Pretty, Party Girl Goes Free/Is Casey Anthony Narcissistic?

Girls Gone Wild, Bad Girls Club, and Real Housewives of Atlanta depict hot, sexy party girls doing what they do best: Party! They are charming, seductive, and sociable. Are these beautiful party girls the new role models of an American Narcissistic culture?

Casey Anthony spent days shopping, partying, and drinking just 2 ½ weeks after her daughter Caylee’s 2-year-old body was dumped in a wooded area not far from the Anthony’s home. Despite the “not guilty” verdict, many believe Casey’s unusual behavior points more toward a guilty person. Some psychologists and therapists suggest Casey has strong Narcissistic tendencies that are consistent with America’s “all about me” culture.

What is an “All about me” Culture?

The DSM-IV defines this “all about me” behavior as Narcissism. The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder are centered on patterns of grandiosity, a need for admiration or approval, and a sense of entitlement. Oftentimes, individuals feel excessively important and will exaggerate achievements and will accept, and often demand, praise and admiration despite worthy achievements. A narcissistic person may be overwhelmed with fantasies that involved limitless success, power, love, or beauty and feel that they can only be understood by others who are, like them, superior in some aspect of life.

According to the DSM-IV, the disorder begins by early adulthood and is indicated by the subject exhibiting at least five of the following:

1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance
2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or
ideal love
3. Believes he is “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive admiration
5. Has a sense of entitlement
6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends
7. Lacks empathy
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him
9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes

According to Dr. Drew Pinsky’s interview with USA Today, female celebrities “are significantly more narcissistic than the general population.” Dr. Drew suggests that a celebrity-driven society encourages narcissistic behavior in many of us. From Anna Nicole Smith to Paris Hilton, beauty and admiration ranks at the top of the Narcissism chart. The increase of self-promotion, entitlement, desire for attention and uniqueness, materialism, and power has become enmeshed in America’s moral fabric.

How to identify Narcissism in our culture

Narcissism does not only permeate within individuals, but also within our American culture. This idea includes a wide variety of cultural symptoms that result in an insurmountable sense of entitlement and selfishness. This behavior has thrust our society into credit card debt, excessive plastic surgery, greed, and even murder. From narcissistic celebrities to narcissistic parents, our society has shifted from a modest ‘Leave it to Beaver’  way of life to an overconfident, arrogant culture of Reality TV promoting violence, aggression, and gluttony. The lead culprits for fueling the flames of our “all about me” society are, oftentimes, celebraties and media.

 

According to Marie Claire Magazine, the top ten Celebrity Narcissists of all time are:

1. Angelina Jolie

2. Javier Bardem

3. Lindsay Lohan

4. Johnny Depp

5. Jodie Foster

6. Brad Pitt

7. James Franco

8. Chris Martin

9. Rory Emerald

10. Ben Affleck

Typically, you may see Narcissism everyday and work with people who display selfish or “all about me” characteristics regularly. So, how do you know if you or someone you know is Narcissistic?

Do you have Narcissistic Behaviors? Ask yourself the following questions:

1.              Am I obsessed with self-importance?

2.              Am I preoccupied with power, success, affection, love, or beauty?

3.              Am I exceptionally special and unique above most?

4.              Do I require tremendous attention and excessive admiration?

5.              Am I entitled to whatever I want, need, or desire?

6.              Do I lack in empathy toward others?

7.              Have I taken opportunities to take advantage of others?

8.              Am I often jealous of others?

9.              Do I believe others are often jealous of me?

10.          Am I arrogant and judgmental toward others?

If you answered, “yes” to at least five of these questions, your may have Narcissistic tendencies; however, this does not mean that you are a Narcissist.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Narcissistic tendencies, psychotherapy may help. Contact a therapist to assist you.