Celebrity news

Celebrity news doesn’t make you stupid. Ignoring it might

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Everything has changed except what has remained the same: audiences still want to be entertained by a clique of characters who command seemingly limitless wealth and unearthly beauty. Creators like Emily and Jordan are part of a group of self-taught reviewers who focus not just on these celebrities, but on the mechanics behind them. “You can’t be naive about the impact it has, the billions of dollars it generates, the specific type of body dysmorphia it creates for people based on the fashionable plastic surgery in the era,” says Emily. “Pop culture is a window into what we enjoy and what entertains us and what kind of morals we stand for,” agrees Jordan.

These critics argue that ignoring celebrity culture doesn’t make you smarter, less superficial, or freer. To ignore celebrity culture is to make yourself vulnerable to the exploitations of a giant industry. Dismiss fame as frivolous? You simply won’t know what you are being sold for. “In a way, that’s how academics, journalists, and critics have always talked about celebrities,” says Sharon Marcus, a Columbia University professor and author of The drama of fame. “It’s analytical – you want to get under the hood and see how it all works.” For Jordan, a recent graduate who studied psychology, that’s exactly what it’s all about — she sees it as a giant “case study” of humans involving celebrities. “For me, it’s not really about gossip or what Zendaya is wearing,” she says. “It’s more about the overall structure and the underlying system, and how that reflects the way we see the world.”

Academics who study media have been making this argument for taking pop culture seriously for years. “In a democracy like the United States,” wrote Ray B. Brown, who is considered the founder of academic studies of pop culture, “[pop culture] is the voice of the people – their likes and dislikes, their habits and attitudes – the engine of their daily existence, their way of life. Celebrities fill our screens and our news sources, they impact the stock market, they influence politics – think of our presidents who were TV stars first (Regan and Trump). Our culture’s decision-makers, from economists to FBI agents to Supreme Court justices, can imagine that they live outside the sphere of influence of pop culture; they don’t.

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People who have no reason to think deeply about how celebrities operate may be unaware of the extent of the financial power that big celebrities wield – studios, lawyers, producers, agents, publishers, investors, advertisers and countless brand endorsements. So when a celebrity does what many celebrities do – sets up a meeting with paparazzi, or enters into an agent-brokered relationship, or sells a product that they don’t actually buy or use -” It’s almost like people with power and privilege are trying to lie to the masses,” says fellow TikTok creator Shannon, who uses her platform to make these intricacies obvious, breaking down elements blind to everyone. , from Real Housewives to Vladimir Putin. She likens celebrities’ PR tactics to the subtle tools tech companies use to keep us on our phones. “I don’t think that’s bad, but I think we need to be aware when we’re being manipulated,” she says. “You need to be more in touch with the decisions you make.”