How many times have you woken up at night to read updates on Facebook and Instagram about the Jordyn and Tristan scandal? How many times have you seen posts on the extremely lavish Ambani wedding where the family had flown off to the Alps and hired world famous chefs and popular music bands such as Maroon 5 to make their family wedding an extravagant affair? Remember those times when you saw posts that said Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have split up for good now and soon after, more posts that elicited mixed emotions in you when he started dating and, finally, ended up marrying Hailey Baldwin? Of course, you would have jammed to “Him and I” by Halsey and G-Eazy and thought they were #couplegoals and soon, they had to part ways as well which left most of us questioning the concept of love. Even if you exclude celebrities from the entertainment industry, you still have plenty of gossip to on go about with respect to politicians and sports players because every little “harmless” action of theirs could stir huge amounts of controversy and speculations about their values and principles.
Welcome to the popular trend known as the celebrity culture. According to Wikipedia, celebrity culture can be defined as the high-volume perpetuation of celebrities’ personal lives on a global scale. Usually, a culture can be physically identified and its group characteristics can be observed quite easily, however celebrity culture exists solely within a collection of a group of individuals who desire to know the life of celebrities. This culture does not have an identifiable group with which celebrities identify themselves. People follow celebrities from across a spectrum of activities and communities including acting, politics, fashion, music, sports and so on. This culture is based on the peoples’ interest and willingness to alter their own lives in order to take part in the celebrities’ lives. Nowadays, celebrity culture has become a part of everyday society and it is considered as a form of entertainment. Regular people in their everyday lives play an important role in the perpetuation of the celebrity culture by constantly checking the whereabouts of celebrities and their daily activities. People follow the trends within celebrity culture and the general lives of celebrities via various forms of media.
Celebrity culture is extremely popular nowadays. Apart from being used as a form of entertainment, celebrity culture is also viewed as a form of escapism. If celebrity culture is analysed in depth, then it has a lot to offer to the study of sociology. There are two things under the wide umbrella of celebrity culture: “celebritization” and “celebrification”. Here, celebrification captures how ordinary individuals transform themselves into celebrities. According to Olivier Driessens, celebritization is a meta process that involves the changing nature as well as the societal and cultural embeddings of a celebrity which can be seen though its diversification, democratisation and migration. The whole process of celebritization is carried on through moulding forces which are mediatization, personalisation and commodification. There are several research papers available online that offers great insight into the theoretical workings of the celebrity culture and how almost the entire world is engaged in this.
It is important to analyse the positives and negatives of this culture as well. While celebrity culture does allow people to be a part of their favourite stars’ lives, the celebrities themselves would much appreciate some privacy. Celebrity culture gives power to celebrities. Some celebrities use their power and voice in social media platforms to draw attention to important social changes that are taking place in the society such as asking the youth to vote, asking them to take actions with respect to climate change and so on. While these may be considered as the positive effects of celebrity culture, this culture has its negatives too. Celebrity culture affects celebrities because they lose privacy, people scrutinise their activities everyday and pass judgements on their looks and what not. Moreover, some celebrities try to tear down others to get more publicity. There is also the constant defamation of names of various celebrities by others in the same field. Celebrity culture is a dicey form of culture that is constantly rife with controversies and it is up to the individuals, at the end of the day, to take informed decisions and to always keep in mind to show respect to others at all times.
Picture Credits : halfbakedbean