The Centrality of Celebrity in Our Lives
The concept celebrity is one of the key notions that have an impact on the young generation who regard it as something very important and use different ways to achieve the recognition and imitate celebrities and stars. Thus, common people perceive celebrities as the gods in ancient Greece. Some people see famous stars, actors, actresses, and singers as the examples for imitating and those who empower beauty, intelligence, and talent. Others try to destroy the divine myth about celebrities and regard them as the driving forces of lust, evil, and bad patterns of behavior for young people. However, indeed, celebrities are not the models for imitating, as their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors can have a negative impact on personal identity imposing idealistic canons of beauty and life that are impossible for realization. Consequently, Taylor Swifts case proves that celebrity is a vehicle of persuasion on popular culture that influences peoples lives, makes the latter an art, imposes aestheticization, and damages personal identity.
Taylor Swifts Case as an Example of Using Celebrity as a Vehicle of Persuasion in Popular Culture
The central feature of a celebrity includes persuasion and influence on popular culture. According to Neal Gabler (4), celebrity is a major notion of the entertainment media that becomes a controlling and dominant form in a human life. For example, Taylor Swift is a celebrity whose name relates to scandals, conflicts, and controversies, nevertheless, she remains one of the most popular pop singers of her generation due to her focus on a behavior as a show reinforced by the attention of mass media (Bromley 1). Despite her negative public image, it seems that such reputation is favorable for her career. First, Taylor Swift is one of the most discussed stars as the news about her is numerous; therefore, her celebrity image is a controlled and dominant form especially in lives of the youth. Second, it is not important whether she is praised or shamed, these discussions and debates only contribute to the increase of her celebrity due to the addiction of young people to mass media and spending much time there. For example, three months ago before a release of a new music, Taylor Swift deleted all social media posts with an announcement of her totally new image (Bromley 1). However, such events like break-up with Calvin Harris and romantic relationships with Tom Hiddleston were Taylor Swifts ways of provoking public rage and making herself one of the main characters of mass media. Thus, celebritys vehicles of persuasion are scandals, conflicts, love affairs, and becoming a central personality in mass media. It means that even if people are not interested in this pop singer, her provocative actions that constantly appear on TV, Internet, and in magazines influence both sides directly and indirectly.
According to Gabler (6), life has become a form of art decorated with scandals and intrigues, and aestheticized like an entertainment ordered by patterns and reinforced by neat narrative formulas. Taylor Swifts case shows that a person can become a celebrity not only with the help of talent and abilities but scandals, intrigues, and dirty rumors. Currently, her private life is a subject of many articles and news, and for her, it is an entertainment and way of promotion and revitalization of her honest time. However, indeed, her past and current behaviors are not exemplary for the young generation who are too sensitive and vulnerable to a negative influence and manipulation and can perceive her behaviors as accepted by the community. Furthermore, Taylor Swift lives her life entertaining herself and others and takes care of her appearance as an icon for following. Not without a reason, Gabler (6) believes that the celebrity suggests universal rules for understanding of everyday things and imposes wrong values and attitudes. Consequently, young girls do not want to look like their mothers or other common people but like Taylor Swift who fails to admit that her appearance is also a manipulation made by every celebrity to attract communitys attention.
Gabler (5) convinces that life has become an art under the influence of entertainment that orders human lives. Thus, people are more concerned about how to make their lives aesthetically pleasant, than spiritually and morally rich. For example, Taylor Swift is presented to the audience through designer clothes, professional make-up, and Photoshop; therefore, her appearance in real life can be completely different from a perfect look on TV. Consequently, such anesthetization leading to unrealistic images has a negative impact on girls self-esteem and deprives them of a personal identity and desire to be themselves. Not without a reason, Gabler (6) believes that celebrities patterns influence everyday lives. First, mass media make them the characters of their news and articles and depict the information about them like a sensation. Second, they promote themselves through the scandals and provocative actions.
According to Gabler (28), mass media like music videos, movies, and TV teach the society how to be, what to be, and who to be. Thus, video games impose its patterns how to live promoting aggression, cruelty, and addiction. Furthermore, people pick up their behaviors from media. For example, the models of parameters 90-60-90 are role models for young girls who acquire complexes if they have different parameters and, thus, refuse to eat. However, it is necessary to mention that not all people can be the victims of celebrities and mass media, as those who have a character and strong power of will fail to undergo this influence. Furthermore, Gabler (36) associates celebrity with the aestheticization of life promoted by innovative technologies of mass market. For example, the characters of all advertisements are celebrities or models whose hair is good even without a use of shampoo or conditioner, which they advertise.
For celebrities, life is a constant show reinforced by mass media (Gabler 46). Celebrity is a short and unreliable history of the most talented person who fails to develop and grow as an artist and personality. Thus, Inglis (4) argues that a celebrity is a mirror of the society, as he/she reflects its worst and best aspects. For example, Taylor Swift is a talented pop singer that has all abilities to impress her audience with her songs, but her moral appearance is far from perfection, and currently, she tries to revitalize it but her approach comprises advertisement and promotion. However, she has the same skin, body type, perfect facial features, and tiny nose like other Hollywood celebrities; therefore, she remains a part of Hollywood community. Consequently, the main dilemma of modern society is that it discusses an imperfect beauty and appearance but fails to evaluate personality and intelligence. Thus, the celebrity followers are already zombies, as they do not see the real virtues necessary for further development and progress. Celebrities use the diverse ways to retain their fame and recognition, as for them, it is more crucial than reputation and ethical image. Thus, Taylor Swift even tries to demonstrate that she admits her mistakes and failures and intends to revitalize herself as a singer. However, shaming and backlashing also contribute to her promotion. Thus, in show business, all means are appropriate if they work. Consequently, Gabler (28) correctly states that celebrities do everything to make other people imitate them and live their lives. It is obvious that entertainment and mass media dictate their models of self-presentation.
