Social Stardom

Teenagers fuel celebrity status on social media

April 28, 2016

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Annie O'Connell

Kim Kardashian West’s famous Instagram has been a secondary outlet to her TV personality for teens to keep up with.

Kim Kardashian West’s famous Instagram has been a secondary outlet to her TV personality for teens to keep up with.
Kim Kardashian West’s famous Instagram has been a secondary outlet to her TV personality for teens to keep up with.

     Everyday, a spotlight shines into the lives of the rich and famous. Today, instead of all this new information being released by tabloids, celebrities are taking their reputations into their own hands. For those who have lust worthy lives, it has become much easier to rise to fame through the followings they gain online.

 

     Although it may seem like celebrities’ achievements are the work of big business publishers and talent managers, most of the credit should be given to everyday teens.

     People like Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and the Kardashian/Jenner clan have all risen to social media stardom after succeeding in the traditional Hollywood pipeline, but a new generation of stars like Zoe Sugg (a.k.a Zoella), Troye Sivan, Tyler Ford and even Doug the Pug have become some of the most-talked-about media moguls of the year by solely taking the unorthodox route.

     Students can attest to their involvement in the mass following of celebrities and internet stars. Frieda Liston ‘19 says, “I follow people who I think are cool, or who I think have a cool life.” Similarly, Robbie Grace ‘19 says, “I follow famous people to keep up with their lives.”    

     This is common among young millennials, and as a result teenagers have quit buying tabloid magazines and looked to the internet for celebrity news.

      In fact, a recent poll shows that the majority of takers had never purchased a teen magazine, but that they did follow celebrities on social media. Luckily for celebrities, social media provides a way for stars to have some control over the image they portray.

     But some critics point to huge numbers of followers as the reason certain celebrities have received popularity. Supermodels like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid have come under fire by fellow models, who’ve argued their recent success could only be attributed to their pools of followers and the lives they portray online.

     But due to the growing amount of social media presence, it has become more common for talent agencies to require a minimum number of followers (normally around 10,000) to contract any individual.

    The purpose of this cap is to have influence over young people, who can continue the popularity of celebrities’ in an online setting. There, teens’ dominant presence has the power to determine who is popularized in the media, even when the intention is just to follow the coveted lives celebrities lead.

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