The expression "put on a pedestal" refers to the act of greatly admiring or idealizing someone, often to the point where they can do no wrong in the eyes of the admirer. It's like saying, "I hold this person in such high regard that they're above everyone else in my eyes." The phrase can be used in various contexts, from romantic infatuations to fanatical devotion to a celebrity or hero. However, it's often used with a cautionary tone, as putting someone on a pedestal can lead to unrealistic expectations and eventual disappointment when that person fails to live up to the elevated status.
"Put on a pedestal" means to admire or worship someone excessively, often overlooking their faults.
When we say someone is "put on a pedestal," we mean that they are being highly admired or excessively revered, often to the point where their flaws or mistakes are ignored or overlooked. It's as if that person is elevated on a higher platform, making them seem better than they might actually be.
While it's natural to admire someone for their achievements or qualities, this idiom warns us of the dangers of blind admiration. It's important to remember that no one is perfect!
The phrase draws imagery from the ancient practice of raising statues of notable individuals on pedestals. These pedestals elevated the statue, drawing attention and reverence to it.
The phrase is demonstrated in this excerpt from the 1913s:
"But I have never seen a hero on a pedestal..."
- Crowds; A Moving-picture of Democracy by Gerald Stanley Lee
The use of pedestals for statues made the figure appear larger than life, creating an aura of respect and veneration. This practice led to the metaphorical usage of the phrase to mean elevating someone's status or regard in society.
Let's look at how this idiom can be used in different contexts:
This idiom has also found its way into popular culture:
There are various ways to convey the same sentiment as this idiom:
It means to admire or worship someone excessively, often ignoring their flaws or mistakes.
The phrase originates from the ancient practice of placing statues of significant figures on pedestals to elevate and honor them.
Not always. While it can signify admiration, it can also indicate overlooking faults or setting unrealistic expectations.
Example: "She always puts her boyfriend on a pedestal, even when he's clearly in the wrong."
While the concept exists in many cultures, the exact phrasing may differ.
Yes, the idiom can also be used for ideas or highly valued things, sometimes irrationally.
Yes, both refer to elevating someone or something, but "standing on a pedestal" might emphasize the person's attitude more than others' perceptions.
While it usually indicates excessive admiration, in some contexts, it might simply mean holding someone in high regard.
Many believe so, as the media often highlights the best aspects of celebrities, sometimes creating unrealistic images.
Recognizing and appreciating people for who they are, flaws and all, and setting realistic expectations is essential.
The phrase "put on a pedestal" is useful when you want to stress admiration, excessive reverence, or undue importance. Whether talking about a loved one you deeply admire, referring to society's obsession with celebrities, or merely pointing out an overrated phenomenon, "put on a pedestal" is a handy phrase to know and use.
Here's a quick wrap-up: