Blog Post #4- Inquiry Research Round #2- Are Celebrities Toxic for Society

Hello again everyone! My question is “Are Celebrities Toxic for Society”


In my last post, I asked the question “what the difference between having fame and being a celebrity.” I mainly found that what separates having fame and being a celebrity is how much you are in the public eye and for what you are there for /not having a big “celebrity persona”.


Today I will be moving on to my next round looking into, celebrity impacts (positive and negative) on people and themselves. This will help me see if the bad outweighs the good, helping me answer my big question.


As we all know, celebrities are very influential. Their actions, to an extent, set norms for society. I’m going to look at the types of celebrities and pick one from each category to look into.



Pop Artist- Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande to Perform at Grammys 2020 After Last Year's Controversy |  2020 Grammys, Ariana Grande, Grammys | Just Jared

Persona- Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian accused of blackface on new magazine cover - Insider

Rapper- Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar - Wikipedia

Athlete- Lebron James

LeBron James Is Now at the Center of Everything

Actor- Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks Plays 'Not My Job' On 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' : NPR

Actress- Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba's kids 'exploded her body' and she's 'cool with it'

 Positive Impacts on the People 

Let’s begin with Ariana Grande, our pop singer. She has supported these charities…

And these are the causes she has supported…

AIDS & HIVAnimalsCancerChildrenCreative ArtsEducationFamily/Parent SupportHealthHungerPoverty (1)


Obviously, this is a great thing for the people. She has been donating to these charities and supported these causes.


She has also become a symbol of strength and courage to many. This is because in 2017 at her concert in Manchester, a terrorist detonated a suicide bomb. This led to the deaths of 22 people and 139 injured. Of course, she was traumatized but she pulled through. She even put on a benefit concert for those affected in Manchester. Grande also broke off her engagement with Pete Davidson and her former boyfriend Mac Miller died of a drug overdose in the same year. (2)


Next, our persona, Kim Kardashian-West. She has supported these charities…



And these are the causes she has supported…

AbuseAIDS & HIVAlzheimer’s DiseaseAnimalsAt-Risk/Disadvantaged YouthsAutismCancerChildrenCivil RightsCreative ArtsDisaster ReliefEconomic/Business SupportEducationEnvironmentFamily/Parent SupportGrief SupportHealthHomelessnessLGBT SupportMental ChallengesMiscellaneousPovertyRefugeesSenior Citizen SupportSportsSubstance AbuseVeteran/Service Member SupportWaterWomen (3)


She also volunteered at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles visiting sick kids. She volunteered for 7 years before any buzz appeared. (4)


Kim also spoke about transgender issues, interracial couples, fertility issues, educating people on the Armenian genocide (she is Armenian), and body positivity. (4)


Moving on to our rapper, Kendrick Lamar.


As Insider puts it ‘[h]is music also became the lyrical backdrop of the greater Black Lives Matter movement’. His song “Alright” in his album “To Pimp a Butterfly” (5)


In 2013, Lamar gave his high school a $50,000 to help improve their music facilities and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Compton’s school district’s sports, after-school, music and other programs. In addition, he worked with many local charities in Compton. He won an award from the California State Senate in 2015 for his community work. (6)


Third, Lebron James, the athlete. He has supported…


And these are the causes he has supported…

At-Risk/Disadvantaged YouthsCancerChildrenCreative ArtsEducationFamily/Parent SupportHealthHuman RightsHungerMental ChallengesPhysical ChallengesPoverty


Onto Tom Hanks, the actor. He has supported…


The causes he supports are…

AbuseAIDS & HIVAnimalsAt-Risk/Disadvantaged YouthsCancerChildrenCreative ArtsDiabetesDisaster ReliefEconomic/Business SupportEducationEnvironmentFamily/Parent SupportGrief SupportHealthHuman RightsHungerLiteracyMiscellaneousOceansParkinson’s DiseasePovertyRape/Sexual AbuseRefugeesSlavery & Human TraffickingVeteran/Service Member SupportWomen


And last one, the actress, Jessica Alba


And these are the causes she has supported…


AbuseAdoption, Fostering, OrphansAIDS & HIVAnimalsAt-Risk/Disadvantaged YouthsBlood, Marrow & Organ DonationBullyingCancerChildrenCreative ArtsDisaster ReliefEconomic/Business SupportEducationEnvironmentFamily/Parent SupportGrief SupportHealthHomelessnessHuman RightsHungerMental ChallengesMiscellaneousMissing ChildrenPhysical ChallengesPovertyRape/Sexual AbuseRefugeesSenior Citizen SupportSlavery & Human TraffickingSubstance AbuseVoter EducationWaterWomen (8)


Role models

Celebrities can be good role models to people through their virtuous endorsements. Many, as shown above, support good causes and charities to show that they are compassionate. (9)

Having their stories of success in the open can inspire other people to follow in their footsteps and try their luck at music, writing, acting, etc. The same goes for the struggles that celebrities have. For example, when Demi Lovato, who has a history of drug abuse, released her song “Sober”, it resonated with fans dealing with drug abuse. It inspired a lot of them to speak out about their issues. (10)


