Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

What is our obsession with celebrity couples?

I, like many people my age, am obsessed with knowing the ins and outs of a celebrity relationship. I have no idea where this obsession stems from, and why I waste my time worrying about these relationships (sometimes more than my own!), but I am hooked!

The likes of Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Scott, Tom Holland and Zendaya, and Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde are just a few couples who thousands of people, including myself, sit idolising and perfecting their relationship into some kind of fairy tale. In fact, I am guilty of spending far too much time on Instagram finding clues to their relationship and reading fan theories about what they are getting up to (I agree, it is extremely sad of me!).

But why do I spend too much time caring about how numerous celebrity relationships are going, when there are far bigger problems to worry about? Why as a culture are we invested in knowing every detail about people who know absolutely nothing about us?

We admire these individuals so much that we want to become them

Even with much larger worries like climate change, world hunger, wars (and so on) happening daily, celebrity break-ups still make headline news. Brangelina v Jennifer Anniston is considered a pop culture-defining moment, still in the news nearly fifteen years on. And Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage even now gets countless memes made from it.

Perhaps one reason for our obsession is that we become consumed with singular celebrities. Either we are jealous and yearn to see the fall of our least favourite celebrities from stardom; or on the other end of the spectrum, we admire these individuals so much that we want to become them and emulate their lifestyle. We judge their dress sense, workout regime, cars, houses and so on. Therefore, consciously or not, we are obsessing over them.

So when we see these celebrities in relationships we may like the idea of it failing, because of a dislike we hold towards them. On the other hand, we want our favourite celebrities to find happiness and love.

People love to idolise the rich and famous

I myself am a hopeless romantic. I do not pay much attention to celebrities unless I have a real fondness for them. So when I found out Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth rekindled their romance and got married at the end of 2018, my inner nine year old was screaming. I made sure I liked every photo they posted and it truly made me feel warm happiness because two of my favourite celebrities had found love for each other once more! So when the news broke they were getting divorced in August 2019, it really tugged on some heartstrings. If a couple that looked “perfect” on the outside can break up, it leaves you questioning your own love life. And sometimes we are left feeling slightly hopeless.

Maybe it is something neurological, however, that is far from my knowledge and interest, but people love to idolise the rich and famous. We always have and we always will. Without even having anything personally linked to them, we love to gossip about their relationships with friends and create our own scenarios of what we think goes on behind closed doors, away from the paparazzi and the Instagram #couplegoals pictures.

There is no easy way to be a couple in the limelight

For a modern audience, it is almost impossible not to get attached when we see their faces every day – on red carpets, interviews and social media. If a couple is too secretive we want to know more details, but if a couple is too in your face we read into the hidden meanings. It seems like there is no easy way to be a couple in the limelight, so perhaps this is why there are so many break-ups and divorces in the strange celebrity world.

For centuries people have been hooked by a good romance. Fables and myths, Shakespeare’s sonnets and romantic plays, Jane Austen’s novels, the 90s and early 2000s cult classic Rom-Coms. Now it seems we are obsessed, probably because we are living in the digital age, by our favourite celebrities finding love with our other favourite celebrities.

I do hope one day I can stop worrying about what these superstar relationships are getting up to, but for now, I am more than happy looking at the cryptic captions and pictures Tom Holland and Zendaya tease us with!

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