The girl sits behind the computer screen, looking through the articles and pictures of all her favorite celebrities. She wishes she could become as skinny and beautiful as they are. This could be a harmless situation or it could damage her physical and mental health greatly. She could turn her life around in a positive way and push herself to do great things. However, there is a chance she could starve and think negatively about herself. Celebrity culture is continuously harming teens by the growing need of being noticed, making substance abuse seem okay, and creating problems with body image and health.
Teens crave the need to be noticed by the world because of the media and celebrities. If someone goes on Twitter or Instagram, everyone will see viral videos, tweets, and photos everywhere. Even news channels tend to display these to the world. It does not help that “cable TV and reality TV have also contributed to the problem [by] creating more opportunities for people to get their fifteen minutes of fame…” (Stimpson). There is a certain rush of feeling important to the world and teens want that, anyone would.
Nowadays, kids and teens believe that fame will make them feel joyous and more adored by their closest peers. It is skewing their career paths and futures greatly. Social media, television, and celebrities are attracting teenages and children to the point where they would rather be famous than be a politician or a dentist. Teens are on social media “presenting our image to the world. We define our worth solely by our visibility… We pay lifestyle advisors to help us look and feel like celebrities, to build us the set for the movie of our life” (Hedges).
In addition, their fixation on all the media takes a toll on their school work. Watching Lauren Graham on Parenthood is suddenly more important than studying for an AP exam. This is getting more and more out of hand with technology and media advancements. The obsession of fame and the toll it takes further shows how much celebrities and media have a negative impact on the future leaders of our world. Substance abuse is a serious problem today and celebrities do play a part in the abuse. A lot of television shows, movies, music, and media talk or sing about drugs or alcohol.
Teens and kids are exposed to this negative influence which hurts their future and health. Some heroin users that get addicted, like Nathan who started using at 17 say he started using because “I wanted to know what it felt like, because, you know all the, all the… famous people do it. There’s got to be something to it, you know… All the people with money… do it…. ” (Duterte, Murphy, Hemphill). Media shows all these celebrities and athletes using and it is clearly impacting the young ones.
They are curious to see what is the rave it is and if it is actually good. Celebrities normalize the abuse of drugs even though there are many consequences to substance abuse. The world has lost many through overdose and it would be a tragedy if it continues within the teens. It is not only substance abuse that harms young people, it is also the intensive amount of violence displayed to them on a daily basis. Children watch movies and TV shows that could possibly show violence and introduce them to try some one the behaviors and actions they see.
It affects their brains and how they respond which can change how they behave towards others. Teenagers are constantly seeing this violence and studies have show that “the average 7th grader watches about 4 hours of television per day, and 60% of those shows contain some violence” (Senate Committee). That statistic is from the early 2000s and it could have grown tremendously since then due to technology advancements. Music is also a contributor to the amount of violence and substance abuse because most music today talk about these and children of all ages are hearing these lyrics.
Celebrity culture plays a major role in teenage substance abuse and violence. Body image is the most obvious effect celebrities have on the younger generations. A chunk of the celebrities teens see are nothing but skin and bones. This creates insecurities about their bodies which could lead to eating disorders or other serious health issues both mental and physical. If someone were to open a magazine or flip to a random television show, chances are that the man or woman staring back at them is the unrealistic ideal body type.
Teenage girls want that perfect slim body while the some boys desire the abs and buff physique. It is what they perceive as beautiful because they see all their role models looking that way. Their role models go through intense and unhealthy diets and still aren’t perfect to the magazine editors. Everyone should know that most magazines use “photoshop, a widely used software program, [that] can digitally narrow hips or add to cleavage and make almost any change look realistic” (Mehta). The media is altering their looks to make them fit the unreachable perfect body.
Teenagers tend to be naive to realize that no one can look that flawless. They need to embrace who they are and stop following celebrities and their insane ways of being perfect. Celebrity endorsements also contribute to the unhealthy lifestyle and convince the younger people to buy what they are trying to sell. Instagram, Twitter, and TV advertisements feature many of today’s biggest celebrities and many of the ads are not recommended to use. For example, the Kardashians say that waist trainers are how they get that impossibly skinny figure.
People don’t realize that what they are selling is harmful to their bodies, it compresses their organs together and makes it harder to breathe. Most would choose to get items such as waist trainers because it is an ‘easy’ way to get slimmer and not put in the hard work it takes to be healthy and slim. However it is not just the want to be thin that harms teens, sometimes it causes them to gain weight. Like stated previously, celebrity endorsements are harmful even for weight gain.
Commercials star varies kinds of celebrities that are promoting fast food and unhealthy food. According to Yale,“… athletes had endorsed 122 food and drink brands…. but 79 percent of the endorsed food products had few nutrients and high calorie counts, and nearly all the drinks had nothing but sugar calories added” (Haelle). This statistic shows how they are suggesting that people should eat this food that will impact their diet and health. They get money and exposure to approve that eating this way is okay even when it clearly is not.
The fatty foods could worsen the heart’s condition, leading to obesity, cancer risks, and diabetes. People are being harmed because of how media makes celebrities look and by the endorsements that do more hurt than good. Celebrity culture has become increasingly more common through technology advancements and social media. Due to the growth, celebrity culture has a negative effect on teens because of the desire to have fame, substance abuse, and health issues. It is clear that there is less positive results of this and that it is a problem that should have people’s focus.