Thursday, 6 September 2012

Interesting Celebrity Gossip?.... or Just A Slow News Day?

To me celebrities are actors, singers, athletes or personalities who’ve achieved something or possess certain skills, they are (or should be) people that we aspire to, respect, admire and try to emulate.
Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn
Celebrities from the past
However Bell, (2009) suggests that the modern idea of celebrity has changed ‘from a person with merit, to one of manufacture’ and states that “celebrity, as a term, is multi-faceted” (2009:2) and not easily defined or stated. Rather ‘celebrity’ and fame are not the same thing; “they are interrelated, and occasionally coexistent, but not necessarily interchangeable” (Bell, 2009: 2). 
 So when a person appears on a 'reality' TV show, is scandalous, rich, related to someone famous, sleeps with someone famous, or simply for doing nothing - we tend to them on a pedestal - and in the spotlight, which I find, says a lot about our culture. 
Snooki, Paris Hilton and The Kardashians
It’s incorrect to suggest that we genuinely care about people like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton or Snookie. Rather, we simply live in a world where having news streamed to us 24 hours a day is standard, and (strangely so), interesting ‘news worthy’ stuff doesn’t happen all the time.
We want to know everything about everyone and Marshall, (2010) suggests the lines between public and private lives of celebrities are becoming blurred. We therefore have become a culture where if no news is available we make the news from those we consider ‘celebrities’ – whether it’s babies, boob jobs, marriages, divorces, sex tapes and other various scandals.
Besides, who better to follow around than people with too much time on their hands and more money than sense...? ‘Celebrities’ of course!

Bell, C E 2010, 'American idolatry: Celebrity, commodity, and reality television', 70 thesis, ProQuest Information & Learning, <online link>
Marshall, D P 2010, 'The Specular Economy', Society, vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 498-502.

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