Which Celebrity Are You?

What is it about celebrity culture that makes us stop and listen to the radio, or watch that segment on MTV, or sit a read a juicy magazine? There is just something so fascinating about tuning in to the lives of celebrities, and getting swept up in their latest gossip and ‘ongoing personal sagas’, although we aren’t really sure what drives this urge (Sternheimer 2014, p.1).

But where do we draw the line between idolising our favourite celebrity role models, and becoming victims of consumer-controlled surveillance? This question has always contributed to the popular rise of celebrity culture.

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Kylie Jenner’s ‘EXACT LIP COLOR’ Tutorial & Outfit!! By Danielle Carolan CC BY 2.0 

There are several unresolved issues that develop as a result of this question, why are we inclined to follow celebrity culture? And how are we being surveilled by extension of our consumption habits?

Celebrity culture is defined by its illustration of celebrities personal lives successfully tied to consumer interests, which allows these stars to promote themselves through product and image branding.

Marshall (2010) considers how contemporary celebrity culture is being consumed today, suggesting that although existing long before the emergence of social media, celebrity culture continues to thrive through online forums.

Marshall further contends that ‘self-production of celebrity activity now serves as a rubric or template for the organisation and production of the online self’ guiding everyday citizens on how to present themselves, and taking inspiration from examples of ‘fame, glamour, scandals and gossip’ (Marshall 2010, p.37).

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(Image taken by ashjamie)

Hence our tendency to emphasise meaning onto celebrity culture is driven by our need to create an image for oneself, particularly online, in the shadows of already established celebrity identities.

“This untouchable quality to celebrities, in turn, produced a sort of aspirationalism: a yearning for a lifestyle that you didn’t have, but that you could see playing out right there on the screen in front of you” (Hawking 2014).

Hinton and Hjorth (2013) argue that the shift in how audiences perform online has enabled us to become active participants rather than passive consumers of the media (p.57).

I somewhat disagree.

Although there has been a substantial rise in User Created Content (UCC) are we necessarily using this agency to contribute to the public sphere via online forums? Or are we simply consuming and replicating what is being fed to us through celebrity news and trends?

Yes, celebrities are under constant surveillance by the media. But it is the gaze ‘provided by the paparazzi’ and scattered across different mediums that makes celebrity culture a ‘kind of performance to be read further’ or consumed by the public (Marshall 2010, p.39).

And as a result ordinary citizens are being watched through their decisions to perform their favourite celebrity image online.

Hawking supports this contention arguing that…

“For every movie camera, there are hundreds more surveillance cameras. Every time you download an episode of TV, you know in the back of your mind that somewhere, someone is watching” (Hawking 2014)

To answer this question I have created a poll to ask the public whether or not they consider surveillance over celebrities’ lives to be more extensive than that of the ordinary citizen.

It is common knowledge that much of what we see of our favourite celebrities isn’t a realistic projection of their lives, yet we continue to ‘invade and consume the lives of these people in the real world’ (Hawking 2014).

Melinda Sebastian offers some great insight to this topic in her blog.

I have also sought advice from our favourite radio hosts Hamish and Andy to explore how success has affected their privacy.

It is the illusion of contemporary celebrities in that although ‘they stand out from the crowd’, at the same time they are constantly reinstating that they are “just like us”’ (Gies 2011 p.351).

References

Gies, L 2011, ‘Stars Behaving Badly’, Feminist Media Studies, 11, no. 3, 347-361, DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2010.535319, retrieved 21st August 2016.
Hawking, T 2014, ‘Our Obsession with Violating Celebrities’ Privacy Is Destroying Our Own’, 13 May, retrieved 18th August 2016, http://flavorwire.com/456984/our-obsession-with-violating-celebrities-privacy-is-destroying-our-own
Hinton, S, & Hjorth, L 2013, Participation and user-created content’ in S Hinton & L Hjorth, Understanding Social Media (eds), Sage Publications, London, pp. 55-76.
Marshall, PD 2010, ‘The promotion and presentation of the Self: Celebrity as marker of presentational media’ Celebrity Studies, 1, no. 1, pp. 35-40.
Sebastian, M 2014, ‘What Does Celebrity Surveillance Mean For The Rest Of Us?’ The Interdisciplinary Internet Institute, 25 September, retrieved 21st August 2016, http://www.theiii.org/index.php/279/melinda-title/
Sternheimer, K 2014, ‘Celebrity, Class and Social Mobility’ in K Sternheimer Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Stardom and Social Mobility, 2nd edn, Routledge, London, pp. 1-26.
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11 thoughts on “Which Celebrity Are You?

  1. Emily Post says:

    Ahhhh. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that Ash! So well written, and it really flowed the whole way through. You explore really interesting ideas and back them up with scholarly sources well! I particularly like the images you used, their creative and really relate to what you’re saying. I also like how you Tweeted Hamish & Andy, mainly because they’re my favourite haha!

    Overall fantastic blog post. My only suggestions would be to check your formatting so it’s all consistent, and when mentioning the same scholarly author straight after, perhaps include ‘further explains’ or something like that!

