Reality TV. Celebutantes. YouTube. Sex Tapes. Gossip Blogs.
Drunk Driving. Tabloids. Drug Overdoses.
Is this entertainment? Why do we keep watching? What does it
mean for our kids?
In the last decade, the face of entertainment has changed
radically--and dangerously, as addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky
and business and entertainment expert Dr. S. Mark Young argue in
this eye-opening new book. The soap opera of celebrity behavior we
all consume on a daily basis--stories of stars treating rehab like
vacation, brazen displays of abusive and self-destructive ""diva""
antics on TV, shocking sexual imagery in prime time and online, and
a constant parade of stars crashing and burning--attracts a huge
and hungry audience. As Pinsky and Young show in "The Mirror
Effect," however, such behavior actually points to a wide-ranging
psychological dysfunction among celebrities that may be spreading
to the culture at large: the condition known as narcissism.
The host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" and of the
long-running radio show "Loveline," Pinsky recently teamed with
Young to conduct the first-ever study of narcissism among
celebrities. In the process, they discovered that a high proportion
of stars suffer from traits associated with clinical
narcissism--including vanity, exhibitionism, entitlement,
exploitativeness, self-sufficiency, authority, and superiority.
Now, in "The Mirror Effect," they explore how these stars, and the
media, are modeling such behavior for public consumption--and how
the rest of us, especially young people, are mirroring these
dangerous traits in our own behavior.
Looking at phenomena as diverse as tabloid exploitation
("""Stars . . . they're just like us!"""), reality-TV train wrecks
(from "The Anna Nicole Show" to "My Super Sweet 16" to "Bad Girls
Club"), gossip websites (TMZ, PerezHilton, Gawker), and the
ever-evolving circle of pop divas known as celebutantes (or, more
cruelly, celebutards), The Mirror Effect reveals how figures like
Britney and Paris and Lindsay and Amy Winehouse--and their media
enablers--have changed what we consider ""normal"" behavior. It
traces the causes of disturbing celebrity antics to their roots in
self-hatred and ultimately in childhood disconnection or trauma.
And it explores how YouTube, online social networks, and personal
blogs offer the temptations and dangers of instant celebrity to the
most vulnerable among us.
Informed and provocative, with the warm and empathetic
perspective that has won Dr. Drew Pinsky legions of fans, "The
Mirror Effect" raises important questions about our changing
culture--and provides insights for parents, young people, and
anyone who wonders what celebrity culture is doing to America.
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