By: Kayla Hewitt
I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about the current feud between Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift. If you haven’t, drag yourself out from underneath that rock, catch up, and join the #KimExposedTaylorParty.
But the entertainment value of this whole fiasco is not what I am here to talk about, although it was extremely entertaining. I’m here to talk about the level of enjoyment that I (and pretty much everyone else) felt that night as the tweets and videos came rolling in. Why is it that we all loved to watch as Taylor Swift harshly tumbled from the top?
Of course, I don’t have the answer to this (if there even is a concrete answer), but I do have a few theories. Here’s two of them.
#1: We’ll start off with the most obvious and, I think, the most likely of the bunch: jealousy. In our culture, we tend to value wealth and fame above all else. These are the tools with which we measure success. I mean, there’s a reason that when you ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up they rarely say “accountant.” Many of our dreams are filled with visions of glamour and screaming fans, so when we see those for whom those dreams are a reality, we can’t help but feel the slightest twinge of jealousy. It’s that jealousy that fuels our joy as we watch a star’s fall from stardom. For a moment, that person that we have admired and/or envied has been pulled down to our level, and we feel as though the playing field has been slightly leveled.
#2: We live in a time where, if you can dream it, somebody’s probably made a reality television show about it, and if you’ve thought it, then somebody’s probably tweeted it already. We’ve become so enamored with the drama of reality TV that we’re considering voting one of its stars President of the United States. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go on some rant about how reality television and social media are signs of the devolution of modern society (I am a card carrying member of the Real Housewives fan club and proud of it.). I will, however, say that these things help to fuel our nosy impulses. This is not to say that we did not love to gossip before the advent of reality television and social media. We’ve always gossiped. The only difference between us talking about Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift on Twitter and our grandparents gossiping about their neighbors at the local watering hole is that Twitter has become the new watering hole and TV has given us quite a few more neighbors.
Celebrity culture is deeply engrained in our society and Taylor Swift’s fall will not be the last one in which we revel. We love to love those who stand in the spotlight, but we love to hate them even more. It’s an innately human phenomenon, some might even call it a flaw, but in the age of technology, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.