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Effects of Celebrity Worship
A celebrity is a famous person more often in areas about entertainment such as music, sports, films, and writing. Celebrity worship, on the other hand, involves an addictive and obsessive disorder where someone becomes excessively interested and involved in the personal life of a celebrity (Rojeck, 2011). The worshipping occasionally comes with either positive or negative effect depending on the behavior, and character one picks from such high profile personalities. In this research paper, we are going to focus on the negative and positive effects of celebrity worshipping on the society.
When an individual becomes obsessed with a celebrity, it may lead to unhealthy and harmful qualities such as being disconnected with one’s self or over-identifying with the superstar. We will examine some of the effects a celebrity “gone rogue” has on the fans who are following him on social media, celebrity endorsed products and record sales (Ketsoglou, 2013).
Celebrities who are not good role models usually become perpetrators of bad behaviors. For example, the rise in acceptance of cosmetic surgery has been associated with celebrity worship (Swami et al., 2009). Swami et al., (2009) who investigated the emotional and mental factors related to having cosmetic surgery found a high correlation between an individual’s acceptance of cosmetic surgery and the attitude they have towards celebrities. Moreover, those who had an intense and personal level of relating to the stars were the ones who had the highest likelihood of accepting cosmetic surgery. Numerous studies show that the high levels of media exposure were discovered to correlate with the increase in the desire of having cosmetic surgery (Swami et al., 2009)
Another negative character that has been linked to celebrities is illegal drug use, which poses a risk to all manners of fans (Shaw et al., 2010). An example of such a person is Miley Cyrus, who began her career as an innocent and adorable girl and later began provocatively smoking marijuana and dancing while on stage in front of many youths, is in a position of influencing many adolescents. Justin Bieber who started as an innocent young boy singing love songs later upgraded into taking alcohol and smoking marijuana even though he was not of age. Such kinds of practices can quickly be adopted by the massive number of followers they command, resulting in deterioration of morality.
Many celebrities live lives that are pretty and glamorous, occasionally characterized by partying, drugs, drinking, and sex. Most of them receive leniency in the judiciary system which sends different pictures to the youths. Some who get locked up later come out and continue with their wild lives which lacks morality and any sorts of proper upbringing. This influences the teenagers towards violence (Ridings, 2013). An example of such a person is Vybz Kartel who commands a large following, and his music is filled with violence and obscene content. He was found guilty of killing someone and is now serving a jail sentence. Worshipping such kinds of people may instigate wrong behavior among the younger generation. Parents should take care and keep tabs on what their children are watching so as to avoid having them acquire the sinful habits.
Personality identity is one of the things that has been dramatically impacted by celebrity worship. Women who are considered to be the sex that is more interested in celebrities are the ones significantly affected by personality identity (Northam, 2012). Stars are revered due to their looks hence the products they endorse creates a desire in women to want to look like them. The potential hazardous effect is the pressure women put on themselves to look like them resulting in a pessimistic body image and an increase in men objectifying women which creates insecurity. On Marie Claire website, women are provided with an opportunity to put their faces on someone else to try celebrity hairstyles. As a result, this may lead to some of the women undergoing extreme plastic surgery to resemble those looks.
Prostitution is also advertised through some of the things the celebrities do. Through music videos and movies they can objectify women as tools of sexual satisfaction, which is a demining way of viewing our esteemed ladies. Some of the music videos especially in the dancehall category featuring some of the celebrities we idolize have images of women dressed in skimpy clothing. Such kind of content stimulates men in the wrong way, resulting in marriage break-ups due to infidelity. It may also result in an increase in early pregnancies amongst the youths.
Despite all the adverse effects of celebrity worship, some good things come about as a result of the same practices. Celebrities who make responsible personal choices, while advocating proper moral conduct, can have a positive effect on the younger population by setting adorable examples on how to live and act (Tucker, 2015). They are engaged in different activities which help in promoting good behaviors amongst our youths and the whole population. Some are involved in community projects like charities, environmental conservation, anti-drug abuse campaigns, human rights activist, social justice, helping people with low self-esteem just to name a few.
James Cameroon is an example of a celebrity doing tremendous work in our society. He is an active advocate for people to start conserving our oceans so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy a plant-based diet in the future. Ted Danson is also another celebrity who has been fighting for the conservation of our oceans and also serves as the board of director of Oceans. To emphasize his point regarding preserving our environment, he has also adopted a vegan diet. These are examples of some of the people working hard to ensure we live in a conducive environment and through such acts, some of our children who perceive them as their role models can acquire good characters and in the future end up becoming environmental ambassadors (Creswell, 2013).
Self-esteem is one of the attributes a celebrity can help to instill in our society. Some of them promote a desirable self-image which allows several teenagers who have confidence issues. For example, young girls who follow Psychologist John Grohol, the founder of a website called PsychCentral, may be influenced to have a positive attitude towards life and to have a high regard to their personality. This will go a long way into boosting their character to become strong women who can fight for their rights. Teenagers may also acquire good hygiene practices, wear stylish attire and avoid junk foods as they try to resemble their role models (Tucker, 2015).
