I'm guilty of it myself. I watch the E! Channel during my lunch break. I've been known to check out a few celebrity blogs, and yes, I do vaguely care whether Jessica Alba is having a boy or a girl.
But this latest coverage with Britney Spears has me pretty much ready to quit it all cold turkey (if only I hadn't realized today that even the slightest bit of celebrity knowledge makes me a better librarian...argh!).
The point of the story during today's lunchtime coverage was about Miss Brit having yet another breakdown. The video footage showed paparazzi pretty much following her every step from her house to the gas station back home and out again. They asked her questions. They stalked her.
Wouldn't YOU have a breakdown, too, if people with cameras (I could hear them clicking and making quite a ruckus on the video coverage), lights and video recorders were following you around 24 hours a day? Give a girl a break.
What to do about this? Because it's not just Britney. It's magazine covers wondering why celebrity relationships don't last. Well, aside from all the normal reasons relationships sometimes end, there are the cameras and the reporters and the constant inability to even walk down the street without being photographed that might just become too much for some people.
Celebrities may use their images for more than their first job (so, actresses might become spokeswomen for Revlon, men might become the new Stetson man) and for more than work at all (see anything written about Angelina Jolie and her work as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador, but they choose those activities and shouldn't have to sacrifice their privacy and their ability to live a "normal" life.
It's bad enough that some library customers recognize me and ask a question here or there at the mall or the grocery store, but I think I would simply fall apart if I couldn't have a random Target run without my picture appearing on the cover of US Weekly, "Breaking news! Sarah shops at Target in the same clothes she wore to work!"
Back to the question. What can we do? We can stop caring. I probably won't stop going to the movies or watching certain television shows or having an affinity for certain actors, but I can completely stop caring about the personal lives of celebrities.
If we each stopped buying US Weekly. If we looked away from OK! Magazine at the cash register. Things might change.
More than that. If we wrote letters asking magazines to stop paying so much money for photos of celebrities, maybe the parazzi would be just a bit less rabid, and celebs could go back to having generic stalkers, not professionals with light kits and digital SLR cameras.