Ah yes, the celebrity crush. The thing most teenage girls are mocked for. The reason why female celebrities have restraining orders against half the male population. That may be an alternative fact. But you get my point. Celebrity crushes tend to be either immature or creepy. There is almost nothing in between.
However, by mocking these celebrity crushes, media has overlooked the positive aspects of a celebrity crush. Like the fact that it gives young girls a safe space to imagine and dream about an ideal man in a romantic way- without the pressure, and disappointing reality of teenage boys.
Most teenage boys are not going to be sweet, patient, and kind. Most of them are not traditionally handsome with muscles and acne free faces. Also, not all of them are amazingly talented singers or dancers.
Because they are normal teenage boys. They haven’t spent their entire lives training as a singer or dancer. They don’t have the money to invest in acne treatments or time necessary to develop a vast array of muscles. A vast majority of them can barely finish their homework and get enough sleep at night.
But tween and teen girls need that dream crush. It’s a way to start sorting out feelings and understanding sexuality. It feels fairly accurate to say that a good number of my LGBT+ figured out their sexuality in part from- celebrity crushes.
For many of my friends, Kate McKinnon is both a celebrity crush and a role model. She’s a talented, funny, beautiful, and openly lesbian woman. And that means the world to so many people who are struggling to find themselves. Which is pretty amazing.
Other times, having a celebrity crush acts as a coping mechanism for being single. For example, while you may not have someone to go home to at the end of the day- you can at least watch your celeb crush in a video or on TV. It’s not quite in the same ballpark as an actual relationship- but when you get tired of a celebrity crush, it’s a much cleaner break up.
Now where celebrity crushes really become dangerous, are when they become obsessions. It’s one thing to spend a couple hundred dollars to go to your fav’s concert. It’s another to buy their used kleenx. Going out to LA and hoping to see them around is fine. Breaking into their house, not so much.
It’s finding that line between reality and fiction. For some people, it’s an easy line to warp. And for others, playing in fiction is a way of coping and understanding the world in a safe way.
So media may continue to mock in the faces of teenage girls and their interests, know that sometimes they just need to figure out the world in their own way. Because if you’ve been a teenage girl, you know it’s not fun. And sometimes the safety of your own imagination is all that can protect you.