"This is the end of an era," Adele said at a concert yesterday about the breakup of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. “If a couple with millions of dollars, six children and their own brand of rose, which is clearly overpriced, failed, we can only give up,” writes comedian Joanna Hausmann. BuzzFeed, meanwhile, publishes a selection of tweets and memes on the topic, newspapers come out with headlines like "Love No More", and social networks are filled with tasteless jokes about how Brad Pitt's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston reacted to the breakup.
Tabloids and reputable publications build whole theories about the separation of the couple: Brad cheated on her with Marion Cotillard, because their new film is practically a historical version of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"; Pitt is a bad father, and Angelina is not ready to entrust her children to him; he uses marijuana; she suffers from anorexia, and so on and so forth.
In Jennifer Aniston, the world sees the archetypal image of a wife, from whom her husband left for a younger colleague. In social networks, they believe that the actress should certainly rejoice at the breakup of her ex - despite the fact that they broke up more than ten years ago, during this time Aniston married Justin Theroux and made a successful career, starring in many films. Of course, the public breakup was painful for Aniston (“I would be a robot if I said I did not feel anger, pain and shame at times,” she admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2005), but why years later, marriage to Brad Pitt is still considered the only significant event in her life? And most importantly, why do we react so sharply to the news about the broken marriage of celebrities and we all think that we know how all the participants feel?
“As a rule, we become attached to a famous person as an idealized figure of a parent or partner, and sometimes as our own,” says counseling psychologist, group leader and writer Adriana Imzh. Psychologists Donald Horton and Richard Wohl in 1956 coined the term "parasocial relationship" - they describe the one-sided relationship of people with their idols or fictional characters, when a person has a feeling of connection with someone with whom he actually does not know. In their opinion, new technologies only enhance this phenomenon. “One of the most striking features of the new media - radio, television, film - is that they give us a sense of close relationship with the actors,” they wrote in Psychiatry magazine. - A person perceives the most distant and famous people as if they are part of a close circle of his friends; this is also true for the characters in the stories that come to life in these media. " These feelings are familiar to many of us: remember how many people cried over the death of Princess Diana, how many watched the live broadcast of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton to feel at least a little involved in the event, and how much everyone was worried about death of Jon Snow.
Speaking of celebrities, we imagine how we would feel in their place. That is why, after the separation of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, the world was divided into "Team Jen" and "Team Angie": it was easier for some to sympathize with the wife, from whom her husband left, for others - a woman who fell in love with someone else's spouse. Hence the attempts to gloat ("Serves her right!"), And the manifestations of empathy ("The perfect marriage broke up"), and fear for themselves and their relationship ("Even if Beyoncé and Jay Z have problems, what should the others do?") - when discussing episodes from the lives of stars, we rely primarily on our own experience and our own feelings.
Even more so than television and glossy magazines, social media gives us a sense of belonging to the life of celebrities.If earlier we looked at paparazzi photos in order to see our favorite stars in “real” light, now we can follow them on Instagram and snapchat and watch live broadcasts on Facebook. Social media creates the illusion that we are watching celebrities 24/7 and seeing everything that happens to them - and although we know that each photo is carefully selected and is probably approved by the producer (remember Adele, who asked managers to make sure that she did not tweet drunk), we still think that the life of our favorite stars looks like this.
We do not think about what remains "behind the scenes" and idealize the life and relationships of celebrities. “Many celebrities are very similar to Greek heroes and gods: powerful, beautiful, have an interesting story, and at the same time are lively, emotional, vulnerable. And, of course, surrounded by myths, says Adriana Imzh. "Once joining them, people get support and support." The stories of celebrity couples are almost love stories of the XXI century, a fairy tale that has come to life, the very “And they lived happily ever after”, the best illustration of which is the cover of Vanity Fair.
“Relationships with a distant person are wonderful: he is ideal, powerful, with one movement of his hand he would solve a bunch of problems of his fan, he is safe - he will not come to smash the windows in your apartment and lie on your carpet - and gives you the opportunity to live an interesting, beautiful and bright life without leaving from home, - says Adriana Imzh. - And when something difficult happens in the life of a celebrity, the tale of an ideal life collapses, her fans can worry more than for their friends - after all, they also “participate” in the life of this person and can perceive his troubles as their own or their parent, partner or close friend. The magic of fusion”.
Divorces in our world are not uncommon - according to the Federal State Statistics Service, in 2015 there were 4.2 divorces for every thousand of the population in Russia. In the United States, this figure is higher: in 2014, there were 6.9 divorces for every thousand of the population. It would seem that this is a common occurrence - each of us has friends who have experienced betrayal or divorce - but in the case of celebrities, we sometimes cannot even imagine that "ideal" people also have problems. And when this does happen, we experience a whole spectrum of feelings - from the desire to deny ("This will never happen to me!") To complacency and self-affirmation ("If this happens even with them, then everything is not so bad for me") …
Sympathy and empathy for those whom we do not really know is a common thing: without this art would be impossible, charity would become less popular. In a world where every step of a celebrity is documented, it is impossible not to think about who he is, what his character is and how his relationships with people are built. The main thing is not to forget that behind the ideal image there is a person - the same as all of us.
Photos: Vladimir Voronin - adobe.stock.com