Anne Helen Petersen may be in the celeb gossip game, but check her credentials. Literally. She went to school to study celebrity gossip. She has a PhD, which is more than a lot of people will ever achieve.

She did her dissertation on the history of celebrity gossip, and believes that our obsession with celebrities reflects contemporary American life. Petersen describes how the scholarly side of gossip works: ” An academic approach…asks how celebrity images are made, how they function ideologically, and how they point to things that matter in our society.”

Why does this even matter today? Don’t people get PhDs in, like, engineering, or literature? ‘Established’ fields?

Answer is no. Petersen is living the pop-cultured, nerd, and American dream. Those trashy checkout mags about weight wars and baby bumps are on par with analyzing Goethe or spending all day in a science lab.

There are people who are dumb enough to study, smart enough to slack, and intelligent enough to work the system in their favor. Petersen is the third: She took her interest and made it into a viable and legitimate academic field.

By the way, she’s over at Buzzfeed. How’s the job search, French philosophy theory PhD? Know more.