General Question

MCBeat's avatar

Why are people so obsessed with placing people who are innately talented or gifted in some way on a pedestal?

Asked by MCBeat (164points) April 2nd, 2009

Meanwhile, us Americans are also obsessed with egalitarianism. It makes no sense.

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6 Answers

galileogirl's avatar

I might question the term obsessed but I think it is natural to admire people who have skills, abilities and achievements we would like to have. They may inspire us to carry on when we run into obstacles because we see those obstacles can be overcome.

At the same time we are egalitarian in that we think everyone should have an equal opportunity but that doesn’t mean we shall all achieve the same things in life.

I think what you may be talking about is when someone has poor self esteem or a naive view of life, they buy into the idea that because someone is lionized by the masses or even has a particular quality that is admired, they will be exceptional people in every part of their lives.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Really? I think we tend to bully gifted and talented people when they are young, and make their life a living hell. Americans tend to revere the pedestrian. A lot of what passes for celebrity is actually manufactured stardom; it’s not really based on anything but circumstance and opportunity.

asow92's avatar

I would assume it’s because people no matter how big or small need someone to look up to.
It makes them feel better about themselves…

Mr_M's avatar

I don’t think it’s true.

First of all, it’s so VERY subjective. I might think Brittney Spears is an awesome singer and a dreamgirl while someone else wouldn’t go to a concert if you paid them. You might think Tiger Woods would be an awesome person to accidentally run into, someone else would go the other way. Although a LOT of people may put the person on a pedestal, some people will put the same person in the garbage. If what YOU said were true, EVERYONE would die to meet Brittney or Tiger and, although it’s true for some people, it’s not true for everyone.

Also, I think @AlfredaPrufrock is right. Brilliant but precocious children are often tortured by their peers.

Lastly, I don’t think it’s the PERSON we put on a pedestal so much, but their skills. If I like to play golf, I’ll envy Tiger. If I like comic books, I’ll envy someone who writes Spiderman. If I have no interest in these SKILLS, these people would not phase me. Look at how many people are turned off by computer geeks because they have no interest in computers? On “Dancing with the Stars” was Steve Wozniak. Some revered him for his brain while others were repulsed by him for his dancing. He was voted off earlier this week. Would that happen if he were on a “pedestal”? No.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m in the egalitarian school. Being on stage doesn’t make you any better or worse than anyone else. You might be more skilled, or employ an active imagination, but others have that, too, yet aren’t on stage.

I do not like the culture of “stardom,” and I try to find alternatives. I’ve found groups where we work hard to keep ourselves all equal in status, while different in talents and skills. I’ve found a few organizations that also believe this.

For me, it’s like in the days before mass media. If you wanted music, you made it yourself. I rarely listent to recorded music. Most of what I listen to is what I or my friends make. The same is true of conversation and writing (fluther is such a place if we can keep it that way).

For every talent there is, I know a group dedicated to the idea that everyone can do it. Music for People, for example, uses the mantra that there are no wrong notes. Everyone can sing, if they get over this idea that they are no good. They have plenty of exercises that work, and get people over whatever is in the way of them singing.

I think that technology is bringing back this kind of egalitarianess. Everyone can record now. Everyone can blog. Everyone can be a pundit. This is a great thing, as far as I’m concerned.

manoffaith3112's avatar

I happen to be a gospel singer at my church.

Before we all moved last year I was singing at 5 different churches. And since I’d taken voice lessons, and with experience people really like it when I sing.

I’m sure I’ve been getting more attention from getting to be a blessing in that area then if I’d just attended the local church.

And after reading a number of biographies of celebrities people may be just wild about a “singing artist” or “super star actor” it is not a true reflection of who they are. Some of the people who are getting lauded and kudos for the skill or talents they have just live the most pitiful or immoral lives you could imagine. It is a mystery how people are put on a pedestal just because they are good at entertaining. Just look at how Elvis is still looked up to so much after all these years after his death. By now he is kind of been turned into a mythical icon even though all he really could do is entertain well. Compare that with a really great school teacher, or a caring person in like the medical field there is no comparison.

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