What would Kate Moss do?
One of my favourite companies is The Giving Keys, based in California – I love everything about this company including what it sells and its values. A key thing I should mention is that I only know about this company through seeing a celebrity, such as Zac Efron, wear a Giving Key product therefore advertising it.
This is something that happens all the time; celebrities advertise countless products. This ranges from make up (Kate Moss – Rimmel London) to underwear (Justin Bieber – Calvin Klein). “Attaching a celebrity to a product was viewed as an essential element of an advertising campaign and a guarantee of added sales” (Taylor 2008:152). Regardless of the product celebrities are advertising they will impact on the sales, and personally I know it impacts on what brands I tend to purchase. Companies will often use famous people to advertise high-end products such as designer clothes but “fifteen minute” celebrities will promote lower-end products such as magazines or hair products. When magazines use a celebrity’s image on the cover, the magazines are providing exposure for the celebrity which is something they need in order to stay known and since image is everything when it comes to being a celebrity, advertising helps with this.
The rise in technology has allowed fans to find out what their favourite celebrity is up to instantly. Stories about these celebrities capture our timelines and newsfeeds and become important to followers of celebrity culture. It is here consumers make their own judgment regarding the celebrity and whether to buy into that particular celebrity’s lifestyle, or not. People make judgments on people they have never met – and most likely will never meet – without knowing all the facts yet think their view is still valid, which is a form of gossip.
You can find me on many types of social media – Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. I LOVE them! Not only do I love them, but many celebrities do too, which makes it a key factor in keeping Celebrity Culture alive. I believe that social media is going to keep evolving and will not slow down meaning that Celebrity Culture is here to stay.
You may not know this but Katy Perry has the title of ‘most followed on Twitter’, boasting a following of 74.4millon – her closest rival is Justin Bieber with 66.7million (I admit that I follow Bieber not Perry). Twitter allows for ordinary people to have a glimpse into a celebrity’s life, which gives the impression that there is easy access to their favourite celebrity. Turner (2013:104) comments that ‘The Twitter revolution has meant that even their most mundane observations can be instantly spread around the world’. Many people hang on to every word a celebrity tweets and Instagram is also widely used by celebrities to reach out to their adoring fans.
When Justin Bieber tweeted ‘God is good’ in 2014; it was re-tweeted over 93,300 times and ‘favourited’ over 94,000 times. As soon as a celebrity makes any reference to their faith they will be praised or criticized for their revelations, as with anything else they may be seen to advertise.
Social Media may be an easy way for celebrities to ‘connect” with fans but one major issue of this is that it opens you up to easy criticism from those who may be against you, they can tweet you back or leave comments. This is called trolling – and it is extremely common!! Actor Colin Firth (2015), in a recent interview with Shortlist.com, said this regarding social media
Social media has immense power. There’s a long conversation to be had – and it’s raging – about the democratising opinion. There are some issues around its abuse. Trolling, for example.
Trolling is the key word used to describe when a person aims to start an argument with another by slating something that has previously been said. This happens a lot with celebrities and it could be said that some young people now troll others on the Internet. Firth continues by saying ‘…but if you want privacy, the Internet’s not the place to find it.’ Twitter has become the place for all to share their own personal opinions and it is a democracy on twitter. However, due to the rise of trolling, the question arises as to whether or not people are sharing too many opinions without thinking about the consequences for example Katie Hopkins being trolled over comments she made in the run up to the Scottish Referendum. Firth has a point; a lot of the celebrities who make up celebrity culture should pay attention to the wisdom her shares.
If Christians want to tackle the factors that keep Celebrity Culture alive, we must be prepared to become involved in them – it may be the only way to make a difference in this culture that is here to stay.
Shortlist, 2015 “Colin Firth And Taron Egerton On Tinder, Style And The State Of British Men”. Available from: http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/colin-firth-and-taron-egerton-on-tinder-style-the-state-of-british-men (accessed 05/02/15)
Taylor B, 2008 Entertainment Theology Grand Rapids: Baker Academic
Turner S, 2013 Pop Cultured: Thinking Christianity about style, media and entertainment Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press