Fascination with celebrity couples stems from society’s need for escape

By Samantha Milowitz || Staff Writer

photo courtesy of hindustantimes.com

On November 2nd, pictures flooded the internet when paparazzi caught pop superstars, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, riding bikes down the street together.  The couple has been on and off since 2011, but have not been seen together in about a year since Selena Gomez began dating, singer, The Weeknd.  So, when pictures surfaced of the pair seemingly back together, everyone’s Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook feed went nuts; it was like the entire world had been waiting for the moment when this couple would get back together. Everyone posted their reactions of happiness and hopefulness for the couple, like it was their own relationship;  even I have to admit that I was excited by the news.  Amidst all of this hubbub, I began to question why people have such a fascination and love for celebrity couples.  Why do we become more engrossed with their relationships than with our own?

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are certainly not the first celebrity couple to evoke this frenzy in the media; each generation has their own couple that they fantasize about.  For some, it was Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, two major superstars that had known each other since they were on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together in 1990.  People fell in love with their long awaited love story and fell apart when they broke up.  Timberlake’s song “Cry Me a River,” is reportedly about the break up and speaks to the broken heart Spears left him with. Then there was Chris Brown and Rihanna, a match made in music heaven.  However, their love story was short lived after Chris was arrested for assaulting Rihanna on the side of a road. Beyonce and Jay-Z continue to be the ultimate power couple and have been married since 2008, with some cheating allegations made through Beyonce’s songs. Although there are plenty of other celebrity couples, there are selected ones the people become obsessed with.

Growing up, my obsession always lied with Hilary Duff and Jesse McCartney. Not only were they aesthetically pleasing together, but they were both pop icons during my childhood and they appeared to me like a prince and  princess.  I remember searching for pictures of them on the internet and hanging up pictures of them in my room.  I can even remember the day they broke up; I can’t remember some of my own birthday parties, but somehow I can remember the day I got the news that Hillary Duff and Jesse McCartney had broken up.  When that relationship dissipated, I found a new relationship to depend on: Miley Cyrus and Nick Jonas.  They were only fifteen, but my friends and I were sure that this was the most perfect relationship: Hannah Montana and a Jonas brother joining together was Disney channel heaven.  I remember watching interviews as they shrunk down in their chairs and smiled when they mentioned the other.  I can remember listening to Miley’s break up song, “7 Things,” and feeling like I had lived their breakup with them.  And then, I too became victim to the Gomez and Bieber relationship, and I am still not quite sure why.

I think it all goes back to that term: “power couples.”  They are not just celebrity couples, but celebrity couples of significant fame that match up with each other.  We idolize them because of how they compliment each other seamlessly.  They appear to us, like a real life fairytale couple.  We look at them as an escape from our lives and relationships that seem boring in comparison.  However, these glamorous relationships are certainly not what they seem and most express their desire to date in a normal fashion, without the cameras and talk shows intervening on every aspect of their lives.  It is no wonder why most of these beautiful couples end up not working out; they are pounced on by the public and held up to this impossible standard of being a couple right out of a storybook.  It took me a lot of time to realize that these couples I was reading about in magazines and online, were not as perfect as they seemed. We do not just get wrapped up in their relationships, but we get wrapped up in their breakups: the songs, public fights, and snap remarks.  It’s not just the relationships that keep us invested, but the breakups that come after.  We do not just look towards these relationships to escape from our own lives, but we look to them to feel better about our own. 

First- year Samantha Milowitz is a staff writer. Her email is smilowit@fandm.edu.

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