Through the promotion of education and cultural awareness, celebrities may have a positive effect on a teenagers’ life. Those who have an interest in politics, study literature, travel abroad, write books, have completed college coursework, and engage in debates portraying their intellectual skills may encourage pupils to be proactive students at school. They educate the learners that it is not just what they depict on the outside that matters but also that what is on the inside matters as well. Famous sportspersons who give eloquent interviews and possess a college degree encourages teenagers that it pays to put extra effort in school (Tucker, 2015). Movie stars who address people during college graduations and live interviews show the youth that it requires more than good looks to succeed in the real world. Brains play a significant role in helping them reach where they are.
Sports figures, movie stars, celebrities, pop culture, movies and TV shows all form the entertainment industry. Teenagers find it a hobby to follow celebrities and be up to date with what is going on in the industry. Youths who follow movie stars for entertainment have been found to be extroverts, according to the medical writer and clinical pharmacist Jennifer Gibson on his website BrainBlogger. As long as students put their academic work first, following these personalities may prove to be an enjoyable hobby that will motivate them to achieve greatness like their idols (Tucker, 2015).
Celebrities are also a living testimony of what you can achieve if you stayed dedicated and focused on what you are doing, or have a passion for doing. This is evident in Cristiano Ronaldo’s Journey to success. Cristiano Ronaldo was born on 5 February 1985, in Madeira, Portugal. He grew up in a tiny tin-roofed house facing the ocean. His father was a gardener and occasionally drunk too much. To provide food to his children his mother worked as a house help. By the time he was the age of 10, he was already revered among his fellow peers regarding playing football. He was branded as the kid who ate, drank and slept football. All he ever wanted to do was to play soccer (Biography Editors, 2017). By his early teens, he had already started making mileage in his career. After spending some time in Nacional da liha da Madeira, Sporting Lisbon decided to acquire his services in 2001.
Later that year, Ronaldo gave a mouthwatering performance when he dazzled the Manchester United defense with his never-ending skills and tricks, which made the then Manager of Manchester United sign him after much persuasion from his players. Manchester coughed out 12 million pounds to sign the player making his transfer the most expensive for a player of his age. At his new club, Ronaldo never disappointed. He justified his contract of worth 31 million euros by netting 42 goals, bagging him the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or accolade. He later transferred to Real Madrid for a world record fee where he has continued his impressive run of form helping both club and country win numerous major European trophies.
Ronaldo has a work ethic that is adored by most of his fellow players, managers, and coaches. He never misses training; he is the first to arrive at the training ground which is usually an hour earlier and the last to leave the training complex. Through hard work, he has managed to acquire the status of being referred to as the best player of his generation. Other players who have also managed to overcome all odds and reach greatness are players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Tevez, Alexis Sanchez and Carlos Bacca, just to mention a few. Through such kind of personalities, our youths can believe in their abilities and work extra hard to achieve their dream (Biography Editors, 2017).
We can also see figures whose worship came as a result of being born into it such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge inspiring through their hard work and commitment. Kate and William use their spotlight to reward and support beautiful causes of young men and women whose achievement have granted them a once in a lifetime opportunity to entertain or be entertained by the Royals (Harmsworth, 2012).
The London Olympics paraded celebrities with all manner of talents, Tom Daley, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and also David Beckham through his role in campaigning for the event. They proved they are worthy of our affection through the various achievements in the different disciplines (Harmsworth, 2012). What they regularly did behind the scenes was later to be rewarded by success in front a vast audience. This inspires the youths that what they do diligently with discipline behind closed doors would one day succeed in putting them in the limelight. They had no one to support them during their dark days, but they stuck to their routines, and in the end, they prospered.
Peace is a tool that can be promoted and spearheaded through idolizing some of the celebrities. Celebrity worshipping brings people from different races, tribes, nationality, and gender together under a common goal as we celebrate the achievements of people we love. Through concerts and football matches, different people interact as they enjoy such occasions, hence promoting regional and national cohesion which helps peace. Celebrities can also use such platforms to preach peace across the whole world. After an attack on Arianna Grande’s concert in Manchester, various high profile personalities used that opportunity to issue out condolence messages and advocate for peace. Since they command an immense multitude of people, they can use that advantage to preach and instill order into the minds of their supporters. Politicians can also play a significant role in uniting the various factions of fans though they believe in different ideologies. Peace enables economic and infrastructure development which aids in the development of the country.
From this article, we have seen how celebrity worshiping can result in positive or negative consequences. If celebrities are not monitored, they can instill violence, prostitution, drug abuse and low self-esteem among people. On the other hand, stars can be used to promote peace, hard work, and environmental conservation. Care should be taken to make sure our youths are exposed to the right content, to be influenced in the right direction.
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