, cheating on their significant other, violent confrontations in public, etc. You’re already probably thinking of stars like Justin Bieber, Ben Affleck, Jay Z…the list goes on. But in a time where social media powerhouses like Twitter and Facebook practically run the world, it’s increasingly difficult for celebs to avoid any kind of scrutiny for their actions, no matter how seemingly inconsequential. At the beginning of the year, Jennifer Lawrence caused quite a bit of stir when footage of her interrupting a foreign reporter to tell him not use his phone while he was speaking to her went viral. The incident occurred during a Golden Globes press conference, and Lawrence was the subject of much debate as soon as the video was released. Was she rude? Was she ‘just joking’? The internet raged on.
But this article isn’t going to be a laundry list of controversial things that celebs have said/done. Heck, there’s even a whole blog dedicated to that stuff. This is about what happens to the fans of these celebrities when things get ugly – or, more specifically, when they become ‘problematic’. Like J-Law, stars fall from grace all the time, but how do you handle it when that star is the one you’ve come to call your favourite?
1. Assess how problematic your fave celeb really is.
You don’t have to tear down those posters just yet! Sometimes the ‘mistake’ really isn’t a mistake at all. It’s easy for the media to blow things out of proportion, so do some proper research if you can. Were they quoted out of context? Were they acting in self-defense? It’s important to assess if the celebrity is really at fault here. Unfortunately, it can be rather difficult to get past this stage because of the amount of (sometimes fabricated) info that tends to fly around, but there are really only two possibilities at the end of the day. Either a) the celeb you love isn’t at fault! or b)…
2. So your fave celeb really is problematic.
It’s perfectly fine to be upset, disappointed, or even angry. Your favourite celebrity, is, after all, probably the one you look up to or seek inspiration from. It’s difficult to see our heroes making mistakes. But strip away the titles and your fave celeb probably isn’t that different from you or anyone else. They’re bound to mess up at any point, just like us, and it can be even more challenging for them when people won’t let them move past those mistakes. The need for fame and fortune can also take over their lives, and celebs can end up making huge and increasingly outrageous mistakes just for the material payoff.
3. Should you un-fave?
If you find yourself faced with this scenario, it’s important to note that your favourite celebrity won’t feel the emotional loss of you no longer being their fan, so this decision is really between you and yourself. There’s nothing wrong with deciding that you would rather look up to someone else. However, if your fave celeb is beginning to show signs that they’re not stopping their streak of ‘bad’ behaviour, it might be in your best interest to walk away. Celebrities who are openly racist/sexist/etc. are probably falling more towards infamy than fame, and it’s important to know the difference.
On the other hand, it’s also fine to continue admiring a celebrity simply because they’re good at their craft. Plenty of musicians/actors/entertainers have become various types of rotten over the years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they produce bad art, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you engaging with their art will result with you becoming ‘infected’ by their personalities.
But at the end of the day, your favourite celebrity shouldn’t and doesn’t define who you are and how you behave. It’s almost impossible to escape criticism nowadays – stars who don’t cause controversy are even sometimes labelled as ‘bland’ or ‘boring’. So if you could care less about what people think, having a problematic fave isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world.
Featured Image: All images taken from Instagram