Is celebrity culture valuable to us?
Since television and media began, celebrity culture has gripped the world. Whether it be a singer, an actor, a sports star or a social media influencer, everyone is obsessed with someone famous. But what is it
Since television and media began, celebrity culture has gripped the world. Whether it be a singer, an actor, a sports star or a social media influencer, everyone is obsessed with someone famous.
But what is it about them that makes them so irresistible, and is this culture good for us?
For a lot of people, I believe, they serve as role models. We look up to them as inspirations, and their lives are goals towards which we can aim. Personally, I have looked up mainly to footballers. My dream career is as a professional footballer (I’m not sure why I haven’t been picked up by Arsenal yet, but oh well), and I look up to players who showcase genuine talent and have a true dedication to their craft.
I look at Cristiano Ronaldo, who spent hours upon hours on the training ground perfecting his skills, despite the fact that everybody else had gone home. He even used to go into the woods behind Manchester United’s training ground, kicking the ball on the uneven ground to practice his control. That uncompromising attitude of pure grit is what I look up to, and it’s applicable to all people across all professions.
Cristiano Ronaldo is Portugal’s all-time top scorer with 99 goals to date 🇵🇹
Here are 10 of the best 😍pic.twitter.com/oD4Yt8SpxD
— Goal (@goal) February 5, 2020
The same attitude can be found in other celebrities. Ed Sheeran for example, dedicated himself to his music despite having to sleep rough on occasions, since he didn’t have a ‘real’ job. He found his big break after actor Jamie Foxx let him stay on his couch, and let him perform at an exclusive event, with some of the most talented artists in the world. This was, of course, a slice of good fortune, but I would say that Sheeran’s luck was deserved, and by now becoming one of the biggest selling artists of all time, he provides hope for those who aspire to reach the heights that he has.
Another reason for the celebrity craze is because they are, or have the appearance of being, relatable. Especially for younger generations, relatability is a vital aspect of whether or not we’ll like a celebrity. To come back to Ed Sheeran, he lived out a rather normal childhood, and after pursuing his dream, rocketed to superstardom. When people like him, and others who lived similar lives to the rest of us, find fame, they’re usually even more celebrated, as they represent the morality of a more progressive society: anyone, no matter their social background, race, religion, gender, sexuality etc. can make it into the elite. It’s a very positive effect.
However, there are problems caused by too strong feelings towards those in the public eye. Many social media influencers, for example, portray a completely unrealistic image of life on the whole. The content they release depicts a ‘perfect’ life. The perfect house, the perfect body, the perfect clothes, car, makeup and perfect everything else that falls under the category of personal image. This can have drastic effects on the self-esteem of young people, who often feel inadequate in comparison. But very little of what the influencers portray is genuine; houses are borrowed, pictures are photoshopped, clothes and makeup provided as part of sponsorship deals whose only function is to make money for the content creator and the manufacturer.
Not all influencers are bad, though, and some are genuine with the portrayal of their lives. Those who aren’t make up a minority of the celebrity world, and it’s unfair to criticise the whole group based simply off a few rogue ‘fakers’.
So, despite the claims of many, celebrities, when viewed realistically, are valuable people to society. They give us imagination, hope, and many instil within us a mindset of grit and hard work which may not be as effectively sold to us in a traditionally academic environment. It seems clear to me that they are principally beneficial to civilisation, and with them there should be no problem.