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Do Celebrities Make You Feel Better or Worse About Yourself?

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?


michelle-c42934 michelle-c42934 9 years
I think it depends on my mood. I don't have very high self esteem, but in general I try and keep a positive out look if I can. I normally look to celebrities for inspiration, I like Natalie Portman, I think shes beautiful and smart and successful. But I'm not really that interested in most celebrities.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 9 years
No, celebs have no impact on me or my life.
darlene darlene 9 years
Celebrities don't have an affect on me
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
Whenever I see celebrities who everyone worships for no appropriate reason (i.e. the Lindsay Lohans and The Hills cast members of the world) mess up, I can't help but feel better about myself.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I could never compare myself to someone I dont know. It would be like comparing one book to one you have never read but only saw the cover.
Isista Isista 9 years
I don't compare myself to celebrities. They're human just like everyone else, so I don't see a point.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
Ya they have money, but they get followed by the razzi, there whole life is on blast. Ya sometimes cuz my hair is jacked up or i don't have a six pack but most of the time I'm fine. I just wish i had more money. I would want to be Royalty not celebrity!!
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Neither..... I don't see the point in the comparing myself with any celebrity. I'm happy being me so it's all good.
missmari missmari 9 years
I would have to say I agree with the research. I think that's probably the only reason I come to the celeb photo section of this site. I feel good about seeing certain celebrities who look more like normal people but are beautiful. Seeing certain actors/musicians makes me feel even better about my own body. And I wouldn't say that I have low self-esteem; it's just refreshing and a source of affirmation to see someone who has a body similar to yourself. Since I don't look at superthin celebrities for that affirmation, it doesn't negatively affect my psyche. Also, I think my admiration of musicians and actors probably got me through some tough times in high school.
alethia037 alethia037 9 years
I don't really compare myself to celebrities... I don't see the need to!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I would never compare myself to someone who basically has the world at their finger tips. I have pretty solid confidence and a fair measure of self-esteem. But if anything they just make me wish I had their money! As that is my biggest worry, never having enough money it seems! But I really don't think anyone outside of "celebrity life" should ever feel bad about themselves because someone can easily drop $500 bucks on high end products that transform their face in an instant. Ever see the celebrities without makeup pics?
bbkf bbkf 9 years
The only time I compare myself to celebrities is when I'm thinking, "it's a shame someone so uneducated gets paid so well and has an audience for his/her opinion!"
melda melda 9 years
make me feel better most of the tiem!
divinedebris divinedebris 9 years
It depends on the celebrity, but I'm jealous as heck. It's not all about how they look it's more about the success and creative freedom, that some musicians and artists enjoy. A part of me wants to have more in life and I envy the celebrities that look like it comes so easy to them.
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
They generally make me feel fat an in need of laser treatments, but also remarkably chaste and well-read.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Stephley actually said it just how I was going to. It totally depends on who I'm comparing myself to. If the person is a trainwreck I definitely feel better about myself.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
Celebrities kind of make me feel better because I know all the preparation that went into making their face and their body. I also know they have access to miracle creams, make up and fitness trainers that make them perfect, and they just always seem so fake to me. People like that I'm natural and I don't need to be "made up." That makes me feel good about myself. When I look at a celebrity or a model that looks stunning in pictures, I realize that if someone did my make-up, I could look just that good. I believe in the power of make-up to do anything! Just look at celebrities without make-up! They're blotchy, gray and saggy. No need to feel inferior to these people!
KimBurnett KimBurnett 9 years
Me too, GlowingMoon.
austerity austerity 9 years
Better, definitely. I love to draw inspiration from their styles and looks and define them in my own way. I'm very confident about my looks and body, I guess that helps a lot.
brookrene brookrene 9 years
i'm going with the usually worse too. It's funny, when i was in high school, i had all the self-confidence in the world (when it came to my body anyway) and i was about 20 lbs heavier! Now i weigh less and though i'm more confident about myself, my body confidence has slowly gone downhill. I attribute a lot of it to growing up in a small midwestern town, and have for the past 7 years been living in a major city. Lots of more beautiful girls around.
aeschere aeschere 9 years
usually worse!
Marci Marci 9 years
I usually feel pretty good about myself, but I'd be lying if I said there aren't days when a photo of a celebrity can make me wistful and wish I had different attributes. But that's rare, thankfully.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Uh, I don't compare myself to celebrities, or to anybody for that matter. I view another person as a disconnected individual, separate from me. That's the truth of the situation. I think I have a strong sense of boundaries. I know where I end, and where someone else begins. I do not relate my ideas of myself based on someone else. That's blurring the boundaries. If blurred the boundaries, that's like saying I feel cold because someone else sneezed. That's irrational (not to mention laughable).
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
I think i see it as it is. I have been around my share of "celebrities". they get wasted, say stupid things, cry about boyfriends, act superior or they try there hardest to be noncelebrity-ish. all in all i don't feel any different than when i compare myself to a beautiful woman walking down the street. btw, i hate it when i do that.
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