People and Society

Why Celebrity Idolising Culture is Toxic

Everyone knows that a celebrity is basically someone who is well known by a large amount of people.

The word itself originated from the Latin word celebritās which means “famous or busy” and is also related to the French word célébrité which means “something that is worth honor or celebration”.

The second one explains why Celebrities are often people who are well known for good things which is why in ancient times, people who were known for adverse moral reasons were not considered referred to as “celebrities” but rather assigned the term infamous (popular for a bad thing).

However, all that seemed to have changed in the 21st century especially with the introduction of technology and the media. Now, anyone popular is considered a Celebrity irrespective of their line of work as long as they had a huge social media following.

Twitter, Facebook, phone page.
Photo by favim

Who was the first celebrity?

Not willing to dive deep into history, they’re two different people I found on research. First is a man named Garibaldi who is apparently a hero for fighting for Italian unity among its southern and northern regions. Whereas the first modern celebrity was Sarah Bernhardt, a French actress who reigned about 175 years ago and was well known for her “fairwell” tours and artistic mastery.

Sarah Bernhardt, french actress known as the first modern celebrity
Photo of Sarah Bernhardt by Wikipedia

Back in the days, people who were famous were known for a reason. They were applauded for great achievements or acknowledged for extraordinary gifts: a quota that doesn’t seemed to be followed any longer. People like Joan of Arc.. who led an entire army at the age of 17, Abraham Lincoln who fought for the rights of slaves and even our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ whose works and deeds on earth surpasses the criteria of someone who is worthy to be praised. These people were looked up to, they were seen as special, blessed, extraordinary because of what they actually did.

Saint Joan of arc
Photo from biography.com

Today, it’s a whole different story. Infact the social quota for who deserves to get on the news headline is almost nonexistent. Now anyone can get famous, even if they’re plain, average and have absolutely nothing important to offer to the society. This is terrible because it only are we encouraging mediocrity, we are also training the younger generation to idolise and applaud people for doing the barest minimum just because they happen to be in the spotlight.

Why are celebrities treated differently?

One word:

ILLUSION.

The luxury lifestyle, huge popularity, affluence and of course loyal fans. We are tricked into believing that celebrities have the “perfect lives” when the reality is far. Yes celebrities have more than a normal life, yes they may be wealthier than what is considered normal or more physically attractive than the average person but in all, it doesn’t make up for the hype the society places on these individuals because under those glamorous highlights and filtered Instagram pictures are normal people like you and I; they eat, they sleep, they poop! Just like the rest of us.

Instagram Vs reality memes

I mean, I could get a plastic surgery, win a huge lottery and gain a fan base, does that make me a Celebrity? Should I be treated differently now I’m slightly more attractive, rich and internet famous?

Let’s not also forget that despite all we think these people have, being a celebrity is much harder than we think and no, I’m not trying to sound cliche but it is. Imagine having to live up to an extreme standard with thousands of people looking up to you and paparazzi invading your privacy to catch you off guard so that you make the next news headline.

No thanks, I’d rather stick to my boring life.

Does the special treatment make up for the cons?

I can’t say but I hardly doubt.

The Entertainment industry is hyped.

Before you rant out a thousand and one reasons why I’m wrong, hear me out first. The entertainment industry is one of the biggest industry in the world’s it simply because it’s provides entertainment in various forms such as music, movies, sports, shows, etc.

And everybody loves to be entertained.

But, the advantages it contributes to the world do not match the credence it’s given in return, I mean it’s just entertainment, which though important for our mental health, is not an essential for survival.

Something to ponder upon.. America has become a place where entertainment and pro athletes are mistaken for people of importance.
Photo from me.me

Some may argue that the entertainment industry deserves its recognition and even more because they bring us something other occupations cannot and their line of work is extremely difficult. However if we are going towards that area, how about doctors that spend so many years in school and learn a lot of difficult stuff ninety percent of people cannot bear? These are people who literally saves our lives, so why aren’t they worshipped as these Instagram “models” or gorgeous actors we see everywhere?

What happened to teachers and instructors who spend more than half of their lives training and guiding other people’s kids to be something in life, do they not deserve am accolade? (Coming from someone who has experienced the stress of being a teacher, believe me…it’s hard!)

And, let’s not dive into other more important occupations that require years and years of hard work only to be left unrecognised and belittled because the society is too blinded by the “spotlight” to recognise their worth.

Maybe if we overpaid teachers and underpaid rappers, we would have smarter kids and less shitty music.
Photo from Pinterest

The Inappropriation of “Social Exclusivity” on Young People.

One of the most attractive things about being an “influencer” is the social exclusivity, it’s Outrageous!

Apart from the attention one gets from being an influencer, You get a lot of free stuff from brands, you visit a lot of exquisite tourist locations most times for free, you get invited into content houses and you get into the most exclusive parties and ceremonies.

But honestly, most of it is actually quite unnecessary and the fact that it paints a false picture of what celebrity life is all about to young impressionable people is what makes it even more problematic.

Instagram app icon
Photo by pexels

Take tiktok stars for instance. Most of them we know are teenagers and at a very young age, they’re already being exposed to a lot of “adult” things due to their fame. The social exclusivity given to these people can affect other teens who think its appropriate for them to abandon their priorities (which at this point in their life should be their education), in search for popularity and internet fame in order to kind of experience these things which they think is “cool” or an opportunity to make their way up the social ladder.

Some girls think they're not attractive because they don't look like the girls that get worshipped and that's unfortunate.
Photo by favim

I’m not saying it’s bad to want to be famous or to like someone who is famous, but a lot of people tend to go out of their way with it. Cases of people going extreme or doing stuff that are irrational for “views” and clout is rampant, and the fact that is almost getting normalised is very scary and let’s not even dive into how kids these days are being misguided in their choice of career path..

In those days, any normal kid would be aspire to become a doctor, engineer, teacher, lawyer, journalist, pilot, etc. Now why we hear some of these kids saying is:

I want to be a gamer, an Instagram influencer, a blogger, a rapper, a brand influencer, etc.

Not that I’m saying that these are bad career choices (I mean…I am a blogger so..), but if you take into consideration the reasons behind these ambitions which are mostly rooted in the wrong idea of having a stress-free and societal approved life, then you’ll see the problem.

In summary, all I’m trying to say is that the society needs to re-evaluate it’s priority. I see no reason why most of our news headlines these days contain irrational and very unimportant content while they’re more pressing issues in the world that light needs to be shed upon.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. This is a very controversial topic and I know many people will have rather different opinions and I respect that.

Leave me your opinions and additions in the comment, share this post and don’t forget to subscribe. I post something new every week so you don’t want to miss out:-)

Stay Safe, Stay Happy.

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