Heroification is the act of glorifying or idealizing a person or group of people as heroes, often overlooking their flaws or negative actions.
It is a common practice in modern society, especially in politics, media, and entertainment.
While it may seem harmless or even admirable, heroification can have several negative consequences.
This article explores why heroification is a bad thing and how it can be detrimental to individuals and society as a whole.
What is Heroification?
Heroification is the process of turning a person or group of people into heroes, often by exaggerating or idealizing their qualities or achievements.
It involves creating a narrative that portrays them as exceptional, noble, and virtuous, while ignoring or downplaying their flaws, mistakes, or negative actions.
Heroification is not a new phenomenon and has been practiced for centuries, especially in the fields of politics, religion, and mythology.
However, it has gained new momentum in the age of mass media and popular culture, where celebrities, politicians, and other public figures are often elevated to heroic status.
Examples of Heroification
Heroification can take many forms and occur in different contexts.
Here are some examples of heroification in various fields:
Politicians are often portrayed as heroes, especially during election campaigns. They are presented as visionary leaders who have the power to change the world and improve people’s lives.
Their speeches are full of promises and inspiring slogans that appeal to people’s emotions and aspirations.
However, once in power, many politicians fail to live up to their promises, and their flaws and mistakes become apparent.
Heroification of politicians can create unrealistic expectations and lead to disappointment and disillusionment among the public.
The media often heroifies celebrities, athletes, and other public figures. They are portrayed as role models, inspirations, and icons of success. Their achievements and lifestyles are showcased in magazines, TV shows, and social media, creating a cult of personality around them. However, this often comes at the expense of their privacy, dignity, and humanity. The media tends to overlook their mistakes, scandals, and personal struggles, creating a distorted image of them. Heroification of celebrities can lead to unrealistic expectations, envy, and obsession among fans.
Historical figures are often heroified, especially those who played a significant role in shaping the course of history. They are portrayed as brave, wise, and visionary leaders who fought for justice, freedom, and progress. However, this often comes at the expense of historical accuracy and context. Many historical figures had flaws, biases, and contradictions that are overlooked in their heroification. Moreover, heroification can lead to the erasure or marginalization of other voices and perspectives that challenge the dominant narrative.
Why is Heroification a Bad Thing?
Heroification may seem harmless or even desirable, as it celebrates the achievements and virtues of individuals. However, it can have several negative consequences, both for the heroified and the heroifiers.
Here are some reasons why heroification is a bad thing:
1. It creates unrealistic expectations
Heroification creates an idealized image of individuals that is often impossible to live up to. Heroes are expected to be perfect, flawless, and infallible, which is unrealistic and unfair. This can create immense pressure and stress on the heroified, who may feel the need to maintain their heroic image at all costs. Moreover, it can create disappointment and disillusionment among the public when the heroified fails to meet their expectations.
2. It overlooks flaws and mistakes
Heroification tends to overlook or downplay the flaws and mistakes of individuals. This can create a distorted image of them that is detached from reality. Moreover, it can prevent them from learning from their mistakes and improving themselves.