What Bill Cosby Can Teach Us About Ourselves and 'Celebrity'

What Bill Cosby Can Teach Us About Ourselves and ‘Celebrity’

Bill Cosby wearing a grey sweatshirt and a lavalier mic
(Source: AP, Brennan Linsley)
headshot of Terrie Williams
Terrie Williams (Image: terriewilliams.com)

There is a part of us that is completely enamored with celebrity; it’s part of human nature. How do we live with that instead of getting lost in it?
We’re a culture that is very celebrity-driven. We’ll do anything to rub elbows with a celebrity. We literally lose our minds. The brand a person sells does not have to have anything to do with who you are. We project that onto people and have to do a gut check about that, especially parents. Some are so short-sighted and they don’t convey to their children that this person is great on the court, but they are human. Even though there is a tendency to idolize, there is no one we should idolize. They are human.

What is the lesson we can take from this?   
We can look and watch ourselves and pay attention when things, like a lack of confidence or self-esteem, is causing us to stop listening to our gut. This is a hard thing for many of us to do. When we hear a story like Cosby’s, and hear from the victims, so often the thought crosses our mind, but we are trapped by the celebrity thing. Good sense values go out the window. We buy into the hype and tell ourselves, ‘that can’t be what I heard/felt’— we don’t want to go there. But everybody is wounded and scarred in some way. We need to remember that, and remember that all of us have a ‘game face’ and a mask that we wear. Celebrities aren’t any different.