Hello everyone! My question is “Are Celebrities Toxic for Society”
My first step is looking into the difference between having fame and being a celebrity. I think this is important to distinguish because if I were to say celebrities are toxic then anyone who has renowned talent would be classified as toxic. That isn’t what I am trying to show though. I want to know if having celebrities/idols is a natural process or if our world has pushed celebrities into being something they shouldn’t be.
To start, let’s talk about fame. Fame is defined as “the state of being known or recognized by many people because of your achievements, skills, etc.” (1) So to have fame you need a kind of talent that people know you for. This is something that I think is unavoidable. People are going to have fame and there is no plausible way of stopping that. I also don’t think it is unhealthy. This might be an odd example but let’s take a look at Mason Ramsey. Otherwise known as the Walmart yodeling kid. A little background on him; He was an 11-year-old boy who yodeled in a Walmart and became super famous for it. (2) He is a good example of both of the points that I want to make. In 2018 Ramsey would only do local performances for family or friends. (3) This made him famous only to the locals who appreciated his singing.
All of a sudden, he goes viral! (3) He started to make his own music to release to the public. Now, I think that if the story ended there this would only be a case of fame, but Mason Ramsey also did several interviews. He was on Ellen, at the Grammy’s, and was interviewed by Billboard. The fact that he became a personality, makes him a celebrity instead of a boy who makes music. Also, there is the issue of his personality giving his music career a rise. There’s no doubt that if he wasn’t the kid that yodelled in a Walmart, people wouldn’t care about his music. There are tons of artists that don’t get picked up by labels and wait for that day to come. So, to be a celebrity you would need to have a persona (which is built by partaking in interviews, meet and greets etc.) and people need to look up to you.
I also think it’s valid to have people who want to only be at the fame level but became celebrities although not in the traditional sense. For example, there is an artist named Shiloh dynasty. They are very closed off. There isn’t information on them. The most I can find is their name, songs, and some pictures of them but they are very well known for their music. (4) Although this is technically possible, I think it’s not sustainable. For example, if you look at Sia’s career, she used to hide her face, now that has become part of her persona, making her more memorable.
All in all, I think what separates having fame and being a celebrity is how much you are in the public eye and for what you are there for. If you stick to your roots, don’t do many interviews, and aren’t known for your personality, I think that counts as having fame rather than being a celebrity.
My focus for my next round will be on the positive and negative impacts of celebrities on people and on the celebrities themselves. This is an important topic to explore because it’s nice to take a step back from the entertainment and question what it is doing to people. To see if the bad outweighs the good for both groups involved.
Thanks for reading!