Don’t Date a Celebrity
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Infidelity is a hot topic, and it seems like the group with the highest propensity to break their vows are famous men. Recent media has been rich with stories of men in powerful positions becoming disillusioned with thoughts of invulnerability, begetting adultery—they simply believe they will never be caught, while also assuming that if they do, they would never suffer real consequences because they have the resources to cover it up.
Adam Levine was recently exposed for having an affair with an Instagram model while in a public marriage. He is the prototype of a famous cheater: a celebrity who leads his life under the assumption that his fame and adoration entitle him to attract any woman he likes, and keeps their affair under wraps. His mistress should simply feel lucky to personally engage with him. He was even caught asking the model if she thought it would be appropriate to name his soon-to-be-born child after her. The narcissist, in this case, Adam Levine, felt that settling down into more stable roles, such as a husband, would reduce him to the lowest common denominator—a normal man with duties instead of a larger-than-life icon. This narcissistic injury leads him to rebel and reassert his specialness by maintaining extramarital affairs.
Unfortunately, following in the footsteps of Adam Levine, is Internet celebrity and member of the acclaimed “Try Guys”’s YouTube group, Ned Fulmer, who has become the star of the newest celebrity cheating scandal. Exposed by a surfaced picture, he was found to have been in a “consensual workplace relationship,” or so he claims, with a woman who worked for him while he was still married. After building his brand around his pastoral, flawless relationship with his wife, this news came as a shock to fans. After the news was leaked, he was removed from his “Try Guys” platform. The Internet was quick to blame the woman with whom Ned cheated, since his marriage was very public, but failed to consider the compromising position this woman could have been placed in since Ned was her boss. It is no full excuse, however important it is to consider that being approached by someone who essentially has the power to fire you is not an easy situation. The statement of the “Try Guys” was actually parodied on SNL in a skit that fell completely flat as it both failed to highlight the power dynamic discrepancy between Ned Fulmer and his coworker, poking fun at men who hold their friends accountable.
Celebrated men also may develop narcissistic tendencies from their constant flow of validation, which makes them act on adrenaline without impulse control. Gushing Instagram comments or roaring stadiums of fans can lead to heightened egos, creating intractable, towering vanity that fans could never match, no matter how loud they cheer. For celebrities like Adam Levine and Ned Fulmer, they were granted entrance into a world of indulgence and absolute entitlement, never having to develop the emotional musculature that would have given them self-restraint. They were suffocated with constant praise and validation. Additionally, some celebrated men think that their success earns them indulgence in their temptations without consequences. Since they have worked so hard to reach national fame, they believe that they deserve to evade consequences. After an extramarital affair, world champion golfer Tiger Woods famously said, “I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself normal rules didn’t apply.”
With the rise of social media, the public has been granted the ability to penetrate this wall of infallibility for celebrities. Now, people are able to document everything they see or hear, dampening the secrecy of celebrity cheating. Not only does social media exaggerate the effects of parasocial relationships to celebrities which incentivize scouring the internet for their actions, but message logs make it easier to be caught red-handed with just a screenshot. There is even an incentive to publicly report any proof one can find on a cheating celebrity, as it can lead to Internet fame and praise.
It is easy to get caught up in the entertaining drama of celebrity relationships and scandals. However, it is also so imperative to remember that the people plastered on our screens are also real people with flaws. Cheating men certainly deserve to be shamed, but the claustrophobic, invasive publicity that often hounds on the victims of the cheating is frankly unfair. Celebrity or not, cheating is an act of the utmost disrespect, so if anything, these famous folks serve as the perfect example of exactly what not to do.