Reflective Essay - Celebrities

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Sarah Leslie


Reflective Essay: Celebrities

They are everywhere you go. Magazine titles: “OK! – First for Celebrity Gossip!” “HELLO! – The Place for Celebrity News!” Even worse are the articles contained in said ‘celebrity bibles’: “Hugh Enjoys Family Time” “Sophie Adapts Wardrobe for Baby Bump” “Britney: Should She or Shouldn’t She?”

Who actually cares if some actor spends time with his children? At the end of the day, is a spoilt heiress dropping a dress size going to dramatically change your life? Will the world come crashing to an end if a singer books into a rehabilitation centre? Evidently thousands of people do care, or else the magazines (otherwise known as ‘rags’ due to their meaningless content) would not run – after all, they are only out to make as much money as possible from gullible consumers.

Going back to before the dawn of movies and widespread singing, the only real ‘celebrities’ were the rich. Pharaohs are an ancient example: they could not just rule, they had to be exalted as a god. British kings, queens, dukes and so on had a core of dedicated aficionados, mostly humdrum peasants that wanted desperately to escape the drag of their everyday life. Others admired the upper classes because they accepted the unchanging rules of the class system – to use a verse from a hymn made popular in the nineteenth century “The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, God made them, high or lowly, And order'd their estate”. Basically, rich people ruled and the poor could like it or lump it.

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As movies were discovered, movie stars inevitably followed. The followers of aristocrats died, and those people who were desperate for someone to deify, for the most part, switched their allegiance to the pretty faces of the twenties. Even normally sensible people had had their heads turned by the horrors of the war, and flung themselves into hero-worship of the actors of the exciting new invention of cinema.

The previous invention of the gramophone had produced another outlet for people’s urge to idolise. No longer content for the occasional minstrel to wander by, or for a family member to strum a ...

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