LOS ANGELES – Colorado teen Kristen Schubert tried writing a letter to Justin Bieber’s record label requesting that the singer be her prom date. When she didn’t receive a response, the Grand Valley High School student decided he was still the only one she wanted by her side for the momentous occasion.
Schubert, a senior, took a life-sized, cardboard cutout of Bieber, and according to a local news station, took it dancing, had professional pictures taken, and wasn’t put off by any “weird looks” from fellow students.
That same week, an Iowa teenager took a life-sized cardboard cutout of Tim Tebow to her high school prom. Rachel Bird, 18, reportedly asked the New York Jets quarterback to be her plus one via Twitter. But when no RSVP came back through the micro blogging site, Bird made her own life-sized Tebow and “figured (it) would get some laughs out of (her) friends.”
Los Angeles-based psychotherapist Dr. Nancy Irwin told FOX411’s Pop Tarts that the fad might not be so funny if it continues to gain momentum.
“Having a cardboard cutout in your bedroom can be okay, but to simulate a date or ‘real’ relationship in a public place is disallowing for real flesh and blood humans -- who are not airbrushed or PR’d -- to interact with you,” she explained. “If it were a special event, a singular ‘theme party’ it would be healthy, but to replace a human being, especially one that is idolized -- as celebrities are -- is making a statement that your peers are not good enough for you.”
Dr. Chuck Williams, Assistant Clinical Professor at Drexel University, said that the one-dimensional dates could also indicate that teens are rejecting the anxiety provoking tradition of having to ask someone to the prom with the possibility of being shot down, or an indicator of worrisome levels of celebrity idolization.
But at least in these cases, the young ladies took two men with talent.
“Celebrity idolization has become sickening. What is worse is that you can be a celebrity for possessing not a single iota of talent, like Kim Kardashian, who catapulted to stardom and icon status due to a ‘leaked’ sex tape,” Williams added. “It seems the message that kids are getting today is that fame and celebrity is what’s most important, which is why we see them engaging in behaviors such as posting videos of them bullying or assaulting their peers on YouTube and Facebook – anything to get attention… seeking that fifteen seconds of fame.”
Wait, it's fifteen seconds now?
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay