Have you ever had favorite superstars as idols in mind that you dream to become just like them? The more we visualize ourselves as a celebrity, the more obsessions we have. We all enjoy hearing the latest celebrity gossip from time to time. Who doesn’t enjoy hearing about the hottest celebrity wedding of the year or the worst celebrity makeover? What do you think about these topics on the news headlines? ” Jessica Lowndes wears a see-through dress. For Jakey, probably.”, ” Sparkles wants to start a family. Aw…”, ” Pillow-fight! Hailee Steinfeld, etc play around in Vogue” (The Gossip Wire). Media has been following a lot of celebrity actions and spread it in the public. The causes of having too much media attention towards celebrities could lead to negative effects of being bad examples for audiences, wasting people’s times, and interfering with celebrity’s privacy, and lead to positive effects of giving people an opportunity to be famous, providing benefits for media organizations, and being good examples for audiences.
Have you ever wondered why people are so into celebrities? Have you ever thought of why it is that we spend our times studying celebrities’ bibliography and possibly their every action? According to Jake Halpern, the author of the book, Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America’s Favorite Addiction. ” Kids see fame as a cure-all for problems,” he said (Gilsdorf, The Christian Science Monitor). Secondly, it is because celebrities are always there wherever people go, on Television, newspaper, magazines on sidewalks, or even posters in restrooms. According to ‘Star Struck’ New Internationalist, Celebrity worship syndrome (CWS) is an obsessive-addictive disorder in which a person becomes overly involved with the details of a celebrity’s personal life. Celebrities worship syndrome is consisted of three types. Entertainment-social is when people are attracted to their stars for entertainment, such as ” I like watching and hearing about my favorite celebrity when I am with a large group of people.” Intense-personal is when fans feel attracted to celebrities with an deep feeling or bonds themselves to stars such as ” When something bad happens to my favorite celebrity I feel like it happened to me” , and borderline-pathological, which is when fans mix fantasies with realities and lead to an uncontrollable behavior such as ” I have frequent thoughts about my favorite celebrity, even when I don’t want to” (Maltby, 1157-1172).
First of all, too much media attention on celebrities could give bad examples for audiences. Not all celebrities act and behave appropriately despite of them being observed by the media therefore it is then possible that celebrity fans, especially kids who do not have much life experiences would absorb and follow those inappropriate actions and behaviors. For instance, partying is one of the very well known lifestyle that celebrities have. Paris Hilton a very popular celebrity that almost everyone would notice the name, not only because of her works, but also because of her personality and social behavior. Apart from the partying lifestyle, celebrities are also easily exposed to drugs. Some use drugs to help them maintain their work efficiency, to gain fame, or even to stay in shape.
Also, celebrities generally possess a great amount of financial resources to support their will just to purchase anything they would like. According to Daily Mail Reporter, Britney Spears spends £11, 000 monthly to stay in shape and look good, including the costs for nutrition, personal trainer, and a private dance choreographer (Daily Mail Reporter, Mail Online). Moreover, the incident when Michael Jackson committed suicide led to twelve deaths of his fans who died from committing suicide following their favorite star. According to The Sun News, one of Michael Jackson’s fans named Pável Talaláyev was found and rescued from his attempt to commit suicide several hours after the news of Michael Jackson committing suicide broke out. One of the ambulance men said: ” He was in a terrible state and kept on saying: ‘It’s all the same to me. I’m going to kill myself. It’s the worst tragedy of my life and I don’t want to live any more. I don’t know why you saved my life, I want to be with him’.” (Soodin, The Sun) These inappropriate behaviors could then mislead her fans toward downward paths of living.
Having celebrity worship syndrome could lead to unhealthy and unsteady mindsets. Celebrities are considered to live in a world that very few can hope to emulate. This then sometimes drives celebrity worshipping kids to feel like their own individual personalities are worthless because these kids could potentially form and develop unrealistic expectations in their minds about becoming a celebrity. Additionally, there are celebrities who became popular without using much of a specific requirement in recent days. However, these kids often realize the very unlikely possibility once they mature and finally cause them become to be lost and unhappy.
Secondly, another negative effect is that people waste too much times once media gives out too much attention to celebrities. When media focuses too much on the celebrity headlines, people tend to overlook the important information needed in their lives. According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, 87% of American Adults admit that Americans pay too much attention to celebrity news and not enough attention to news that has real impact on their lives (Rasmussen, Rasmussen Reports™). Imagine when the news paper headlines are filled with celebrity topic headlines and the news of stock market are put in a very small column of the newspaper that people hardly recognize. This has happened countless of times especially in newspaper, and it distracts people from the reality of their lives and causes their works to suffer. Elizabeth Farrar, a teacher from a primary school in Scunthorpe in the United Kingdom, said that too many pupils thought that they could become successful in the future by spending times trying to be famous and wealthy via media and that it would be unnecessary to have an academic success. ” They believe that they are much more likely to achieve financial well-being through celebrity than through progression to higher education and a ‘proper’ career.” (BBC News).
