Many people enjoy watching the wealthy upper-class on television and in movies. Some might ask why the rise in realty television, it might be because some people are just curious at how the other half lives, while others might just be jealous and envious. Wealth in our society holds a major draw for the average person, wealth is an abundance of valuable possessions, profusion of anything valuable and having a surplus or large quantity of money on hand to do with as you please.
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The life of a celebrity compared to an average person’s life is very different. A rich person lives a more luxuries lifestyle than the average person does. The average person usually only owns a single home where as someone of wealth may own several homes. The normal person is not as fortunate as someone who is rich and can sometimes be envious of what the elite own. The average salary for a middle class family is $60,000 to $85,000 the minimum amount of money you need to live a comfortable lifestyle these days is around $50,000. In order to be considered wealthy it is over a million dollars and with that amount of money you can buy almost anything you want and never have to work again, that is if you are careful with your finances. A rich celebrity on television usually owns a couple of luxurious homes all over the world that’s why we get excited watching them on television and showing all that they own. We, as the viewers, are interested to see what the rich have spent their money on. While we are also jealous of what they have, we want the experience their large homes, many “toys” and their luxurious vehicles provide them. People also like to watch rich celebrities on television because they can vacation at exotic locations all over the world that the normal person wouldn’t ever be able to visit. They can afford to vacation on private islands, and stay in grand hotels, other elegant locations that we could only dream about. While watching this on television it gives us the feeling that we are right there having fun and experiencing the dream with them.
The age group that usually watches them on television is between 17 – 30. It is usually people who don’t have their lives together financially that are the ones who watch and fantasize about being rich. Another large viewing bracket are the older people that fantasize that they could have been rich and powerful. The older generation may not approve but the younger generation thinks that when celebrities go off and have crazy parties that its entertaining to watch. For the 50 minutes that the show is on, we became enthralled in the over blown problems of celebrity socialites. There is a sort of simply comfort in imaging that the only problem we have is trying to find the best store to shop at, the most popular clothes wear or the hottest spot to go out to for the evening. It is too bad we have to go back to our own boring lives after the show is over. As human beings we are curious creatures and are fascinated by things that are different and unobtainable. The lives of rich celebrities are so very different from our own that we become engrossed in their very interesting lives. We can live vicariously through their exploits and adventures, their crazy power shopping binges, their over the top dinners and nights on the town.
The purchasing power of the people appearing on these reality television shows is quite impressive to say the least. With the amount of money that celebrities have, they can purchase what ever they desire and what they buy is sometimes completely outrageous. That’s what makes these television shows about them even more entertaining. Whether you are there to fantasize about what they own, or there to just watch what crazy things they come up with next, it is still interesting and entertaining. One time on one of the television shows, a rich teenager, commissioned a life size gold plated statue of them self. Who would ever have thought they would waste that much money on something so ridiculous. Now a car may seem like a better use for their funds but it really isn’t, especially when they buy 6 of the most expensive cars ever manufactured. The average middle class family would think it was foolish to own more that 3 vehicles. Because they act so outrageous, it is interesting and therefore that is another reason we like to watch celebrities on television so very much. Take for instance a child of a super rich television celebrity, they have more money than sense, people just love watching them perform their stupendous acts, where they can spend the average persons life savings in one day. People love watching that kind of exploit, wishing they could be like them, instead of having to go to work everyday. Most of these spoiled kids don’t even know what work is. They spend their money, go out and cause trouble and create drama all the while the paparazzi follows them around like vultures. Putting there faces all over television and tabloids for people to see. They like the attention and therefore they keep doing what they were doing in order to make them seem more popular. In reality they are just making fools of themselves, but if the American people watch it, then their antics will continue.
Back in the 1980’s there was a television show called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” it was hosted by Robin Leach. It was the predecessor to today’s more popular reality celebrity shows, like “Keeping up with the Kardashian’s”. Lifestyle’s of the Rich and Famous featured the homes, vacation homes, locations and exotic cars, planes and boats of the famous and wealthy celebrities, athletes and rich business moguls. The television cameras took the audience into the very homes of these people. It showed what they drank and ate. It featured the beautiful grounds and lawns of their exotic, extravagant homes, no stone was left unturned. Every aspect of their beautiful, outrageous life style was featured and talked about. You know, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams” to all was desired and coveted.
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Another reason we like to watch celebrities on television is, because most of the ones we watch are trained actors. So they know how to portray a role that people want to see, most of those celebrities reality shows are fake. They follow a script just like any other staged production. So while it may look like its all happing at a random real life pace its really just a scripted skit they are doing. These shows where they spend money and act snobby and rich are just to make an actual paycheck, so they can go out and live a normal life. The lives we see on television from these rich celebrities is often quit different from their actual off screen lives. If people could see what their actual life was like they probably would be disappointed, its nothing like what the screen portrays. Its all for entertainments sake, that’s why people like to watch it. A good example of this would be The Wolf of Wall Street, the characters in the movie have more wealth than they know what to do with, so they flaunt it and party and have a good ole time. This represents how society sees rich and powerful people, this is why it entertains us. Our society doesn’t like to be bored, the culture now a days, glorifies wealth, power, life in the fast lane because it is exciting. Nobody wants to watch shows about politics, the news or education if they don’t have to. People want to be thrilled, entertained, moved into fantasy, by the spectacular acts of these people with wealth and those who can afford to live outside of our realm. Unless you are born into wealth, the average middle class person is going to have to work most of their adult life. Humans as individuals do not want to work, my generation has grown a custom to not having to work. We envy the wealthy because the rich don’t have to work as hard and as long as we do, sad to say millennials are lazy, and being rich is a lazy life style that’s why we want it and desire it greatly.
The main reason we watch rich celebrities on reality television is their wealth, its all about the money and why and how they spend it. As somebody once said “money makes the world go around”. Before my generation that wasn’t always the case. Yes money was a strong factor in life, but it wasn’t everything. Greed was something that was looked down upon, it was seen being used by corrupt corporations and the spiritually sick. But in today’s world “greed” is seen as both normal and acceptable by television and mass media. As humans we are naturally greedy, it is one of our most basic instincts from the time we are born, we want things of our own. We fight with our siblings to stake our claim. We are taught in school that wealth has to be earned by hard work and perseverance but once you get out in the real world of competition you realize that is not the case. “Greed” is good even though it is “bad”. You want to make your mark on the world and be remembered. Wealth is one way to be immortalized. Let’s all remember a few of the Famous last names of the great wealthy, individuals of history. (Rockefeller, Onassis, Ford, Kennedy, Carnegie, Rothschild, Vanderbilt etc…) and now let’s think of today’s Famous last names, who comes to mind? (Gates, Zuckerberg, Buffett, Jobs, Kardashian, Cast of Jersey Shore etc…). We watch because we want what they have!
- Unknown Author Username “Blakenow1”,(2015). Why do We Enjoy Watching Rich People on TV and Movies. WordPress.com
- Schulten, Katherine,(January 23,2014). Why We Like to Watch Rich People On TV.mobileNYtimes.com
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