Shocking celebrity tabloid news goes too far!

Katrina Mossberger

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Anna Nicole Smith dead six months after her son! Britney Spears spends one day in rehab and shaves her head!

We have been bombarded with celebrity news over the past few years, and for some reason the public interest is more than it has ever been. Anna Nicole Smith’s death and Britney Spears, or ‘Britney Sheers’ as the media has dubbed her, recent and completely unexpected head shaving have been the top news stories on Internet news sources, newspapers and television. As celebrity news gets weirder and weirder, one has to ask why we care so much.

It’s not like the public has never been interested in the celebrity sphere before. There have always been tabloids. Even as a kid, I remember seeing tabloids at the checkout stand with someone’s shocking deathbed secret. I miss the days when the National Enquirer would have cover stories of Batboy and Bigfoot. These days, there’s no need for any of that because the celebrity stories are much more interesting.

It’s fun to be a fan of a celebrity. Maybe you like how they look, the characters they’ve played, or the causes they stand up for. It’s natural to be curious about how their life is. I’m a self-admitted Beatles fanatic, and I’ve been following Sir Paul McCartney’s marriage and recent messy split from Heather Mills from day one. There’s nothing wrong with being interested in the celebrities you admire.

But at this point, the public interest seems to have gone beyond a curious interest. Websites like TMZ or Livejournal’s community “Oh No They Didn’t!” are a testament to the fact that celebrity life no longer being a passing fancy. It’s a major part of our lives, too. Celebrities are what most Americans strive for in life: rich and successful.

The biggest sign of the move to celebrity obsession has to be the combining of celebrities couples’ names. It all began back with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez becoming the infamous Bennifer. After their split, Affleck ended up with Jennifer Garner, so luckily, the Bennifer moniker could continue. The pattern continued on with TomKat. For anyone who managed to miss the tons of stories about them, it is the union of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Their daughter, Suri, is even caught up in the action, being dubbed TomKitten. And who could forget the new Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Brangelina, anyone?

It doesn’t seem that long ago when a celebrity couple could be referred to by each person’s name. Whether it’s to be cute or save a millisecond of time, the name combining is wearing a little thin to me.

I have to wonder if we suddenly ignored the sillier of the goings on of celebrities, would the head shavings and crotch flashing cease? As the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity, but only we as the public can give the attention. Spears didn’t shave her head in a salon because she wanted to keep it quiet, she could have easily buzzed all her hair off at home and no one would have been the wiser. It ultimately is an issue of supply and demand. The public demands crazy celebrity antics and the stars, whether consciously and unconsciously, will provide.

Which begs the question: could we ignore it just for one day so they’d go away?