In this age of discontent, celebrity negative news spread like wildfire across social media. Megastars like Kylie Jenner, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Kendall have found themselves ensnared in the jaws of resentment. Kylie Jenner possesses exceptional leadership skills and the ability to stockpile vast wealth. Her acumen in managerial roles has seen her shine through financial and investment matters. But, recently, reality TV celebrities Kendall and Kylie became the center of attention for “disrespectful” icon T-shirts that attracted a venomous backlash. They had to apologize and withdraw the costume from their website and social media. Later in September, Perez Hilton’s sharp tongue recommended abortion to Kylie, the outrageous comments reverberated across the world with tons of tweets.
The Psychology of Negativity
Today, our society elevates negative occurrences to a fetish. Emphasis on Kylie’s negative things has gravely clouded her positive outlook. The obsession on negative experiences emanates from deeply entrenched societal attitudes, physiological and psychological factors. The brain processes positive and negative experiences in different regions. Negative emotions typically demand more time to mull over, while the brain handles the information more rigorously than positive ones. Accordingly, we tend to ponder more distasteful events than lucky ones and use powerful words to describe them.
Bad emotions, impressions, and stereotypes plucked from the air form quickly and remain etched in our brains than the actual good ones. Beyond the celebrity scenes, public viewership demand for negative news such as war, natural disasters, and terrorism has equally increased. Media outlets, bloggers, and social networking have provided a fast-paced forum that diffuses nuggets of negative information. The backlash unleashed by the unpleasant costume has taken a heavy toll on Kylie’s investments as her merchandise took a nosedive.
However, Kylie’s fortitude has seen her emerge strong even after the whirlwind of negativity tainted her brand image. But a pessimistic-driven society may increase her frustration and threaten her trajectory of progress as her wounds heal along the way. The key to this enigma lies in the hands of evolutionary psychologists and neuroscientists. Humans have a liking for exciting, adverse events. The experts have explained that our brains evolved in the African Sub-Saharan tropical environments where anything new or spectacular required immediate attention for survival.
Psychologists contend that an imbalance in positive and negative news lurches one into failure in social life, career and elsewhere. Equipped with optimism and positive memories, we can get a magic pill to navigate these emotive hurdles. Kylie’s bold character enabled her to rise from the ashes of destruction like a phoenix and regain her footing by licking her wounds and moving on.
To counter the serious ramifications of negative backlash in the celebrity world, people like Kylie can only pin hope on positive habits. When our brains get hardwired to novel habits and behavioral attitudes, we can develop a pro-active stance that can spread to others like a contagious syndrome. It does not mean a reckless, cursory or rash approach to approve everything we experience as positive but a reprogramming of our brains. Positive psychology and brain research can reshape the society’s ingrained disposition for negativity with a balanced and multi-faceted point of view.