The cult of Cher?

Cher fans can’t seem to get enough of the 56-year-old star. The enduring diva has won their hearts and an Oscar. And her fans seem to follow her every move, concert and costume change with ardent fascination. There is even a website called “Cher World” for “Cherworlders.”

What is it about the historic pop star that has drawn such a cult following? One Canadian fan in a recent article put it this way, “I love her to death.”

And some “Cherworlders” feel it’s not enough to watch Cher—they want to be Cher, according to an article recently published by the London Free Press of Canada titled “Sharing Time with Cher…a serious business.”

The Free Press reported how usually staid Canadians dressed up to see who could be the best Cher. During the contest one impersonator said, “When I get into costume, I feel like her.”

Perhaps celebrity cults have become the most popular form of culturally acceptable escapism. Adoring fans living an alternate fantasy life through their respective idols.

Cultural icons like Cher, Madonna, Liz and legendary stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and James Dean have certainly beget cultic devotion. Their carefully coifed and cultivated personas often become larger than life and some are even more popular after they’re dead.

And let’s not forget all that lucrative marketing potential.

An icon’s fashion sense can easily become a new trend and celebrity endorsements sell products. Cher’s infomercials may have bombed, but Liz’s “White Diamonds” made her millions. And the “Material Girl” Madonna is perhaps the ultimate celebrity merchandising genius—at selling herself that is.

Will Cher fans allow their idol to retire after her “farewell tour“? Maybe the diva is already planning an encore? After all, will “Cherworlders” really be content with just her image through DVDs and videos? As the Canadian press says, “sharing time with Cher” seems more “serious” than that.


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