In today's society, everywhere we look, we stumble upon a celebrity. This can be on billboards, bus stops, social media, or on our tv screens. These are the people that today's society looks up to and tend to imitate what they do or say. But are these the people we should be looking up to? Are they good role models? Many people enjoy stalking the social media pages of celebrities they admire, and buying all the tabloids and gossip magazines that can be found on any supermarket shelf. But what is a celebrity?
From our favorite singer-songwriter, football player, tv presenter, or our favorite social media influencer to name a few, these are who we call ‘celebrities’. Being a 'celebrity' means that the name is well-known all over the world. Each celebrity, from Kim Kardashian West to David Beckham to Katy Perry, comes from a variety of backgrounds, including business moguls, professional athletes, and musicians who became popular thanks to the Internet. The more media coverage a celebrity gets, the more famous they appear. But is celebrity culture beneficial to the world or does it do more harm than good?
We have experienced many disasters around the world this past year with no media coverage. From the wildfires in Australia and California to the civil wars in Yemen and Syria, and, most recently, the coronavirus pandemic, people worldwide have been reaching out to one another for support. During the Amazon fires, a number of celebrities took to social media to raise awareness about a subject that many thoughts were overlooked by the media. As a result, the media picked it up, and the fires became international news within days. During this time, Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio became one of the many celebrities who donated $5 million to help reduce homelessness. Celebrities' wealth isn't their only advantage in times of need, and many make effective use of their large platforms and followings, whether on social media or public speaking. Kim Kardashian West is one of the celebrities who has turned her platform into a voice for activism and has helped many people. Besides this, many of them raise awareness about various social issues such as hunger, charity, education, and cultural awareness. Many well-known individuals have completed college or university degrees and are passionate about politics, literature, and history. They give public speeches to students from various colleges. As a result, they highlight the importance of learning. Furthermore, celebrities who lead respectable lives serve as good role models for the general public. Celebrities' personal honesty or truthful relationships can be a good traditional value that people tend to look up to. Also, celebrities tend to help in the improvement of an individual's self-esteem. Imitating their haircut or fashion style, for example, can boost a person's confidence and improve a person's mental health.
Celebrities can also be good for business and this is one of the most effective ways for businesses to market their goods, set trends and express their opinions. The impact they have on people buying their products is big, as people tend to follow their trends. This can be big for any business.
All of the above may seem good and well when it comes to the positive effects that celebrities can have on people but when there are advantages, there comes disadvantages. One of them being body image. The effect that celebrities have on the young society of today can be very harmful. More than 1,000 young people aged 11 to 16 were interviewed by the YMCA, a youth charity. They discovered that 62 percent of 15 to 16-year-olds believe social media has raised their personal appearance standards. According to the charity, Photoshopped pictures and celebrities posting only the most attractive photos, change young people's perceptions of what a natural body looked like. (The Guardian,2018). And back in early 2016, scientists published research linking social media use to body image problems in teenagers. Dieting, body image, and a deep desire to be thin were all a part of it. Despite the fact that social networking platforms are not the cause of eating disorders, they do play a part in the creation of body image problems. (Centre for Change, 2021). Celebrities, especially actresses, are often pressured to look slim, and we, the public, are bombarded with the message that being thin implies being beautiful. Extreme treatments, such as cosmetic surgery and eating disorders, are used by certain celebrities to enhance their body images. This is how celebrity culture is affecting the younger generation. They are being shown a body image and are being told that this is how the population should look.
Another disadvantage is, groups of people will obsess about and harass the lives of their favorite artists on the internet. They're concentrating so hard on where Harry Styles ate lunch today that they're actually unaware of where their own mother ate lunch. It diverts our attention away from the real world and gives us unreasonable expectations of our lives. Obsessing someone you don't know is damaging to both you and them and is unhealthy for your mental health also. No one has to dedicate their entire life to following a celebrity on different social media platforms to admire and applaud their work.
Many teenagers would attempt to imitate the behavior of their favorite celebrities. Although these role models can be beneficial to teenagers at times, many celebrities today maintain expectations that can be damaging. Every other day, a celebrity is caught up in legal problems due to substance abuse or addiction. Teenagers see their favorite actors or musicians using drugs and believe they can as well. It promotes negative habits, such as addiction, and convinces teenagers that these lifestyles are cool and exciting. In cases such as substance addiction or excessive drinking, this behavior can be harmful. Celebrities encourage attitudes that are not positive for teens to do on a routine basis.
To summarise, while celebrity culture may have some positive aspects and results, its overall influence on society remains negative. Yes, they do bring good to society however, celebrities are idolized all over the world and they can do more harm than good. There's no denying that celebrities have a significant impact on society, and we all know that, thanks to the world's rapid changes in technology this decade, celebrities are becoming increasingly popular. These days to keep your celebrity status, make sure you are always seen intoxicated, crying or semi-naked on a regular basis. That's what celebrities do to stay relevant. With each reality show, gossip magazine, and news story, today's teens are being taught this lesson more and more and these are not the role models we want for our future generations.
Whether we like it or not, the internet has a major impact on our culture. Accepting, listening, understanding, and recognizing these factors is crucial and all we can do.