Positive Impacts on Celebrities

-Celebrities are generally wealthy (11)

-They are known locally or globally (11)

-They get support from fans (11)

-Special treatment from businesses and fans (11)

Negative Impacts on Celebrities

-less privacy (11)

-stalkers (11)

-paparazzi (11)

-hard to trust friends (11)

-hyper-criticism (12)

-need to be perfect (11)

-targeted by criminals (12)


Negative Impacts on the People

First, Ariana Grande


Ariana licked donuts and didn’t pay for them back in 2015. She also said she hates America but has since apologized (13)

I don’t think this would be extremely detrimental for her fans to see. She is pretty clean of controversy. Of course, it wasn’t a good thing that she did, but I feel like it’s forgivable and doesn’t stop her from being a role model for her fans.


Second, Kim Kardashian


 Kim was accused of cultural appropriation this year in March. She wore braids with white beads. Her argument was that her daughter, North, wanted braids (North is half African American) so she got her hair and her daughter’s hair done. Kim was also called out for darkening her skin in pictures (14)

Kim Kardashian just trademarked 'Kimono.' Let the backlash begin - Los  Angeles TimesHer nude masks aren’t actually nudes. Most of the masks are the same colour and the one that the African American model was wearing was just literally black. (15)

She originally wanted to call her shapewear brand “Kimono” (15)

She promoted appetite-suppressing lollipops and morning sickness pills that weren’t FDA approved (15)

Her general use of photoshop. (15)

I think that Kim is not the best role model. She is a persona meaning that’s how she gets all of her attention. It’s examples like Kim that make the role model argument hard to pass.


Third, Kendrick Lamar


Kendrick doesn’t have any real controversies. The only thing I could find was when he called out a fan for singing the n-word in one of his songs at a concert. (16)


Next, Lebron James 


When asked about the Chinese Muslims being held in camps Lebron said he had nothing to say on the topic. China and the NBA are highly connected; They are big sponsors. So, it’s disappointing to see Lebron not speak his mind because of money. (17)

I think this is sad to see. Definitely not an inspiring action that people should learn from.


Penultimately, Tom Hanks


He was accused of moving to Greece because pedophilia is a disability there, but this is all fake. A lot of what I found are just accusations so I’m going to leave it there. (18)

He would be a fine role model.


Last but not least, Jessica Alba


She made a sunscreen that caused nasty sunburns (19)

Her company “Honest Co.” is extremely controversial because they used ingredients in their laundry detergent that was specifically called forbidden on their website. The company was also called dishonest in a lawsuit. (20)

I don’t think it’s great to look up to someone with a dishonest company. That said, I don’t think she’s worse than Kim K.


The Problem in General 

I think the main problem with having celebrities is needing them to be something they aren’t. I think fame for acting or music should be separate from the need for a role model. Paparazzi are pretty invasive, and I just don’t think it’s right for people to be violated like that whether or not they are famous. No one is perfect. I can see how a controversy that would be forgotten if the person were normal compared to if the person was famous can be very different. There is that need to be perfect so that their careers don’t end. Beauty standards are also a big part of why I think celebrities are odd. They literally are the standards and people compare themselves to the celebrities. It’s hard for people to be who they want to be when they are expected to look a certain way. Many celebrities openly edit their pictures; I find that so sad. Celebrities are really manufactured these days. I feel like we mainly have celebrity culture for profit.


Overall, I think that the bad outweighs the good. I know that celebrities donate to charity and volunteer, but I feel like that is totally unrelated to the damaging effects of celebrity culture.


In my next round of research, I will ask “What would the world look like without celebrities? I want to ask this to see how the world would look and what we could realistically do to lessen the toxic parts of the culture.


Thanks for reading!


References:,Entertainment%20Industry%20Foundation (1) (2) (3) (4),in%202018%20for%20%22DAMN.%22 (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18),caused%20them%20pretty%20painful%20sunburns. (19) (20)

4 Replies to “Blog Post #4- Inquiry Research Round #2- Are Celebrities Toxic for Society”

  1. Hi Shieva,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post! I found the information quite interesting. I do like the way that Ariana Grande dealt with the Manchester bombing. She has also stood up to sexism in the past. Of course, in a way this should be basic human decency, but unfortunately it is not. Great job on your research!

  2. Hi Shieva,
    This was a very interesting read! I am quite astonished to learn these celebrities have supported so many charities! Even though they have made so many contributions and have supported so many charities, there are a quite a few controversies I did not know about and only now learned it in your post.
    I am looking forward to reading your next round of research!

  3. Hi Shieva,

    I enjoyed reading about your topic. I’m surprised that all the celebrities made so many contributions to funds and hospitals. It was really cool that Kendrick Lamar donated money to his high school to improve their music department. I learned that there were also negative aspects of celebrity including their beauty standards.

    Here is a video that might be helpful:

    I’m looking forward to seeing your next research round!

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