The big names in the entertainment industry, renowned achievers, top earning entrepreneurs, illustrious movie stars, iconic musicians, well-known supermodels, outstanding Olympic medalists, and famous sport stars- all these notable people share one thing in common; They are widely celebrated and venerated by thousands, millions or even billions of people. It is easy to imagine that being revered and idolized by millions of fans and devotees would raise a celebrity’s self-esteem and increase the quality of his/her life. The opposite, however, often tends to be the case.
In my article, ‘Signs of Insecurity’, I stated that our interpersonal mannerism and social behaviors are strongly determined by our level of self-esteem and self-confidence. Do we think we deserve to be loved and respected? Do we think we have the adequate skill and competence to take on certain roles and responsibilities? Do we think we can accomplish great goals? These are some of the questions that consequently determine how comfortable, safe, and confident we feel at some point in our lives, and how effectively we are able to execute meaningful tasks. A person who thinks positively will experience positive emotions, and a person who thinks negatively will experience negative emotions.
To a large extent, the root-cause of emotional insecurity is the lack of unconditional love. Love to the human mind is like air to the lungs; the absence of it often leads to behavioral problems. A person who does not feel that he/she will be loved if their imperfections, failures, and seemingly ridiculous actions were obvious to other people, will often try to hide these aspects of their lives, and subject themselves to anxiety, doubts, fear, and apprehension. Majority of our behaviors towards other people are largely determined by our feelings of security or insecurity, due to how lovingly or unlovingly we have been treated by those around us. The disruptive and troublesome folk you come across in the street exhibits hooliganism because he has known little or no unconditional love. Traced back to his childhood, he was probably abused by his parents and neighbors, who didn’t know that those destructive criticisms and hard spanking they gave him were having a destructive effect on his mind.
Human beings love attention, positive respect, and being treated specially. This desire is innate; inherent in our very nature. We enjoy the feeling associated with being venerated and highly regarded by other people; and conversely, we are dispirited by rejection and repudiation. For this reason, being celebrated can be highly intoxicating. Having plenty of likes on your Facebook posts, and numerous followers on Twitter and Instagram can be emotionally uplifting and comforting. Having fewer likes and followers, on the other hand, can lower your spirit. Celebrities acknowledge that they are well-known and definitely enjoy the positive attention and admiration they get. It would seem like they are experiencing the peak of joy and satisfaction in life, but these celebrities are also afraid that their popularity and approval may be temporary, and all the things they’ve tried to build will come crumbling to the ground.
As I stated earlier, becoming a celebrity has a way of making you feel much loved, respected, and superior to a lot of people. You may even come to think that you possess undeniably powerful magnetism, and your fame seems endlessly assured. However, deep down your mind, you know this is not true; you have your doubts. Somebody else could overshadow you, the press may dig up a dirty past that could end up destroying everything you’ve built, your dirty secret may be revealed, and of course, you may have to struggle with meeting the high expectations that your ardent followers have about you.
Celebrities have fears. They fear that their careers may come crashing for one reason or the other. They fear that their fans may begin to disapprove of them, and their popularity will go away. They understand that many of their fans have a false impression about them because they (the celebrities) are seen as role models, worthy of emulating. This can be difficult for many celebrities to cope with, since they may be struggling with some hardships and imperfections in their lives, and wouldn’t want their friends and admirers to be aware of those struggles. Celebrities are not perceived in the same way as regular people; there’s often a sense of superiority people naturally attribute to them. They are taken to be the special few among the overwhelming majority of humans in the universe. Therefore, when it comes to their lifestyles, people have high expectations. The constant effort to meet these high expectations can be a struggle for the celebrities, who are doing everything they can to constantly give their devotees the impression that their fantasies about them are real.
Celebrities may also begin to believe that they are actually superior and distinguished in the universe. Their narcissism is magnified by the constant praises and adoration they get from their numerous fans. And feeling superior makes it difficult for them to tolerate disparaging remarks and negative comments, especially from those who they consider inferior to them. No one takes criticisms happily, but celebrities know that they have a lot to lose as a result. They cannot afford to appear ordinary or insignificant, because they are role models to very many people. Defamatory comments can therefore pose a great threat to their careers. And for this reason, so many celebrities appear arrogant and snobbish.
The fear of rejection, failing, and disappointing their supporters can be so intense that celebrities may find it difficult to deal with the pressure that are mounted on them. And as most people fail to understand that these illustrious folks are not so different from regular people, the unfortunate celebrities are expected to manage fans’ expectations, with the knowledge that it’s the popularity from these supporters that translate into their fame and fortune. Like an entrepreneur who must constantly manage the expectations of his target customers, ensuring he satisfies their needs, in return for profit and brand loyalty, a celebrity must manage expectations in return for his/her income and positive image. Therefore, other than the fact that losing the admiration of other people can be a naturally unpleasant experience, celebrities are bound to be more insecure because their fame and fortune are largely dependent on these dynamics.