The obsession with the celebrity culture is currently at the zenith. A few weeks back when thousands of denizens were facing the wrath of nature in Kerala, the news headline that garnered the most attention was Priyanka Chopra’s engagement with Nick Jonas. With the shutterbugs keeping a tab on what the celebrities wear to what they eat, the furor around them appears like an eternal flame that could not be extinguished amidst the surging madness. The details of Ranbir Kapoor’s dating lifeinterests us more than the figures of our economy and the other social issues are left at the mercy of the society. Certainly this fascination towards our beloved celebrities deviate us from issues that are nerve-wracking to the core and call for immediate actions.
But is this obsession or the celebrity culture new in the history of humans? And if not then to what extent could the media be blamed? The roots of the celebrity culture could be traced long back to the time of Stone Age. Even in early societies there were the individuals who, be it for looks, wealth, sexual abilities, were allured by the rest, and were inscribed onto the walls of the cave paintings, were placed on pedestal for their idiosyncrasies.
Instances like these are prevalent in all the religions that gave us the Saints and the Gods, to worship the devotees would travel to the farthest of the lands. In Greek Mythology, beauty was the most salient feature of all, and the Goddess Pheme was viewed as the personified spirit of rumor, report and gossip. The film industry also revolves around the same facets. And today the sickening obsession is also hovering over the star kids; right from their birth to their very first feature in the film the media is seen chasing them like a shadow. Take the instance of Saif’s son Taimur Ali Khan. There are abounding fan pages of the tiny toddler, and the media brings to the forefront his daily schedule. The likes, reactions, comments lay bare our collective frenzy.There are growing debates around the word nepotism, which is pretty much relevant and applicable to all the professions.
In the initial days of stardom there was always a mystery surrounding the stars as to what they eat, where they go, who are they friends with leaving fans gasping. But now with social sites like Twitter, Instagram the boundary is getting blurred. Our inclination towards this pomp and show deviates us from the issues that count, where somewhere in between we are also losing our originality. The more we peek into this phoney world, the more we fall prey to an unrealistic domain.
Everyone today with internet access and social media platform is a content generator which can be both threatening and valorizing. It is precisely because of it that there has been great rise in emerging ‘clickbait’. The whole idea of clickbait is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page for generating attention and thus the content generaters often use celebrities and star kids as their soft targets. The private images of Navya Naveli partying with her friends went viral that paved the way for the misogynistic commentsthat demeaned her character and values. With this obsession reaching the unprecedented heights Star kids indeed are the sinecures of the society that scans their every move.
In California the photography of children based on their parent’s profession is viewed as an offence under the Senate Bill 606. The law enforcement organization should be taught to handle the issues of social media shaming because such uncalled-for attention hampers confidence and development of these kids. Regulations need to be implemented to protect the privacy of individuals, especially children. In the meantime, the society and the media need to infuse its attention to the lives of the real heroes and concerns that have a local and global impact. Of course, an indulgent look every now and then is part of humanity but identifying your uniqueness, individuality and making a difference in this world is what counts and is endearing the most.