Celebrity Worship: The Impact of Glorifying Idolization on Young Adults
One afternoon while browsing the internet, I came across an article that features a young woman who had multiple surgeries to look like Angelina Jolie. I became suddenly appalled that adolescents nowadays are willing to go through extreme lengths to achieve a celebrity appearance. However, one cannot put all the blame on these teenagers as celebrity worship is the outcome of American culture that is linked with aesthetic relativism (Hollander 388). The growing number of teenagers displaying rogue behaviors substantiates the claim that celebrity worship culture has a negative influence on teenagers’ personality shaping.
Superficial Standards of Beauty
Over-exposing the youth to the current superficial standards of beauty set by celebrities has a negative influence on how they view their body, shape, and aesthetics. The Hollywood’s criteria of beauty involve skinny body, flawless skin, fuller bust, and larger buttocks. Since the media can highly influence its audience, specifically the younger audiences, teenagers are urged to conform to the standard of beauty set by Hollywood. As teenagers are still in the development stage and in the middle of self-identification, they are easily influenced to imitate celebrity bodies as they deemed that type of aesthetic as publicly palatable. This even leads to self-objectification and self-sexualization. For this reason, they are inclined to imitate the body and appearance of their favorite celebrities to appear attractive. Aruguete et al. argue in their article called “Body Image and Celebrity Worship” that individuals who feel the need to self-objectify and get pleasure from being sexualized are influenced to change their appearance and reshape their body even it would require operations (225). The claim of the article suggests that celebrity worshipping leads to a distorted view of beauty which urges a person to alter their appearance. Further, teenagers, in particular, are highly prone to worshipping celebrities.
Observing Celebrity Behaviors
As teenagers are vulnerable to media content, they are easily influenced to worship a celebrity. This goes beyond idolizing a media personality or buying a pop singer’s album. Celebrity worshipping refers to honoring the idol like they are the manifestation of a perfect human being that everyone aspires to be. However, this admiration has a limitation, fans are usually more attracted to physical appearance that the quality of the celebrities’ personalities. In “Impetus for Worship: An Exploratory Study of Adolescents’ Idol Adoration Behaviors”, Ying-Ching Lin and Chien-Hsin Lin suggest that inner traits are not a factor that drives worshipping (575). For this reason, the behavior of the adolescents as they mature may be negatively developed as they may perceive that the deficient attitude that their celebrity idols exhibit is acceptable. In general, celebrity worshipping is harmful to teenagers as not all celebrities are good influences; some are even showing off their bad behaviors.
In this instance, adolescents are more likely inspired to imitate their idols’ actions even their alcohol or drug usage.
Exposure to Drugs and Bad Habits
Some celebrities are the worst role models; sadly, teenagers tend to look past the negative behaviors of their idols which sometimes include drug use and addiction. This is attributable to the celebrity worshipping trend caused by high media consumption. Unfortunately, celebrity worshipping is also related to poor cognitive skills and critical thinking. This is discussed in Ying-Ching Lin and Chien-Hsin Lin’s article which reveals that teenagers with low cognitive abilities are easily influenced by acquisitive messages (586). The relationship of this statement in this paper’s claim is that one of the material things that celebrities are abundant is the access to drugs. Due to this fact, most celebrities are known to be using the prohibited chemicals. As teenagers who are victims of media over-consumption, their grasp is weak; hence, they are more likely to be influenced to take drugs to follow the lead of the popular celebrities. In essence, celebrity worshipping is harmful to the youth as they become more prone to misbehavior.
Low self-esteem is a common trait of a teenager and celebrity worshipping worsens the symptoms. Almost all celebrities are attractive and seem to be flawless. This is due to their intensive body care, image projection, and photoshop photo manipulation. However, teenagers are blind to the fact that the superficial beauty that these celebrities portray is unreal most of the time. Consequently, this leads to body dissatisfaction. In this condition, adolescents desire to have the body that their idols possess. The article “Body Dissatisfaction Assessed by the Photographic Figure Rating Scale Is Associated with Sociocultural, Personality, and Media Influences” by Swami et al. reveals that the pressure from the media causes low self-esteem (61). This can reduce the ability of the person to live a better life as their behavior may hinder them from pursuing the things that they want. For instance, when a person has low self-esteem, he will settle for what is easily available than venture out to look for more rewarding things. All things considered, low self-esteem hinders personality development and success; this could lead to more serious issues such as mental disorders.
Poor Mental Health
Over-obsessing with celebrities can induce mental disorders. Sadly, this trend is prevalent in the United States. Paul Hollander reveals in his article ‘Why the Celebrity Cult?” that the people in the US have the habit of watching celebrities (387). This hobby evolves from pastime to a habit and even addiction which leads to depression and anxiety as the more the person observes a celebrity, the higher the chances that this person will compare his/her own identity to celebrities. This could lead to dissatisfaction and worse depression and anxiety. According to Swami et al., negative perception of one’s body is linked to poor mental health (57). To illustrate, the skinny figure that Hollywood popularized reduces the value of the non-skinny people in the eyes of the public. Thus, they develop low self-confidence and it has the potential to develop to anxiety and depression. This will discourage a person to live a better life as they lack the drive and motivation.
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