What’s With Our Celebrity-Saturated Culture?

At TCW we get press releases on everything from beauty and hair care products to energy drinks and diet advice, and it’s increasingly irritating to see how, more often than not, a celebrity’s name is linked with the product.

JLo uses this perfume. Beyoncé has this designer’s clutch.

I say, “So what?” And it looks like I’m in the minority these days. Celebrity news, no matter how trite, is everywhere. And you’ve got to wonder whether this celebrity feeding frenzy is becoming mainstream. What used to be the realm of tabloid trash like the National Enquirer and Star now has a foothold in all aspects of print, electronic and social media. It seems as if the barrage of celebrity reporting from birth to breakup, is regurgitated by the media, regardless of how miniscule the detail.

And what features have been pushed in the background? Hard news, such as world events and government reporting, for starters. More Americans can name Brad Pitt’s girlfriends than the three branches of government. And there are other negatives, as well. Research shows that teen’s mental health is impacted negatively the more they believe that happiness is derived from fame, beauty and money. And, while this factoid might be a boon for cosmetic surgeons, increasing numbers of Americans undergo plastic surgery because they want to appear younger and feel better about themselves due to the influence of celebrity worship and the American obsession with youth. Then there’s reality TV. Don’t get me started.

And here’s a final thought: ‘To be thronged’ is the original Latin meaning of celebrity.


About Sherren Leigh

Sherren Leigh is president and founder of Today's Chicago Woman and Today's Chicago Woman Foundation. She muses about life - the good, the bad, the ugly - and anything else that's on her mind in “Girl Talk.” Sometimes funny, other times serious, she's always thought-provoking and often controversial.