Currently Listening to: La Di Da Di by Battles
Intro to Extroverts
Nowadays in the era of social media domination and the culmination of jobs that arise from the platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and most recently TikTok, celebrities and ‘influencers’ have been a mainstay and unstoppable force. These people use these platforms to not only sell themselves, but also to promote products and services. Lebron James will post pics of last nights’ game against the Trailblazers while simultaneously promote his sponsorship from Sprite. Addison Rae of TikTok fame will be seen performing a dance on the popular video app while also promoting her partnership with American Eagle wearing their specialty jeans. They all have the one mission in common, to gain followers and to make a profit. In darker terms to get you to obey them.
These seemingly untouchable celebrities have created such a powerful following and draw for people to be like them that they pretty much have the world under their thumb. With every tweet, promotion, and picture they expect you to follow their every move because they are the ‘standard’. Every grows up looking to be like their hero. Hell, as a kid I looked up to Spongebob because of how affable and funny he was and now he’s on fruit snacks and mac and cheese boxes? F*cking sell-out.
Through a mix of massive egos and facade of charisma, celebrities have found a way to sneak into our daily lives and try to influence our behavior… and we eat that shit up like a fat kid in Legoland. This kid in particular eats Legos don’t question his way of life.
Why Write This Article?
If you’ve known me in any capacity for at least three months you know that I’m not a fan of Hollywood culture and the social hierarchy that it poses. It’s all a game of status and popularity that we all think we want to achieve because celebrities make us feel as though in order to be universally loved, you have to follow their every move. Well, maybe not every celebrity tries this, but as long as they have a loyal fan-base their followers will still attempt to copy that behavior.
Sure, there are some seemingly genuine, popular public figures that I feel are necessary for a lot of people. People like Malala and even Chance the Rapper ooze positive energy and motivate you to do what you believe in. They exist with the intention to do good for themselves, but also for the good of their communities.
Then there’s the negative ones. This is the reason I write this entry. Tekashi 6ix9ine, Bella Thorne, and most notorious and malicious… the Kardashian/Jenners. These are the people that have made it big and pose as nothing but negative images to the youth and the people that observe them.
Insincerity and Fraud
There’s very little that I find more disgusting and degrading than when celebrities talk about the real world. Sure, some may have an understanding of how the world works and what it feels like to work your way up towards something bigger and better. In a lot of cases though it is just by knowing somebody. I can rip on the Kardashians all day, but honestly give any natural disaster or death of a public figure and one of them will put one singular tweet ‘pouring’ out their every heaving notion of ‘heartache’ and then the next day promote their brand like nothing happens. What they’re saying is ‘oh that’s sad, next’ and ‘that doesn’t affect me in any way so I’m just gonna pretend that I care just so people think I’m genuine and worldly’. No way man.
This past weekend is a perfect example of this accusation. Actor Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther and 42) passed away from colon cancer. He falls under the category of celebrity that I do believe has good intent. Through his roles of playing powerful black figures in history such as Jackie Robinson and James Brown and starring in Marvel’s first black lead superhero movie since Blade as Black Panther, he posed as a role model for many children and young adults as someone they could look up to and learn from. He never flashed his state of being or made his cancer public because it wasn’t about him. It was about what he could do and I think a lot of people recognized that.
So many A and B list celebs tweeted about Boseman this weekend, pouring out their condolences for him and his family. You know what though? I don’t buy it. I don’t believe any of the celebrities that tweeted, posted on Instagram, or put out statements. With the exception of Michael B. Jordan, who put out an extremely heartfelt tribute to his close friend and Black Panther co-star.
