Without calling anyone out or becoming too political, I am posing the question of celebrity obsession. Obsession meaning their incredible idolization.
Is it a burning desire for a more luxurious lifestyle, fame, wealth?
We care more about the fact that Katy Perry just had a baby or that Brad Pitt is dating a model nearly half his age more than the crises taking place in the middle east, or the injustices taking place right here under our noses.
Most of them are severely detached from reality. Having mansions costing millions, private jets that can whisk them away to any destination in the world, private chefs, and trainers, you name it.
Celebrities are people just like everyone else. They just choose a career path that is utterly unattainable for all of us to do. What makes them so special?
Money. Platform. Power. Influence.
Money is power. I have said it countless times when anyone tells me money isn’t everything. Money makes the world go round. Period.
A platform is arguably one of the most powerful things a person can possess. A platform gives you influence. Influence makes you unstoppable.
The impact that celebrities have always had over society isn’t a new concept. Elizabeth Taylor dominated the lives of American’s even in the 40’s and 50’s. They influence trends in fashion, music, political leanings, body image, acceptable behavior, you name it.
A more modern and social media version of the celeb is the influencer, and the same goes for them. They are literally called INFLUENCERS. According to Digital Marketing Institute, 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. The influencer marketing industry is expected to hit $10 billion by this year. How about that for funneling of wealth?
Having someone admire you regardless of fame or lack thereof can make your actions impressionable to anyone that may be watching. The extent to which someone may go to conform to celebrity promoted culture could be devastating.
Celebrities make up a small fraction of the total population, less than 1% of the total world’s population is famous. Now narrowing the lenses to America’s top 1%. The top 1% must have a household income of at least approximately $475,000. This article by Motley Fool gives a few other statistics about the richest percent.
Obviously, there are more people that make up the top 1% than just celebrities. Business Persons such Jeff Bezos who is actually the richest man in the world, for example.But the point is the money they own gives them a platform and an influence over us.
That means these individuals being worshipped by society are some of those holding on to more money than even the top 10% of Americans make, including the millionaires in the U.S.
I have celebrities that I love, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy their work, whether it be acting in movies, a new album. And many celebrities do use their platforms for good. I recent saw Blake Lively advocating in the fight against child sex trafficking. But shouldn’t they all be doing good like this with the advantages that they have?
Are we obsessing over celebrities that have great music or style rather than people that are doing real, hard, honest work like the rest of us? Maybe we should start seeking out individuals that are actively doing good in the world instead.
Is it an abuse of power and platform for a celebrity with no political background to be campaigning for a presidential candidate? On the other end of the scale, is it abuse of power and a platform for celebrity models to publish photos that promote an unhealthy and unrealistic body image? Can you argue free speech in cases like this, or should celebrities be held accountable for their words and the impacts that they have on their followers?
The real question is why are we still fostering their influence over us and society?