    Emily 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hann says:

    This was such a fun and enjoyable post to read. The discourse flowed well and was well supported with scholarly references. The images and embedded tweets added strength to the content and I especially liked that one of the tweets linked back to a poll. Bonus points for the Hamish and Andy tweet! It was also helpful, as a reader, to have the in-text references hyperlinked. I’ll be back to read more for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lexie Nguyen says:

    You did a really good job, Ash. I really enjoy reading your blog. In my opinion, I think you have put all your passion in writing this page. Overall, I like how you decorate your blog – it looks professional, interesting, clear, and attractive. You have created a great attractive headline. I also like the way to use plenty references to support your topic and raise your own idea. Your screenshots and pictures are also the best parts of your blog. Keep going on your hard working. Well done, Ash:)
    Lexie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. isabellamandieblog says:

    This is a really interesting and well thought out blog in my opinion. i personally think you’ve put all your thought and dedication into writing this blog post about celebrities. i really enjoyed your blog page and the way you decorated it. Your blog page looks attractive and well present with the usage of pictures and Tweets. i found that reading your headline made me want to read more to discover what your blog was going to entail. Your referencing was highly impressive and it demonstrates you know your harvard referencing. You have a great understanding of really interesting ideas and gathering information to back them up with scholarly sources.

    keep up the good work and i look forward to see your next blog post!
    well done
    isabella

    Liked by 1 person

  5. danamorseblog says:

    Hi Ashlie,
    Your blog post is both really well written and informative as well as adhering to all of the ALC205 assessment guidelines. This is not an easy feat so well done! My only criticism would be on the hyperlinks of your references in the blog post – to be able to view them you must go through the Deakin library so you are significantly limiting your audience to people who attend Deakin. Other than that the content of your post is all well supported and thought out. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post.
    Dana

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ryjclay says:

    Hey Ash,
    Awesome post, for this blog alone, I don’t want to be a celebrity! There’s so much pressure of social media monitoring to (what I believe) an extent that would be dreadful.
    You nailed the references to the articles, and you definitely got me thinking about my online brand that is surveilled.
    Your well thought out piece has delivered me plenty of opportunity to reflect on my social presence.
    Well done on the embedding of tweets. It’s such a useful feature! Although, be careful with embedding your survey Tweet, this could possibly skew the results and no longer allow it to be a part of determining evidence to prove your point (eg. 15 people voted “no” since posting the blog.

    Ryan.

    Like

  7. ashleighnegri says:

    Ash! This is such a good post. It was fun and enjoyable to read and all your ideas showed so much relevance. This is such a well thought out post.
    I like the way you included the hyperlinks to your sources in this post, this makes it easier for the reader to gain further information about what you wrote about if necessary.
    The inclusion of your own images, but also embedding your tweets showed all the effort you went to. The tweets, which included a survey, an article and a question, showed that you are passionate about this topic and put much research into it, which is also shown with the amount of resources you have. I really commend you on a great post. Keep up the fantastic work.

    Like

  8. giselatamsil says:

    Hi Ash,
    I really enjoyed this post. You made a brilliant effort to connect scholarly resources to your ideas so that they flow really really smoothly. I think that your use of media and embed tweets are simply exceptional – they clearly have a purpose of being here on this page, instead of just sitting on the page because they’re a requirement for an assignment. Your idea to use a poll is also great because it adds a third perspective – the general public’s perspective – and builds another layer of dimension on the post. However, you might want to be a bit careful with using so many quotes in a page. At first I really liked how your voice stood out, gathering opinions of prominent figures from your sources, even disagreeing with some of them. I felt that this part of the blog was saturated by a strong personality, and I loved it. By the end of the post, though, I felt that your voice has been drowned out by the quotes and embedded tweets. Bring out more of that personality, please? 😀
    Overall, I think you did a very good job on this post – incredibly well planned and thought out. Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see your next one!
    Gisela

    Like

  9. inquisitivenotions says:

    Hi Ashlie,
    Great use of scholarly sources incorporated into an interesting and emotionally thought-out post. I enjoyed the way in which you’ve really aimed your argument about celebrity surveillance toward a consumer issue, rather than targeting celebrities and their lavish lifestyles in general. The internet has enabled the population to become their own form of paparazzi through the use of social media, we now have so many platforms to access knowledge about pop culture and even potentially communicate with our famous “idols” that all forms of privacy (that celebrities are rightly entitled to) have seemed to be thrown out the window!
    Nice work!
    Tammy.

    Like

  10. mandycmt says:

    Hi Ashlie,
    I really enjoy reading your ideas about how surveillance celebrity is also a consumer issue. It made me think when we surveillance celebrity, we follow their style from paparazzi’s camera or social media. However, their personal lifestyle is just like us (the normal people), but we using social media to watching them and made comments. It’s good to see you bring out your ideas and using scholarly sources to support your opinion. i like how you use poll to find out what public think about people think privacy of celebrity. Well done, you did great work, which follow all the steps ALC205 need to be done in a good blog post. Hope seeing you next one!

    Like

  11. Andrew says:

    Hi Ashlie,
    This is a great blog post discussing surveillance and celebrity culture. The references you have used and the topics you have touched on are all relevant and interesting ideas to demonstrate upon your audience. What I loved most in your blog post was your embedded twitter poll about the government knowing about our private lives just as much as we know about celebrities. This was a very interesting comparison that I think not a lot of people have thought about. Opening up the conversation about celebrity culture, and then leading it to a conversation about our government was a clever and unique idea.
    The only thing I would suggest is spreading out your quotes and tweets further apart, just so your blog flows better.
    You did a great job. Well done.

    Like

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