Vines: Obsession with celebrities is detrimental to society and the stars themselves

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Katy Vines, Columnist

As far back as I can remember, society has been obsessed with celebrities. So growing up, I thought that was normal. But as I have gotten older, I have become increasingly annoyed with the world’s preoccupation with celebrities. Everywhere I turn, I am bombarded with a celebrity in some form, promoting brands or covering magazines. I am sick of seeing them. Society’s obsession with celebrities is taking over people’s lives. It is not only annoying, it is also worrisome because of its detriment to society and to the stars themselves.

It is nearly impossible to enter a department store without seeing celebrities as brand endorsers — the faces of clothes, perfume and hair products. They have become the ultimate reason why we buy some products over others. From the Kardashian Kollection, a Sears line of clothing and accessories from the Kardashian sisters, to a line of Jennifer Lopez clothing and home decor at Kohl’s, consumers obsessed with celebrities apparently want to buy these products instead of shopping at stores like Target — for the simple reason that a celebrity endorsed one line and not another.

The magazine industry appears to benefit most from celebrities’ faces. By having the most popular celeb faces on their covers, magazines can sell more copies. My little sister, for example, buys a magazine every time it has a picture of Josh Hutcherson on the front. This ploy to sell more magazines leads to other problems, though. Articles such as, “Mary-Kate Olsen engaged to an old man,” become “breaking” news. This shifts people’s attention to topics that are irrelevant to their own lives. People, especially  young adults who are supposed to be the country’s future leaders, should be focusing on more important topics such as the upcoming Illinois primary elections. This is an event that will impact society’s future, whereas Mary-Kate’s wedding will likely have little effect.

Most importantly, society’s obsession with celebrities is harmful to the stars themselves. It has fueled the paparazzi, who cause serious problems in the lives of famous people. One of the most tragic incidents was the death of Princess Diana, who died in a car accident after being chased by paparazzi. Society’s preoccupation with celebrities also encourages the paparazzi to invade celebrities’ privacy, often harassing the stars and their children. Recently, celebrity moms, including Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry, have spoken out about the harm that is caused by this fixation on celebrities’ personal lives.

Some great things about the present are technology and social media. These are sources through which celebrities can share the information that they want to reveal to the public. Gwen Stefani recently gave birth to her third son, and her husband decided to share the news on Twitter. However, just because this information was shared doesn’t mean it is an invitation into her private life. Society needs to accept that celebrities are real people who have private lives they don’t always want to share. There is nothing wrong with discussing a movie or a new album that stars have produced, but discussing their personal lives is something that everyone can and should do without.

Instead of perpetuating society’s obsession with celebrities, people need to respect their privacy. People need to realize there are more important things to focus on, things that will have an impact on the future. The obsession with famous people’s private lives needs to be more controlled. In moderation, the general public and the stars themselves will be better off.

Katy Vines is a Weinberg freshman. She can be reached at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected].

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