How Celebrities Influence Everyday Life
According to Neimark (1), celebrities have a negative impact on culture as young people fail to be interested in art, history, politics, reading, and self-development but are curious and knowledgeable when it comes to private lives of the former, their private conversations, love affairs or the color of their underwear. Thus, the culture of the society becomes primitive under the influence of scandals and conflicts spreading by celebrities to become more popular and recognized. Moreover, such patterns of behavior make young people think that recognition and fame are better than intelligence, knowledge, and cultural values (Neimark 2). It is necessary to mention that the centrality of celebrity is widespread among not only movie, music, and TV start, but also lawyers, teenagers, radio hosts, and even murderers who can become celebrities if mass media frequently discuss their actions and behaviors. Thus, watching movies and TV shows and listening to music impose the behavioral patterns on the everyday life. For example, international adoption is a widespread practice there due to the presence of the celebrity illustration promoted by Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Madonna. From one side, it is a positive tendency, as it can decrease the number of orphans. However, it is difficult to understand whether the potential parents follow their heart and soul or a trend promoted by celebrities who also want to advertise themselves by adopting children.
Celebrity reflects the problems of the society, and admiring and following the former are the ways to accept these problems and be unable to resist them. Celebrity is everywhere acknowledged but never understood (Inglis 4). It means that people become addicted to their idols and unable to see their weaknesses and mistakes. Thus, celebrities make people blind and distract them from the reality, which differs from a photoshopped face, intrigues, and scandals imposed by mass media. Furthermore, celebrities contribute to the creation of a conformity culture where people are like zombies and focus on the established canons of beauty, behavior, and morality. For example, Hollywood celebrities create the stereotypical beauty standards that are impossible to achieve, as they are not real but decorated with plastics, surgeries, and Photoshop. Moreover, instead of promoting diversity in appearance and beauty among celebrities, mass media encourage young women to look like Angelina Jolie or Taylor Swift (Kosenko et al. 318). For example, Angelina Jolies announcement that she was a BRCA1 carrier was public and met with a widespread support (Wen et al. 940). However, it was a public manipulation and speculation, as she could encourage other females to follow her examples. Neimark (1) states that celebrities are becoming less and less real due to the changes in their appearance and a focus on glamour style; therefore, it does not make sense to generate their endless images and consume the information about them. It means that it is not necessary to live celebrities lives, which are far from reality.
Celebrities are the driving forces for sexist and racist tendencies in the society. Thus, people of color are underrepresented in popular mass media. For example, white actors play the roles of the ancient Egyptians in the film Exodus: Gods and Kings. Thus, Hollywood filmmakers fail to pass the basic standards of representation (Haastrup 164). However, when it comes to public speaking, most celebrities are very indignant with the sexist and racial problems and show sympathy to the victims of discrimination. It means that they are good actors and actresses when it comes to the promotion of their images in the society.
The problem of the power and influence of the celebrity culture demands the immediate solutions to resist its negative impact especially on a young generation that is sensitive to the tendencies in the society. Thus, it is not appropriate for celebrities to carry so much influence and authority in the community. The entertainment industry and celebrity culture should bring great emotions, powerful commentaries, and inspiration, but they should not move beyond entertainment and influence peoples behavioral patterns, thoughts, and lifestyle (Sternheimer 48). Consequently, it is recommended to disengage from the celebrity world and try to escape from the information about it that mass media overwhelms. Young people should de-glamorize their celebrity idols, reveal their weaknesses, and step away from conformist and damaging celebrity culture.
Despite the fact that most celebrities complain of the constant attention of paparazzi and depict themselves as victims, they are pleased with such attention and use it as the occasion for promotion. Thus, paparazzi are their secondary effects. For example, the couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone used their celebrity status to draw the attention of the community that they were not able to have a lunch because of paparazzi. When it comes to the celebrity, all means and tools are applied. For example, it is obvious that the celebrity culture is growing because of the popularity of interviews in mass media. Furthermore, Shailene Woodley has announced that she is not a feminist because she fails to hate males. Hence, it is obvious that she knows nothing about feminism.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that Taylor Swifts case proves that celebrity is a vehicle of persuasion on popular culture that controls a form of peoples lives making them pay more attention to the life of the celebrity than to their own. Thus, the followers interest to scandals, conflicts, and controversies provoked by Taylor Swift demonstrates that they are obsessed with those who are famous and popular. Taylor Swifts case shows that celebrity makes human lives an art, shows, and entertainment, as people spend much time reading, watching, and listening to news about celebrities even if they are not important and exemplary. Furthermore, celebrity imposes aestheticization that is false, decorated with expensive clothes and make-up, and photoshopped; therefore, people try to achieve something that is unreal and made-up. Finally, celebrity damages personal identity, as it imposes the models of self-presentation, patterns of behavior, and deceptive values and beliefs. Thus, Taylor Swifts actions show that she takes care of her celebrity image more than self-development; therefore, she uses all the ways to attract the attention of community and mass media to her personality. Moreover, celebrities have a negative impact on the everyday life, as they impose conformist celebrity culture, distract followers from the necessary and essential interests, make the society primitive, change behavioral patterns, make young people addictive to them, and influence their appearance.