I heard the story of Abraham in early childhood; I think it was in the introduction to religion very early on in school. When Abraham crashed the idols, he cried, “How could you worship something you made yourselves?”
Celebrities somehow resemble those idols in that they are always man-made: whether it is a single person or company or a collective behind making a “star” or celebrity, the element of fabrication is strongly present. This is not to discount the effect of certain personal or professional qualities, but there is substantial weight of fandom involved: how many people like/follow you is as strong a factor as how talented, qualified, or productive you are, if not more. Take shows like Canadian or American Idol (note the title) or So you think you can dance, where how well the participant presents his/her art is not sufficient, but he/she has to be popular, in fact, most popular to move up.
Celebrities are man-made and worshiped by men. They are a powerful force in selling consumer products: what they wear, where they vacation, what they eat is emulated (most often with cheaper replicas or substitutes) by many. But what is the appeal? Why do people make idols to worship them?
I think one answer is just that: to worship. In the absence of religion, man needs or wants something to look up to, aspire to. Celebrities, representing good looks and good lives, provide beyond a role model, more like a beacon, for all those who have anything but. The new celebrity culture has been replacing religion, myths, and archetypes for us: if we cannot, or don’t want to bother to, reach out to our ancestors or heavens, we can grope for what is available, what seems possible: to put on clothes, accessories, and make-up that such and such has to achieve a moment of sparkle, an image of ourselves resembling the one in the spotlight. We connect to something beyond ourselves when feeling recognized for our hard work to look like them -those up there showered by the lights. Now, what would Abraham have to say about that?