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The Influence Of Celebrities And Television On Youth

1469 words - 6 pages

Media is a powerful phenomenon that inevitably infiltrates our lives, influences our perceptions of the world and constructs the way we understand social reality. The concept of celebrity is expedient in demonstrating how this media power works in the influence and construction of contemporary life. Media industries have the ability to turn real people into celebrities and keep them in the spotlight by integrating them into media narratives for the purpose of media industry and entertainment (Ruddock, 2013). The phenomenon of celebrity also demonstrates the role of media through its power to influence the lives of youths. These ideas can be further explored through the discussion of reality television star Snooki and American rapper Eminem.

Celebrity is a creation of the media industry, an example of their immense power to turn real people into celebrities by commoditizing them to be produced, traded and marketed (Turner, 2004) as a means of fulfilling media entertainment and industries. American reality television star Nicole Elizabeth Polizzi, known as Snooki is an example of the power and control that media industries exert over people in contemporary society. Snooki is best known for her appearance in the MTV reality TV show Jersey Shore that aired from 2009 to 2012. Her fame is not typical to celebrities such as Angelina Jolie who are successful, beautiful and talented, but instead grounded in being a wild, outgoing and brainless party girl with famous quotes such as “my ultimate dream is to move to Jersey, find a nice juiced, hot tanned guy and live my life”. The media has taken this young woman with no particular talent and transformed her into a celebrity by recognizing and validating her qualities through the mass media (Rojek, 204). Media industries have transformed Snooki from nothing into a public figure by creating a stage for her ordinary life, dramatizing her everyday actions and turning her into a commodity for media entertainment and industry. Snooki has also appeared on multiple platforms and shows such as Ellen, WWE and Late Show with David Letterman. She is a popular costume theme that youths dress up in for Halloween and events. This highlights her impact on young people and media’s power to produce and commoditize celebrity to fulfill media entertainment and industry purposes.

Snooki’s fame is an indicator of changing global media industries and the demands and interests of audiences, which have thus expanded the scope for fame. Her presence and popularity in the media and the impact she has on the lives of youths from having no real talent and being a party girl on Jersey Shore demonstrates that “the celebrity is a combination of the commercial interests of a cultural industry and the shifting desires of an audience” (Turner, Bonner, marshal, p11). It appears that almost anyone can be famous from the growing popularity of reality television shows and the celebrities that arise from them. However, as according to Andy...

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