Celebrities are an important part of modern American life . They’re everywhere, and many of them don’t live normal lives anymore because of paparazzi. This is alluring, of course, almost everyone wants to be the center of attention. As a result, celebrities actually do crazy things to get the attention of the press. This is a problem for their fans. Celebrities have great influence over their fans, so their careless decisions negatively impacts their fans’ body image and futures.
In 2005, a study was conducted on 229 teens, 183 undergrad students, and 289 adults in order to see how deeper interest in celebrities correlates with body images of the subjects tested. There were multiple tests used, including the Celebrity Attitude Scale, and the Attention to Body Shape Scale. Results showed that female teens that worshiped celebrities more intensely were more likely to have poor body images of themselves. This proves that celebrities and their promotion of a slender physique negatively impacts how teens see themselves and their weight. This extends to eating disorders. Eating disorders like anorexia are a sort of body dysmorphia where the anorexic has this idea that they are always too fat and they need to be skinnier. According to the South Carolina Department of Health’s website, Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness in adolescents. Looking at most of the celebrities, there is a trend of very slender physiques being common, especially in women. More young women suffer from an eating disorder than males. This connection is supported by the first paragraph.
There are also problems with teens’ futures, and how the glorification of the wealthy and famous lifestyle has discouraged the youth from wanting to work harder. In 2010, a survey was done in the UK of 1,000 16 year olds. It simply had one question, “What would you like to do for your career?” 54% answered that they wanted to become a celebrity. When those children that answered in that way were asked exactly how they were going achieve this goal of becoming a famous person, 21% of the children studied said they would do so by appearing on a reality TV show, and 5% even said they were planning on dating a celebrity. The larger percentage consisted of those who did not even know how to become famous and those that believed they had the talent to become a celebrity. These answers show that children and are looking up every day at screens with rich, famous people on it, that seemingly are able to do whatever they want. These children don’t even know what they want to do, but they know they want to become famous. More than half of those 1,000 children wanted to be famous as a career, which isn’t really a career, there seems to be something lost in translation when people think famous, that there isn’t any work involved. By contrast, Only 15% of those teens said they wanted to pursue a medical career. if there are more people that want to be “famous” rather than helpful and beneficial to society, there is a problem with the media.
Finally, substance abuse. Many celebrities talk about and glorify drug usage like it’s safe, maybe safe for them, they have nothing to lose. Meanwhile teens’ bodies aren’t meant for this sort of thing, it’s very dangerous. Lots of celebs go to rehab , and that is not a good example for the children. Drugs like Xanax were popularized by celebs a lot and is a common theme in many pop songs. All in all, celebrities can be pretty bad influences on the youth. Encouraging and indirectly causing more self image problems in teens, blinding them in their career choices, and making drugs look cool.
Maltby, J et al. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2005, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15826331. Kershaw, Alison. “Fame the Career Choice for Half of 16-Year-Olds.”The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 17 Feb. 2010, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/fame-the-career-choice-for-half-of-16-year-olds-1902338.html. Farr, Kristin. “Is Celebrity Obsession Bad for Us?” KQED Education, KQED INC., 20 May 2014, https://ww2.kqed.org/learning/2014/05/20/is-celebrity-obsession-bad-for-us/. “South Carolina Department of Mental Health.” Eating Disorder Statistics, South Carolina Department of Mental Health, http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm.