There was a humorous article in the newspapers sometime back about the National Basketball Association's biggest man, Washington's 7-foot-7 Gheorghe Muresan. Muresan is big enough to frighten some NBA players. Bears don't like him, either. During a recent visit to the Washington Zoo, a bear ran for his cave and hid as Muresan approached. "We tried it a few more times, and every time he showed up, the bear ran to his cave," interpreter Greg Ghyka said. Now there is a man you can look up to--a man so large that even bears turn and run from him.
This tendency to worship celebrities is not entirely new. Marie Antoinette, the First Lady of Louis XVI, was the celebrity style-maker of the eighteenth century. If she styled her wig in a particular fashion, all the ladies of the court were soon wearing their hair the same way. And when she became pregnant, the best-dressed women of Paris and Versailles wore cushions under their gowns in imitation. For nine months they inserted larger and larger cushions, to keep pace with Marie's expansion. Then suddenly, with the birth of her son, cushions became passe.
There is something in the human psyche that needs someone to look up to, someone with whom to identify, someone even to imitate. Who do you look up to?