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Celebrity Divorce Rates Boil Down To Google Hits, ‘Skimpy’ Clothing, And Type Of Fame

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celebrity divorce ratesThe emotional investment we often have for celebrity families can reach a head come that divorce press release. You may have been holding out for Katy Perry and Russell Brand to hit their 50th anniversary, but the odd pair seems to have not hesitated at ending their 14-month marriage. Even the end of Heidi Klum and Seals seven-year marriage with four little tots is hurtful to see given how emblematic the brood became of modern families. But regardless of how strong you perceive a celebrity marriage to be, a formula can pretty accurately predict those divorce rates. And the factors pretty much cement that celebrity couples aren’t like us.

Garth Sundem and John Tierny‘s formula of celebrity divorce prediction has successfully foreseen such infamous splits as Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock, and Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Their data also suggested that Jada Pinkett and Will Smith would perhaps not make it to their 15th wedding anniversary. Even though the two remain married by this point, there has been much talk of divorce.

The Sundem/Tierny theory also predicted that Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana Barroso, would make it to their fifth anniversary as well as Damon’s bestie Ben Affleck and the wholesomely always pregnant Jennifer Garner.

What divorce rates among the stars ultimately comes down to is the age at the time of marriage (younger couples are more likelier to divorce just like as non-famous folks) and how many failed marriages are behind them. But also, the type of fame that each spouse has maintained is essential to marital longevity. Garth tells The New York Times:

“It turns out that overall fame doesn’t matter as much as the flavor of the fame. It’s tabloid fame that dooms you. Sure, Katie Holmes had about 160 Enquirer hits, but she had more than twice as many NYT hits. A high NYT/ENQ ratio also explains why Chelsea Clinton and Kate Middleton have better chances than the Kardashian sisters.”

So even though respected Meryl Streep is infinitely famous — way more than her husband Don Gummer, you don’t exactly find details about their marriage on the cover of Us Magazine. Meryl may be a famous lady, wife, and mother, but not in the tawdry sense of the word. Given those factors, Meryl and Don will probably be just fine.

Dr. David M. Buss, a psychologist at the University of Texas, has done his own research which links “skimpy” clothes to narcissism, which in turn can lead to higher rates of sexual infidelity. Marital infidelity exacerbated by a tabloid narrative of marital woes, the agenda of any PR rep., and the standard massive ego of any famous person doesn’t exactly make for a happy marriage either:

“My research on married couples found that the trait of narcissism predicted likelihood of sexual infidelity. Those high on narcissism feel entitled to have sex with others. Also, they oscillate between feelings of grandiosity and worthlessness, and the sexual attention helps keep them in the self-aggrandizing region of self-esteem.”

Dr. Buss pointed out that the press loves to spin a story regarding cheating spouses of either gender. However, a detected “double standard” suggests that a marriage is more likely to buckle when the wife cheats, which is no doubt rooted in some sexist understanding of male and female roles.

Since average married couples luckily don’t have to factor the glare of fame into their partnerships, this data is quite relevant when looking to Jennifer Garner as your personal role model of wife and mother — as many Americans tend to do. Celebrity marriages and families, unfortunately, influence social mores. Yet for a lot of these cited couples, components like faith for example don’t seem to factor into the red carpet couple as press headlines seem to carry more weight than religion. That single omission, along with Google hits, reveals that even though many Americans look to celebrity marriages on which to model their own, those actresses, singers, and reality TV stars are clearly contending with an array of completely different factors than the rest of us.

(photo: WENN)