Mar 30, 2020 in Sociology

Celebrities Influence on Young Generation

Together with TV, our lives have been captivated by a huge mass of various celebrities: rich, successful, and beautiful people. Every day, people have the possibility to look at the "behind the screen" stars, admiring some of them and hating others. Few of them think about it, but those stars whom an individual admires, play a significant role in the formation of personal "I" and have a considerable impact on the life of an individual. This is especially true in matters of worship guided teenagers. At an early age, a young person has no problems with the search for the object to follow as the kids always look up to their parents. Nevertheless, later in life, when parental authority seriously falls, a teenager requires another object to follow. Therefore, a celebrity successfully copes with the role of such an object. Some people believe that celebrities have negative impacts on youth at all stages of self-development in many ways, namely behavior, decision making, and thinking.

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Major Aspects of Celebrities’ Influence on Teenagers

Fame is a powerful cultural magnet. Being social creatures, humans get most of their knowledge and skills by copying others rather than by trial and error. Yet, a human being pays more attention to the behavior of famous people than to ordinary members of the community. It turns out that various phenomena are more likely to be followed if they are associated with someone famous. The first reason why community finds celebrities’ impact harmful is the fact that companies started using celebrities as ambassadors to attract their fans.

It is believed that celebrity culture is relatively recent as it is a product of the media society. This phenomenon is modern, but it is based on deep human instincts. These instincts have played a key role in the appearance of our culture and have allowed our species to evolve successfully. Following a celebrity is a question of prestige. This is a form of social status, which is based on the respect and admiration from the community members. Furthermore, it is universal; that is, one that exists in every human society. For example, people bought "be like Jordan" clothing labelled by the Nike Company, which included products like shoes and apparel becoming an instant fashion because Michael Jordan used to advertise them.

The effectiveness of the participation of celebrities in advertising also depends on the characteristics of the audience. More than 2,700 individuals responded to the survey in England confirming that they have no connection to their families at all, but they see some support in celebrities’ lives in the media and TV-shows. High effectiveness of advertising featuring the stars and being explained to consumers is caused by inherent personal qualities. In particular, it is a quality called cognitive style. This is more or less human tendency to distinguish between types of posts, conditions, etc. Advertisements featuring celebrities actually give advertisers an advantage when being shown to the users. The level of memorization of the advertising message is important as well. It improves the credibility of advertising even more. As mentioned above, the success of advertising with celebrities depends on many factors. Therefore, attracting stars is not a panacea, and there are many unfortunate examples of such advertising. There is evidence of a greater efficiency of a well-known audience of celebrities. Thus, if you are advertising something, it must be designed in such a way that it allows consumers to easily recognize the character of the advertising message. When speaking about young generations, the following conclusion is also significant: in the eyes of the consumer, the image of a celebrity should correspond to the nature of the advertised brand, and advertising message itself must be believable. Equally, the characteristics of the brand and celebrity, important features of the target audience, and the way how it perceives the brand and the star should be also taken into consideration.

The second reason why people consider the influence of celebrities as the harmful one is that famous people influence the teenagers’ behavior by showing them a celebrity lifestyle. Blind worship, close attention to the life of an idol, and awesome imitation may lead to loneliness, obsession, and limitations either for a child or an adult. Celebrities sometimes forget that they set an example for young people. For instance, there is the rating of individuals who are the worst role models in the US. They are Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Kanye West, and others who are famous for constant scandals in public, taking drugs, and drinking alcoholic beverages. Moreover, these celebrities promote smoking not only tobacco but also substances being illegal in most countries. In an effort to emulate their idols, young people do not pay attention to the consequences. However, the celebrities have to pay for their deeds very often, and they appear in the court or have to manage an expensive treatment in rehabilitation centers. For example, Lindsay Lohan has made a lot of noise with her alcohol and drug problems. Consequently, no one wants to work with her nowadays, but her army of fans is not getting smaller. Moreover, young people are actively adopting the manner of speaking of the most beloved celebrities. However, greater use of swear words and slang in the speech of the younger generation does not turn it into beautiful and appropriate language for an educated person. The change in speech patterns and attitude is not a positive factor of the celebrities’ influence on youngsters.

Nutrition and excessive thinness of most celebrities also create an example to follow. While celebrities encourage a healthy lifestyle sometimes, they are spreading false information and harmful practices in other cases. Young people often see celebrities in the properties that they respect and want to possess as well. This respect can lead teenagers to follow the advice and actions of celebrities in the hope of acquiring these traits. This susceptibility to suggestion is especially true for children and adolescents. They did not hesitate to prefer the product advertised by their favorite singer or actor. Thus, if the star, sports star in particular, will appear in a variety of junk food advertising or advertise a fat, salt or sugar rich product, it would have great impact on children's nutritional regimen.

