My World

The world according to me!

Celebrity Death

The new Batman movie is set for release, and it’s reignited the discussion about Heath Ledger‘s untimely death. It also got me wondering, how are you supposed to deal with celebrity deaths? You don’t know them, they aren’t your friends, yet you can become so invested in their death, and to be honest their entire life. I mean; if you’ve spending your time on the Internet reading gossip websites, you prefer celebrity magazines and Extra! is your idea of news, then I can’t be surprised if a celebrity’s untimely passing throws you for a loop.

But what about the rest of us? The more moderate purveyors of celebrity news: is our grief real? I remember when Aaliyah died I felt so empty, and I was drawn to any information about the accident and her life. I called my friends and we spoke of it at length. I didn’t cry, but it drained me. When I compare my reaction of my friend N’s death, it was very similar. Of course N’s death was devastating, and I REALLY greived for her. But what about some pretty girl, whose albums I never bought (albums are very expensive in Trinidad & Tobago) makes me react so.

I’ve seen this before, with the deaths of Princess Diana (OK, my mother and I were more than a little invested in her death), River Pheonix and Kurt Corbain. I wonder sometimes if its real and valid. Is it their youth, their looks or what they represented, what takes precedence?

And then there’s my concern about reporting on someone who’s died by suicide: famous or non-famous. According to the American Association of Suicidology, the way a report on suicide is presented can increase incidents of suicide significantly. With celebrity deaths, the temptation to the glamourise the death is strong. I wonder if the media pays any attention to the risks when they report on celebrity deaths. And the A.A.S. says celebrity suicide deaths are more likely to cause “suicide contagion”.

Of course I’m not saying celebrities only die by suicide, obviously that can’t be so. But according to Emile Durkheim they are more prone to and are at high risk for Anomic Suicide. Does that affect your perception of them?

I guess it making me wonder if grieving over a celebrity is valid. I can’t imagine going through any of the five stages of grief for someone I didn’t know. But I do believe in praying for them; which might be the best thing to do anyway.

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4 Comments»

  knev wrote @

Batman returns will rock the box office . trailer looks very impressive . Need to watch it

  Celebrity Death wrote @

[…] goodfaith wrote an interesting post today on Celebrity Death. Here’s a quick excerpt: […]

  Tupac Syndrome? « Goodfaith’s Weblog wrote @

[…] Filed under Celebrity and tagged: Celebrity A few days ago I wrote about the way we react to a famous person’s death. Over on The Root Jimi Izreal talks about the “Tupac Syndrome—the idea that, once an artist […]

  May the Good Lord Bless and Keep Her Always « My World wrote @

[…] responses I’ve spoken about celebrity death, and how we (the public) relate to it before. But every experience is always unique. By the time I […]


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