The Influence of celebrities on young people | Teen Ink

The Influence of celebrities on young people

April 7, 2009
By Anonymous

Who’s your favourite celebrity? How far would you go to be like them? Would you die your hair? Change your style? Starve yourself? Some people go this extreme just to achieve the ‘perfect’ body of their favourite celebrities. The consequences of this include osteoporosis, hair loss, dental decay, early menopause and heart disease. So why are celebrities themselves willing to risk their health and looks to become skeletal? The sad fact is that the skinnier they get the more famous they get. Take Nicole Richie, she was once Paris Hilton’s tubby best friend and now she’s as famous if not more than Paris Hilton. Or the anorexic Mary Kate Olsen who is pictured in magazines much more than her twin sister Ashley simply because she is so skinny. Celebrities also diet so that they can fit into the miniscule designer outfits modelled by stick thin girls. This can influence teens because whether they like it or not celebrities are role models. The obsession with celebrities' weight is everywhere - all you have to do is go to any grocery store or petrol station to find headlines regarding celebrity’s weight plastered all over tabloids. But what message does this send out to teens? It makes the issue of weight seem infinitely important and studies show that it may cause teens to become obsessed with their own body image, which may have disastrous consequences.
Ever since World War 2 the media has been holding up a thinner and thinner body as the ideal woman. A famous quote from the film “the devil wears Prada illustrates this” "(American Size) four is the new six; zero is the new two; six is the new sixteen". This “trend for skinniness” means that young girls today have to contend with a celebrity-crazed society that places so much undue importance on the scrawny actresses and models who receive an extraordinary amount of press coverage. There’s virtually nowhere to hide from images of gaunt women photographed everywhere they go. And people wonder why anorexia is so common. They filter into almost every part of our lives, especially a teen's life. We do everything to keep up with current gossip, trends and fads. They have a huge impact on us, but the thing is; Is it a good impact? Thanks to all of the Kate Winslets and Jennifer Hudsons of the entertainment world who demonstrate that a woman can become successful without ridiculously restrictive eating and exercise regimens not all celebrities are sending out the wrong message.
In a survey carried out by the NHS 40% of teenage girls want plastic surgery and 2 thirds of the girls quizzed, said the pressure came from celebrities with perfect bodies. Only 8% were happy with their bodies with a quarter saying they had already suffered from an eating disorder. Teenage girls can also feel tremendous pressure from boys who increasingly expect their girlfriends to resemble the perfect celebrity body they've been fed by a looks-obsessed society. An anorexic teen said “I envy Victoria Beckham’s skinniness; she has beautiful bones sticking out of her chest” .Another eating disorder sufferer said 'How come it's OK for celebrities to look like that and not me? How come they're being celebrated on the front of a magazine and I'm in hospital being told I'm going to die?”
This is a valid point. But is it all celebrities fault? Anorexia and Bulimia are clinical diseases and not always treatable. Personally I think that it would be hard not to develop an eating disorder while under so much pressure from the media, they’re either too fat or too skinny, they can’t win. The fact is that some people are naturally skinny but young girls find it hard to accept that all body types are different. Keira Knightly who is widely accused for suffering from anorexia was defended by her best friend sienna miller. She sais “She eats like a horse. She always asks for seconds and loves her apple crumble. There's no way she has an eating problem. Girls aloud Nicola said “I don’t like being naturally slim and being called skinny is as bad as being called overweight.” However, in the case of some celebrities we know that their wait is nothing to do with their natural body shape because of the days before they lost the weight

Some celebrities have not succumbed to the constant pressure of the media and have become worthy role models. One of these celebrities is Beyonce, she promotes a healthy body shape and is never seen stumbling out of clubs or snorting cocaine. She has also given much of her huge fortune to charity as is true with lots of celebrities. It is wrong to stereotype all celebrities as overly rich bad influences but the ones with unnaturally skinny bodies should get help, not just for their sakes, but for the sakes of the teens who worship them.

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This article has 2 comments.

Jazzikat12 said...
on Dec. 9 2011 at 1:30 pm
Jazzikat12, Fisher, Minnesota
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
agreed! us teens need to stop going with what we see on the television and do what we think is right

Jstarr22 said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 10:58 am
I think you are right!