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Fame Junkies” is the title of a book I picked up recently. It seems to me that I have a puzzling attraction to celebrity gossip, and I’ve never been sure why. Is it maybe part of my “what does it look like behind the scenes” curiousity”?

Well, apparently I’m not alone. Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America’s Favorite Addiction , by Jake Halpern, addresses such questions as: Why do more people watch “American Idol” than watch the nightly news on the three major networks combined? Why do down-to-earth, educated people find stories about Paris Hilton irresistible? Why do teenage girls – when given the option of “pressing a magic button and becoming either stronger, smarter, famous, or more beautiful – overwhelmingly opt for fame?

One explanation that I found fascinating has to do with evolutionary psychology. Studies of rhesus monkeys (as documented in the book) found that “over time, those monkeys who were more adept at gathering information about dominant males and sexually receptive females may well have had better luck at surviving and reproducing…The same thing may apply to humans. It is quite possible that our modern-day desire to keep tabs on the powerful and sexy…stems from our ancient past.”

That certainly makes my celebrity interest more acceptable, right? 😉

I guess that there really is no accounting for taste. I just know that there are certain days when reading “People” magazine is a lot more fun than doing whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing. And now I have “proof” that doing so makes perfect evolutionary sense!

One Response to "Fame Junkies"

  1. Swirly

    July 30, 2007

    I had a subscription to Premiere magazine, and this recently turned into a subscription to Us magazine because Premiere, sadly, is no more. I must admit I haven’t been able to bring myself to cancelling the new subscription, but I have such a guilty conscious about it. Now I can tell people I read it because I am, in fact, more evolved!

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