I am writing about Celebrity culture and its effect on young girls
and boys. I define celebrity culture as the fascination with
individuals and what they look like, wear or do. They may not be
famous for anything else really. It is also an issue, as more and
more young girls are not eating to try and be as skinny as models
they see on television and magazines. They also worry about what
their friends say behind their back. Recently a letter was given to
year seven and eight girls at Leicester Grammar. It said that many
girls had felt faint in game as a result of not eating breakfast.
Many girls and boys have dreams of becoming successful actors
and singers when they grow up. They read magazines showing
pictures of successful singers/actors breaking down and still want
to be famous? Child stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Britney
Spears who have been in the media spotlight since they were
teenagers have suffered with drugs and alcohol. Amy Winehouse is
suffering from drugs and drink abuse. People still buy her music
and therefore she has enough money to by drugs. Amy Winehouse
is photographed breaking down. Still teenagers want to be like
their favourite singers or actors.
There is also the issue with stars being pressurized into being
skinny. It is said that Lindsay Lohan buys an $18 drink to lose
Also stars such as Beyonce
and Jennifer Lopez are scrutinised by the paparazzi for being a
little rounder than other ultra skinny stars. It is said that Beyonce
lived on a diet of cayenne pepper, maple syrup and water before
filming the movie ‘Dreamgirls’.
In an issue of
magazines condemned stars that had lost loads of weight but still
had a table saying what your celebrity weight was and what your
healthy weight was. In this months issue of
they rated the
dresses worn at the Golden Globe awards.
Curvier stars such as
Beyonce were criticised for the dresses that they wore. The so-
called experts said they wished Beyonce had worn something a
little more flattering for her hips. Magazines claim that they do not
want stars to become skinny and say curvy girls are much better
girls. However they write reports of what other people have said
about heavier stars and compare them to skinnier stars.
In this month’s issue of
, they had a page on the ‘experts’ saying what they thought of
ex-sugababe Mutya Buena and singer/actress Jessica Simpson.
Mutya was slammed for being ‘top-heavy’ and one health expert
said she wished she could give Buena a makeover. The once
scarily skinny, Jessica Simpson, was criticised for her ‘spare tyre’.
In the past Jessica said:
“Curves are better… I don’t get the whole rake
thing. It’s not good for your heart. It’s emotionally
asked why these healthy girls were under attack when really
it was these magazines that were making these women feel bad
about their bodies.
Stars who are constantly in the
media attention, feel they have to be a certain size to be famous.
Recently, singer Rihanna stated that:
“If my trainer had her way I’d eat small meals every three hours,
but I sometimes only eat once or twice a day.”
The singer also said that she sometimes felt weak due to lack of
food and has collapsed on stage in Sydney. Catwalk models these
days are so thin that some girls have died from starvation and
anorexia. Some celebrities will have their pictures airbrushed so
they look better. Coleen Rooney chose to have her picture
airbrushed when promoting her perfume.
The paparazzi also can create feuds between celebrities. They will
take any comment made by one celebrity about any other celebrity
and blow it out of proportion. For instance, singers Cheryl Cole
and Victoria Beckham became quite good friends at the world cup
in 2006. When it was reported that Ashley Cole, Cheryl husband,
had cheated in December 2007, Cheryl said in an interview that
she thought Victoria would be the first person to call and was
surprised as she had not as she had experienced the same thing in
2004. In one interview Cheryl said that her band would not wear
Victoria’s new clothing line as it was for older women. The media
claimed there was a feud between the two women and predicted
that Victoria would bite back. Cheryl said she was ‘mortified’ and
that ‘Victoria was an incredible women and that Victoria was
texting her all the way through the
saying how great she
was. The media has also said that Cheryl has a feud with Charlotte
Church and has made comments about Heather Mills. When
celebrities are asked about other celebrities, in interviews, their
comments are taken and used against them.
I recently gave out a questionnaire (see appendix), to year seven
students, to see how other girls and boys felt about their weight
and celebrity culture. I asked if they thought that glossy magazines
affected the way they thought about their bodies. On an
84% return, 37% answered yes while 37% answered and 24% said
they weren’t sure. I asked if they thought that glossy magazines
affected the way they thought about their bodies. 21%
answered yes while 32% answered no and 45% said they weren’t
sure. I also asked if they thought that boys and girls thought
differently about their bodies. 82% answered yes while 11%
answered no and 8% said they weren’t sure. This means, year
seven students, at a key age in their development, feel that on
balance, magazines affect their perception of themselves
negatively more than they do postitively. Also, it shows that year
seven students think that girls are more likely to be affected. Other
comments were added that friends talking about them behind their
back, boys and mirrors made them feel uncomfortable about their
weight and looks. Hurtful comments can drive someone to go on a
crazy diet and lose all their self-confidence. Recently Nicola
Roberts of the girl band, Girls Aloud, said that at the age of sixteen
she was called ugly and since then has been called ugly for five
years. She said that she couldn’t live without her fake tan and felt
her band mates were much better looking than her because she was
Celebrity culture is an unnatural focus on people often just for the
way they look. The media is not really interested in their
achievements but when seen doing something normal, the media
will swoop down on them and take photos, which are then
plastered over the front pages. Celebrities are somehow not
allowed to make mistakes and when they do; we talk and gossip
about them as if we would never make mistakes like that.
Celebrities are under enormous pressure to behave and if they
don’t, we call them boring. They cannot win. Most of all the media
focuses on what they look like. My survey of year seven shows
that my age group is substantially affected by this pre-occupation
with body shape and size.
Male and Female
11 years old
12 years old
5. Magazines negatively affect you?
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