Taylor or God?

Why we need to stop idolizing celebrities


Sonia Verma

Fans often tend to idolize their favorite celebrities, like Taylor Swift or Ye. Graphic by Sonia Verma

Pranati Kotamraju and Gauri Manoj

When Taylor Swift’s long-awaited “Eras Tour” inevitably sold out on its first day of pre-sale, we wondered how one woman had the power to sell out a 52-show concert in a matter of hours. With nearly 14 million people determined to score a ticket that day, it’s applaudable how many people in the country admire her, with nearly half of the nation considering themselves Swifties. 

As students, we love to call ourselves “stans” of these artists, dubbing Swift our greatest role model or constantly lauding Ye for being a musical genius. We skip school to fight for tickets to their shows and drop hundreds of dollars on merchandise to show our ardent support. But at some point, we must ask ourselves, how much do these celebrities really care about us

As much as we’d love to be #besties with our favorite celebs, there is an obvious wall that separates us from their picturesque lives. Some of the pressing issues that we face in our daily lives — school, bills or working minimum wage jobs — are absent from theirs, cushioned by their insane amounts of money and high social status. So when Swift, a self-proclaimed climate change activist, racks up nearly 170 flights in her private jet in just half of 2022, we begin to realize that perhaps we were never similar enough to be #besties. 

And it’s not entirely our fault for glamorizing these celebrities, when the Vogue interviews and documentaries we spend hours binge-watching are all calculated PR moves that portray them as relatable and inspirational role models. This fabricated rendition of them successfully garners more support from us — average people who believe that perhaps one day we could become just like our perfect icons — when the truth is, we were never on the same playing field to begin with. All we’ve really managed to do is give more power to someone who already has more money than we will ever see in our lifetimes.  

We cannot continue to look up to these celebrities, especially when they begin to misuse the power gifted to them by their fans. Ye will continue his anti-Semitic rampage as long as his stans continue to call him the greatest rapper in history. And Swift will continue to overuse her private jet as long as her fans continue to praise her for being the pinnacle of activism. We put more energy into these artists than they are giving back to us, and it’s only hurting our marginalized communities in the process.

Let’s be more aware of the wall that divides us from this unattainable superstar life. We really don’t know these celebrities personally at all, beyond what is fed to us through the biased media. How can someone we barely know be our biggest role model? We have to watch the way we praise these artists and we must catch ourselves when we begin to justify their questionable actions because of their celebrity status. 

This doesn’t mean we cannot keep enjoying their art or going to their concerts — their sheer talent is what created their career and built their ubiquitous names. But we still must remember not to idolize their behavior and actions — these celebrities were never meant to be our heroes, or even our friends.

We are better off celebrating the people in our lives who teach us to become better every day, instead of these celebrities who will never even know our names.