Whenever I wander around a grocery store or CVS Pharmacy, I pass by various magazines that highlight major news about the hottest celebrities. These magazines always have headlines like ‘Kendall Jenner breaking the internet with this new dress’ or ‘so-and-so newlywed strolling the streets of Los Angeles’. We even have this section about celebrities’ hot beach bods and what he/she did to shed those pounds.
How did we plunge into this voyeuristic obsession of our favorite celebrities? Why are so eager to hear about Kim Kardashian’s new Prada bag or read about Chris Evan’s secret to a great body? These low-brow articles were made with the help of Paparazzi.
A paparazzi is a freelance photographer who pursues celebrities to capture a snapshot of them. These pesky shutterbugs take photographs of entertainers, athletes, politicians, and various celebrities in the world of entertainment. It is a controversial art form that was coined in the 1960s, described as a “buzzing insect” that hovers over you. The term ‘Paparazzi’ was the focal point for the Italian film La Dolce Vita. Released in 1960, La Dolce Vita is a comedy-drama film focusing on the life of jaded journalist Marcello and photographer colleague Paparazzo who took photographs of celebrities. After the film’s release in the United States, the term ‘Paparazzi’ became synonymous with the actual group of employees in the journalism field.
La Dolce Vita hit theaters around the United States in 1961, sparking mainstream fame around the notorious practice. Paparazzi became a nationwide subject for newspapers, magazines radio shows, and even created a whole segment for CBS’s 60 Minutes. Thus, the central idea of wealth and fame became a popular subject for magazines. By using candid voyeuristic photos of celebrities we love, businesses sparked up a growing trend in entertainment news.
Let’s face it, we really don’t know ANYTHING about these celebrities that we read about. We know that Matt Bomer is married to publicist Simon Halls, but we have no personal connections with him whatsoever. When reading about our favorite stars, we create these para-social relationships with our heroes. People feel as though they know who these people are because they WANT to have a friendship or relationship that long for.
Fame crosses our mind every day in our dull lives at the office. Just the mere idea of earning millions of dollars for performing on camera seems like an easy life. Who wouldn’t want to own that hip bachelor pad on Malibu beach? Or be able to drive that European sports car on the Pacific Highway? It’s these wild dreams that motivate us to better our lives, scouting out real goals. People may seem crazy for skimming through a US Weekly magazine each week, but we all have our guilty pleasures for escaping life’s crazy ride.
Entertainment magazines may be short on words, but they make up for it with the over-sized candid celebrity pictures. These paparazzi shots are part of our guilty pleasures we go back to when we get frustrated with our lives. I used to follow the celebrity trends through entertainment magazines when I was in middle school. Reading about the lives of Paris Hilton or Bam Margera was my escape from the hectic life as a teenager. Nowadays information is easy to discover with just a click of a mouse. Internet blogs and news are the technological norm for scouting out information about your favorite celebrity. One thing is for certain: our curiosity about our favorite celebrities will always embed us into the wild world of entertainment.