Admiring your favourite celebs could certainly prove a great boost for your self-esteem, suggests a new study.
The study led by Jaye L. Derrick and Shira Gabriel of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York suggests that connecting yourself with your favourite celebrity i.e. building a parasocial relationship would significantly help people with low-self esteem to view themselves more positively.
People with low self-esteem can use their parasocial relationships to feel closer to the ideals they hold for themselves.
The study showed that parasocial relationships can have self-enhancing benefits for low self-esteem people who have a difficult time with real interpersonal relationships.
The researchers conducted three studies using approximately one hundred undergraduate university students each to examine the relationship between self-esteem, parasocial relationship closeness, and self-discrepancies.
Participants were asked to identify their favourite celebrity and described them in an open-ended essay. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale assessed global self-evaluations.
The findings revealed that people with low self-esteem saw their favourite celebrities as very similar to their ideal selves.
Low self-esteem people primed with their favourite celebrity felt more similar to their ideal selves than low self-esteem people primed with a control celebrity.
Also, people with low self-esteem primed with their favourite celebrity felt more similar to their ideal selves than low self-esteem people primed with a close relationship partner.
These parasocial relationships offer low self-esteem people an opportunity to reduce their self-discrepancies and feel closer to their ideal selves.
"Even 'fake' relationships with celebrities, relationships without any actual contact, can have benefits for the self," the authors conclude.
"We found that parasocial relationships can sometimes have benefits for people with low-self esteem that 'real' relationships do not," they added.
This study is published in the June 2008 issue of Personal Relationships