Celebrity Scrutiny is a Victimless Crime

Following famed superstars Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s breakup, internet users have relentlessly been poking fun at the ex-couple. Jokes at the expense of others are by nature sadistic, so why isn’t it wrong to make fun of celebrities?

Grande and Davidson’s relationship, the target of widespread criticism, lasted less than six months. During this short span of time, the two got engaged to one another and even got tattoos to commemorate their transient commitment. This spawned waves of internet memes making fun of the couple’s hasty decision.

Though they may not have asked for the complete lack of privacy which accompanies the limelight of fame, they’ve got it now, for better or worse. Grande, a singer, and Davidson, a comedian, are both very wealthy people who lead interesting lives. Their music and comedy garner a lot of attention simply because people like the content that each creates.

Which is precisely why both Grande and Davidson should be largely unphased by the memes that make fun of their short-lived relationship. With the popularity of being famous comes constant attention and affirmation. Equipped with the augmented self-confidence of fame, the two should by now be accustomed to both receiving criticism and having the self-assurance to know when it is invalid and doesn’t deserve further consideration.

Under the constant scrutiny of the public eye, the two should simply know better than to pay anonymous criticizers any mind. Grande and Davidson alone know the intimacies of their relationship, and should take comfort in as much rather than basing their self-worth off the opinions of strangers.

The majority of internet users do not know either Grande or Davidson personally and, as such, their opinions should not have any weight in the minds of the former couple. Bullying is wrong, but these memes about Grande and Davidson can hardly be considered the same thing. People make fun of celebrities not necessarily because they bear ill will toward them or wish for the gratification of hurting the person in question – indeed, oftentimes the ones making jokes are fans of said celebrities – but simply for the fun of it.

And celebrities are easy targets for such a form of amusement. In today’s day and age, it’s nearly impossible to not somehow come across details about their personal lives, even if one is not specifically trying to pay attention to celebrities. The public enjoys making fun of them so much precisely because everyone knows what’s going on in their high profile lives. Knowledge of celebrities is so widespread that it’s an easy target for jokes as a means to socially connect with others.

As long as people use the internet and social media, they will continue to make fun of the dramatic and grandiose lives of celebrities. Memes are so ingrained in our culture that they aren’t going away anytime soon, but that’s not a bad thing. In this case, it’s certainly not bullying. The famous just need the mental strength and thick skin to either laugh at themselves or ignore the snide comments of strangers.

Simon Orychiwski is a fourth year Political Science major and English and Literary Journalism minor. He can be reached at sorychiw@uci.edu.