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A New Age of Celebrity Worship

Experts help you understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of being the world's biggest fan.

Healthy, Happy, and Star Struck continued...

Experts say hero worship can yield even more positive results when celebrities take to the streets with campaigns that encourage good health -- and ultimately help convince us to personally make changes in our own lives.

"Celebrities can have a positive influence on our life, with positive messages. They can be very helpful in terms of increasing awareness and decreasing stigma about many problems, including health problems, that might otherwise not get the attention they need," says Hollander.

Such was the case when Katie Couric launched her awareness campaign about colon cancer, when Brooke Shields gave postpartum depression some much-needed attention, or even when Michael J. Fox helped increase our own -- and our politicians' -- interest in stem cell research.

"In this respect, a celebrity can act almost like a support group -- helping us to see that life is OK, that I can do this, you can do this," she says.

Indeed, if there is a key to being a "healthy" fan, experts say it is in our ability to enjoy what a celebrity brings to our life, without them becoming our life.

"If you can just have fun with it, if it's not replacing emotional connections in your real life, then it's really all OK," Aronowitz concludes.


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