Recently, I was on RottenTomatoes rating films and completing a profile that had been bare for over a year. When the social network’s system asked who my “celebrity crush” was, I had to laugh. Crushes in general are a bit idiosyncratic, after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The targeted individual is loved. But the celebrity crush, whether it’s the most popular guy at school or a Grammy-winning star, is common and utilitarian.
Little Girl 1: I’m going to marry movie star X when I grow up.
Little Girl 2: Well, I’m going to marry movie star Y.
Little Girl 1: Oh! Well, I’m going to marry movie star Y too!
Unlike a normal crush, the celebrity crush is almost always unattainable, so the reason for his existence has nothing to do with hope. Rather than being an object of affection, he better resembles a tool for obtaining social status. When he does something unforgivable, or someone new comes along, he’s cast aside rarely to be mentioned again until former adorers are ready for a comeback in twenty years…and even then their purpose in attending is just to feel young again.