Thirdly, keeping eyes on the celebrities is also interference to them. Everyone has the right to have secrets in their lives and keep in their minds, including celebrities. However, celebrities usually have to live their lives with public eyes targeting at them almost all the time. According to an interview with Jessica Biel on a question on how it is like to live in a public eyes ” It’s wonderful to do what I do, but everything that goes with it? It’s bizarre.” She said, ” The invasion of privacy is very tough. I am followed all day, every day. Going to the dentist, the cleaners. I guess I could look like sh-t giong to the dentist, but only if I didn’t care what I saw in the papers.” ( OK! Magazine). Being celebrities would loose the time and opportunity to being herself because they all have to be concerned about how their appearances, choices of words and actions all the time because the media only focus on drawing their spectators and increase their revenue. In such competitive environment, celebrities normally would have to live with a lot of stress, and with an addition of paparazzi, press media, and all the public opinions which would become a workload of stress for these stars. Moreover, these media could also impact the celebrities by putting pressures on them to change themselves to be something that people would want to see. For example, Emma Watson, a very well known actor as Hermione in Harry Potter, said that stylists had been trying to put her in mini-skirts to make her look sexy. ” If I do a photo-shoot people desperately want to change me – dye my hair blonder, pluck my eyebrows, give me a fringe.” She said, ” Then there’s the choice of clothes. I know everyone wants a picture of me in a mini-skirt. But that’s not me. I feel uncomfortable. I’d never go out in a mini-skirt. It’s nothing to do with protecting the Hermione image. I wouldn’t do that.” (Sutrathada, The Celebrity Cafe).
It can be seen that by putting too much attentions on celebrities could lead to many negative effects. However, sometimes these media sources could give out positive feedbacks to many in the society as well.
Firstly, people could have more opportunity of becoming famous from media, rumors, and scandals. Many people try to or were put in a certain circumstance that creates rumors or stories throughout the media and allow them to eventually become well known in the public. For instance, Paris Hilton was originally known as a great-granddaughter of a billionaire Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotel, one of the most famous hotels in the world. Then there was a sex tape of Paris Hilton, 1 Night in Paris pornography film released into the media in 2004. This sex tape was one of the top gossip topics of the year, but ended up boosting her fame to become one of the celebrity stars (Morgan, Associated Content). People with talents might also find the surging of media industry as an opportunity to become famous. With a modern technology in the current world, media has become so easily accessible for people including video channels on internet like Youtube and Myspace. Justin Drew Bieber, a very popular Canadian singer and actor have become one of the most well known celebrities by uploading his recorded singing performances on Youtube. His popularity on the site kept growing larger and larger until Scooter Braun, an American manager found Justin’s videos on the site (Dutta, Buzzle Web Portal). This then allowed Justin Bieber to get an opportunity to become a singer and eventually a very famous celebrity. It could be seen that people could become celebrities by using media as a tool that allows them to be well known and eventually a celebrity.
Secondly, media organization could also gain benefits from mass producing media relating to celebrities. In yearly basis, media organizations that are based on celebrities, such as celebrity magazine industries could gain large amount of incomes from people. For instance, According to Marketwire in 2006 People Magazine had a circulation of 3. 73 million and its revenue was expected to top $1. 5 billion on that year (Marketwire). The more celebrity news spread throughout the world, the more money the media would be able to raise because many people have got a celebrity worship syndrome.
Thirdly, the media could spread the messages of generous works that celebrities committed to the world as an example for people. Generally celebrities have always been seen as an ideal for people, especially teenagers and kids and set an example for them with their characteristics of being hard workers, diligent, and all good actions they committed like charity involvements. Media then becomes the source to provide these good deeds that celebrities commit throughout their careers via different channel communications; televisions, newspapers, magazines, and etc. This allows the good messages to be sent to an audience and therefore gives out positive effects to the society. For instance, Samuel Dalembert, currently a NBA basketball player of Sacramento Kings in the United States tried his best to give out and provide supports for his hometown Haiti from the chaotic incident that happened in January 2010. ” Look at me, I’m living in a beautiful place. I’m blessed to be doing this. But a part of me said, ‘You can help; you can do more,'” he said. He has committed at least $2 millions to donate for Haiti, and since he is a famous basketball player in the United States (Tomasson, AOL News), his fames would provoke the media to take recognition, and automatically spread the news of his actions throughout the world via media, and that people can see his actions. Not only basketball players commit themselves to charity, super stars like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt also established their own charity organization named Jolie-Pitt Foundation. The Foundation was established in 2006, and the purpose of the organization is to aid people throughout the world. According to Look to the Stars, Jolie-Pitt Foundation has provided aids to people whose lives are in trouble, whether the cases of violences, armed conflict, health care, and many more in nearly 60 countries (Look to the Stars). These good deeds that the celebrities comitted are spread throughout the world through medias, and could motivate people to follow them as examples to help the society.
In conclusion, the impact media focusing too much attention on celebrities could have both negative and positive effects. Some audiences waste their times becoming addicted and obsessed with what media is trying to inform about their favorite celebrities, and some celebrities are facing hard time being threatened by media. On the other hand, some people can see an opportunity of becoming a celebrity by using the media, media can also gain some benefits from celebrities, and some celebrities are being a good example for the audiences. While some of their behaviors are not appropriate for audiences, personally I think that there is nothing wrong with consuming media, but all audiences have to be careful not to get too obsessed with them and consider what the media is trying to inform because part of it might contain inappropriate information. Therefore, I think it is crucial to be aware of the contents and messages that the media provides, follow the behaviors of the good celebrities, then learn and stay away from the inappropriate actions.