It's no secret that Americans have a fascination with celebrities. Of course knowing that they live in a completely different world than we do makes admiring them from a far all the more fun, but new research shows that praising celebrities can actually improve self-esteem in those that suffer from low self-esteem. Jaye L. Derrick and Shira Gabriel of the University at Buffalo said:
Connections to celebrities — or parasocial relationships — can allow people with low-self esteem to view themselves more positively. . . . These parasocial relationships, which have very low risk of rejection, offer low self-esteem people an opportunity to reduce their self-discrepancies and feel closer to their ideal selves.
While I find this research interesting, I happen to feel the exact opposite — though I would never want to be a celebrity myself, I do look at them through envious eyes. It's their perfect exterior that makes me feel inferior, even though I'm fully aware of all the help, time, and effort it takes to make them look that way. What about you? How do you feel when you compare yourself to celebrities? Do they make you feel better or worse about yourself?