General public should treat celebrities as humans, should not subject them to bullying

General public should treat celebrities as humans, should not subject them to bullying

Wendy Zhu

Earlier this year, Taylor Swift released the documentary “Miss Americana,” a film detailing her life over the past few years. In the documentary, Swift opens up about the hate she received in 2016 following a feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. “#TaylorSwiftIsOverParty was the number one trend on Twitter worldwide,” Swift says in the film. “Do you know how many people have to be tweeting that they hate you for that to happen?” The documentary is certainly not focused solely on the 2016 feud, as it also touches on several important topics like politics, sexual assault and body dysmorphia, but the film allowed me to realize just how normalized celebrity hate has become, especially over the past few years with the rise of what is known as “stan culture.” 

Celebrity gossip is an interesting concept. More often than not, we’ve never met these people, yet we feel entitled to scrutinize their every move and criticize their actions. Some may argue that public figures should be prepared to deal with the slew of negative comments they will inevitably receive at some point and time in their careers, but the truth is, many of these celebrities did not choose to be pushed into the spotlight. In fact, we, as the members of the general public, are the ones responsible for putting celebrities on their pedestals and creating unrealistic expectations for them. Ultimately, this only amplifies their falls from grace—the bigger they are, the harder they fall. As an avid Taylor Swift fan, I’ll be the first to admit that I, too, am guilty sometimes of holding celebrities to unreasonable standards, but we can’t expect celebrities to do or say the right thing all the time, just as we cannot expect ourselves to do so as well. 

But what happens when celebrities make seemingly unforgivable mistakes? At times, certain behavior does warrant backlash, but no one should ever be subject to death threats or relentless bullying, regardless of whether or not they “deserve it.” Though it may seem hard to believe, celebrities also have emotions, and they can get hurt, too. We see so much of their personal lives on the internet, but at the same time, they often seem like foreign creatures who only exist on screens or giant billboards, which forms a degree of separation that makes it especially easy for us to leave them a hate comment. Of course, it certainly is disappointing when a role model gets involved in a scandal or makes a less than perfect decision, but at the end of the day, it is important to remember that celebrities are just like us: they’re human, and they make mistakes.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Wendy Zhu at [email protected]

Click this link to see a video by Ray Mo on more opinions on celebrities.