Big Brother

Big Brother

FAITH IN CELEBRITY

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: http://www.channel5.com/shows/celebrity-big-brother/episodes/live-launch-3

Rojek C, 2001 Celebrity Great London: Reaktion Books Ltd

Faith in Celebrity?

Faith in Celebrity?

FAITH IN CELEBRITY YOUTH AND COMMUNITY

Celebrity Culture and Shopping: two things I love!! Some might possibly say that I appear shallow for admitting this, however, I think these subjects raise huge issues that the Church needs to learn to deal with. Each month I intend to focus on certain issues that arise out of Celebrity Culture and Consumerism, and what an appropriate Christian response could be. To begin with, I will focus on Celebrity Culture.

I have grown up in a generation where celebrities are role models, people we should aspire to be like. I wanted to know what my favourite celebrities were doing and I especially wanted to meet them. To me, this was simply a hobby but as I have grown in my faith my view on celebrity culture has altered. I have concerns over celebrities becoming like demi-gods and the power they appear to have over young people in particular, through the rise in social media and the advances in technology.

My definition of Celebrity Culture is this: Celebrity Culture has the ability to reach many types of people by creating an image of what the ideal life seems to looks like. In particular, celebrity culture uses media and representation to place importance upon certain individuals deemed to be important. What it obviously fails to do is teach about the dangers and the impact of this culture.

This definition will help us to try and understand Celebrity Culture and the impact it has. However, many questions arise which I hope to explore such as:

Should Christians become involved with this culture? What is fuelling this culture and keeping it alive? How is Celebrity Culture impacting young Christians? And, dare I ask, would Jesus be considered a celebrity in this day and age?

Elyse Mackinnon (former student)