Timothee Chalamet simply tweeted out “oh fuck my heart is heavy I can’t believe this”. 325,000 likes… I can just imagine the e-girls eating that shit up like it’s glitter on the floor of Hot Topic. So many people posting pictures with him, simply for clout like ‘hey I know him! I know the dead guy! I took a picture with him!’ This is simply to build credibility and for you to believe that they care. It almost seems as though if you’re attractive and/or popular enough people will buy into what you say. Hmm…
The Halo Effect
If you are unfamiliar with this concept I’ll be the first to break it to you… No it’s not the way you felt after first hearing the Beyonce song (even if it did shape me into the man I am today). The halo effect is where you have this idea as if someone is above you, almost godly in some cases, and feel as though based on what life has taught you, to believe most of what they say and do to be justifiable and true. Why? Because status and the way that characters in sitcoms react when a celebrity makes a cameo in one episode. KISS ADAM SANDLER’S TOES BECAUSE HE WAS IN AN EPISODE OF UNDECLARED!! Anyhow, off the toes topic, celebrities invoke the halo effect into a lot of their followers. I’m also trying my best to not make this all about the media because at the root of it all, the media outlets are really the underlying threat here and well that’s an entry for another day. Regardless, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
If you don’t wanna hear my somewhat educated rant on this god awful family then skip this section I won’t be hurt. So first off f*ck this family. I can’t think of a worse group of people to look up to if I tried. At least 6ix9ine built himself up from something small (not defending him in any way, he is gross too). The Kardashians got famous for two reasons: Bruce Jenner and the Ray J sex tape. Hey children! Engage in coitus and film it for the masses and boom popularity! Haha! In the words of Michael Scott “No! NOOOOOOOO!! God!”
These buffoons can literally get away with whatever they please and will NEVER get cancelled. Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad? Dismissed. Any breakup that any of them have? It’s never their fault. You don’t expect me to believe that it is always the other person’s fault do you media? Kanye West, as controversial and irrational as he is at times, suffers from bipolar disorder. He went on an all out rampage on Twitter one day saying that Kris Jenner and his wife Kim tried to send him to a mental institution without his permission. Um… that’s illegal. The next day, tweets deleted, Kanye apologizes, Kim posts a long post on Instagram saying about how much he has done for the family and how bipolar disorder affects lives. Are you using your husband’s illness as a platform to educate the public to make yourself look like an advocate for mental health? F*ck you Kim, seriously.
Worst part is we forgive them. They are without a doubt the most powerful family in the world. I say that with dismay and utter disappointment. I truly believe that whatever happens, they will rise back up again to live another day.
Conclusion and Confession
Look, I’m not perfect whatsoever. I look up to some people that aren’t the best role models. One of my all time favorite artists is Kanye and he is not the best person to take life advice from. I’ve bought Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Teremana Tequila because I think he’s a positive role model for a lot of people (and that is some very smooth tequila). I follow some celebrity news and I love movies and TV. I can’t write an article like this without admitting my own faults and admiration. I think that we can learn a lot from the people in TV and movies.
Words are often interpreted in different ways, some positively and some otherwise. Something that someone says could not make any sense to some, but could mean the world to others. It doesn’t even have to be a celebrity. It could be a random dude at Jewel Osco in the checkout line or a motivational speaker at a school assembly.
To wrap this lengthy entry up, I firmly think that we should all be more considerate of the words we choose and our actions. We learn a lot from the world around us, through thick and thin we develop character and behavior through what we see and hear growing up. I think it is appalling that companies cash in on our idols to get us to believe in order for us to be like our heroes we have to shop like our heroes. Whether or not you choose to buy into that culture is totally up to you. I will not look at you any different since we all develop different values.
Through it all, do what makes you happy and do what will pay off in the long run. Stick to your morals and beliefs. Don’t let anyone tell you your standards or code of ethics is incorrect without rational reason or threat to your character. Whether you know it or not, you could end up being the idol for someone who needs the guidance without even knowing. We have more power in our words than we could ever believe. Be the hero that you would look up to.
One thought on “Celebrity Manipulation”
Nice work, Cam. Unfortunately, advertising, whether it be for products, politicians, or celebrities, seeps into every nook and cranny of our daily lives.
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