Big Brother

Big Brother

By Elyse MacKinnon

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I gave in to the power of Big Brother and watched every episode. For those of you of may have not watched it, the winner has now been announced – Chloe! To many this will mean nothing, but for Chloe there is a chance that she can finally have her 15 minutes of fame. However, in order to keep the momentum there are various elements that need to fall into place. These elements will give her a status and they are also vital for keeping Celebrity Culture alive.

When researching this topic, I concluded that celebrity culture is kept alive through key elements such as symbiosis, commerce, social networking and technology.

Celebrities use the media to gain attention, and the media also uses the celebrity; this is a symbiotic relationship. This is a condition where each party draws from, and continues to support, the other; this symbiotic relationship has a mutual benefit and does not rely on there being a personal connection. When Perez Hilton, celebrity blogger, went into the Celebrity Big Brother house last year he was clear in stating that celebrities he may be friendly with are not his ‘real friends – its either them using me or me using them’. They need each other, and celebrity culture definitely needs this relationship.

Becoming a celebrity involves being willing to have a certain level of disclosure because celebrity, today, often includes making the details of everyday life public knowledge and allowing this life to be constantly photographed. Rojek (2001:95) believes that the celebrities people read about are ‘symbols of belonging and recognition that distract us in positive ways from the terrifying meaninglessness of life in a post-God world.’ It should come as a shock that there is a ‘meaningless of life’ and it is celebrities who are filling that void. The meaning of life is not sought after as much as it used to be and people go through life as it just happens, and it is found that in an increasingly humanist society people are now turning others into ‘gods’ and turning away from God himself.

In my next blog I will discuss the impact of commerce, social networking and technology upon celebrity culture.

Channel Five, ‘Celebrity Big Brother: Live Launch’ Available from:

Rojek C, 2001 Celebrity Great London: Reaktion Books Ltd