Anorexia and dysmorphia are other problems generated by the world of celebrities. Not every slim person is anorexic, as this is only a sign of strong thinness characteristics of the organism sometimes. Anorexic people suffer from a phobia of excess weight and willfully refuse to eat. Seeing some celebrities with perfect bodies on the screen and on the covers of magazines, young people begin to change their diet to achieve similar results. However, they do not appreciate the fact that the image on the screen is subjected to all sorts of treatments and lighting, while the magazine pages are always processed with special programs that can change a person beyond recognition. The perception of television characters, broadcast media, "visual images", and program participants are often more important for young people than their personality traits. Authors of telecasts carefully develop such "ideal images" of their leading participants for many reasons because information coming from a person with a pleasant appearance is more appreciated by teenagers.

The third reason why celebrities are believed to have bad influence on teenagers is their ability to set trends in either clothes, songs, or even apps. News value and celebrity status allow them to occupy a prominent place in social networks and exert more influence. People "buy" celebrity (i.e. the products a famous person uses) by imitating their way of life or listening to the advice of their health care. It gives people a social capital, which increases their social status. Any mention of brands used by teenagers’ idols in real life is perceived as an indication: you can copy the object of adoration and become at least partially like a star. In addition, all this happens because the stars appear to be the objects of identification, role and image models that are examined in detail by their fans and then imitated. Beauty is a complex and subjective concept, but almost all celebrities have this quality. Attractive appearance helps to succeed, and, at the same time, the stars dictate the canons of beauty. Therefore, the fact that following celebrities in what they wear, listen to, and what applications they use add popularity to these objects among young people while creating new trends to be followed.

Therefore, all the above mentioned factors may be applied to the fourth aspect of the influence of celebrities. They are taken as role models. Comparisons with other people cannot be removed. The celebrity life attracts those periods and moments that affect the desires of a teenager. It is the same history of interactions with personal impulses and inclinations. In choosing the personalities in this case, it is not difficult to guess the personality preferences. Teenagers grow up watching and listening to celebrities, hence tending to get adapted to their way of life. Beliefs and practices that are endorsed by famous people are associated with favorite celebrities by many people. The images projected by celebrities are often used to determine the point of view of an individual so that the tips can be compatible with an outstanding personality and able to be followed. In addition, people want to keep the mental sequence.

Counterargument

Celebrities influence the life of the teenagers in all aspects by their lifestyle. The lifestyle and the trends in life are fashion oriented and will revolve with the new inventions; hence, only publicizing by celebrities has its impact, but the decision to buy something is purely teenager’s business. Experimental studies show that watching TV commercials is a significant concern associated with one’s appearance. According to the socio-psychological research, the role of media in social cognition of adolescents has increased by many times in recent decades. One of the manifestations of this process is the growing mythologizing model appearance. The celebrities are making companies famous by endorsing them. For example, Nike gained popularity by being endorsed by a celebrity, but this does not work for all the companies. The research shows that in the USA, only one out of four companies use a celebrity in advertising, and only 15% of the companies use celebrities in Germany. All people try to find their ideals of what they lack in their lives. Shy girl hangs the wall posters with the image of Madonna or Angelina Jolie as the embodiment of emancipation, brightness, and beauty. This is a positive role model in terms of the celebrity’s option.

Celebrities have a negative influence on the young generation when a teenager has no other interests but following a famous person.  The dangers lie in wait for the fan and the wrong choice of the object to follow. The parents should not let this aspect in their children’s minds and closely monitor whom they have chosen as an idol and what is his/her reputation. It is better to avoid the representatives of youth subcultures as well as aggressive celebrities: Nazis, racists, and stars with mental disorders. However, when a young person finds inspiration for further development in a famous person, this is only a positive aspect. 

Conclusion

Being aware of the deep psychological underpinnings of the interest in celebrity and comparing to them, one may change his/her life significantly. Admiring polished taste of an idol, a teenager gets a valuable opportunity for self-development. Finding pleasure in the contemplation of the interior of his/her home, a young person brings the taste for beautiful things. Being bewitched to even embellished history of celebrities’ relations and their desires, one can refine an opportunity to work on him/herself more by its successful implementation. Thus, the celebrities can positively affect the development of individuals if they do not address the topics of nutrition, health, and illicit drugs.

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