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The Influence of American Celebrity Culture

Does american celebrity culture have too much influence on our UK children?

It seems we can’t help ourselves. Children, especially teens and tweens, are emulating reality stars like Kim Kardashian. Even I, admittedly not a big fan of hers, find myself wondering what she is up to.

 

American telly has traveled across the pond giving us the reality “fix” that we didn’t know we wanted or needed. The Real Housewives of Cheshire and don’t even get me started on Love Island… my girls watch that obsessively. Everyone does. Even grown folks are hooked.

It’s almost addicting, this Insta-famous culture that surrounds us and it seems that our children are absorbing it at an alarming rate. You almost can’t help but watch but I wonder… what are the effects of this cultural phenomenon?

 

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A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Even before the internet, actors and musicians have always had some influence on young people. It seems that in the 21st century, where people (like the Kardashian’s) are famous for no apparent reason, things have gotten out of hand. Are today’s youth obsessed with celebrity?

A survey conducted by a British newspaper revealed that one in five teenagers is more influenced by celebrities than they are their own parents. 

Being a teen comes with a lot of insecurity, which leaves them open to outside influences. They see a constant stream of images from the telly or the internet or even while waiting in line at stores on the magazine rack. Instagram and Twitter have given celebrities instant access to their fanbase to dictate what is or isn’t cool. And the goal of the majority of teenagers is to be cool or to be around those who are cool.

Alcohol and Drugs

 

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

 

You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. The internet is jam packed with stories of celebs partying. Festivals, clubbing, smoking weed… it’s everywhere. Teens see these people partying, drinking alcohol or doing drugs.

To many young people, this sends the message that in order to be cool, then you need to party. And not only just party… but party to excess. This influence can lead to extreme risk taking behaviours. So talk to your kids about this, show them the negative consequences of this behaviour. Yes… it’s all there on the internet: the arrests, the drunken driving, the jail sentences. Talk with them about it… as many times as it takes for them to get it.

Body Image

 

This is the one that gets to me the most. The unrealistic, airbrushed, plastic surgery altered insta-model-celebrities that our teen girls see every day. This gives the belief that celebrities are perfect. These women DON’T really look like that… they use filters and photoshop.

When they try to make themselves look like these celebrities, teens can cause real damage to their bodies. Working out excessively or not eating can cause eating disorders, like anorexia or bulimia.

Look up photoshop fails on google. Teach your girls that these are unrealistic standards and many times are fake. Show them the videos of before and after photoshop on models.

Fashion/Beauty Standards

 

So one day Gigi Hadid wears a certain shirt. Kids everywhere scramble to emulate her. By the next week, that shirt is “out” and then our children are chasing the next trend. It’s almost impossible to keep up to date with all the trends. It’s easy for them to fall behind. How thick should your eyebrows be? What’s the latest nail trends? Glitter on half naked bodies is the festival look of the year. How can anyone keep up?

Whilst it’s totally okay to be into fashion (goodness knows I am), we need to temper the urge to completely depend on celebrities for our choices. Ask your girls, what do YOU like? Teach them that in order to be fashionable, a part of THEIR personality has to shine through. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of everyone else! That is difficult in and of itself as teens are known for wanting to “fit in”.

So what do you think? Has America influenced our children here in the UK? I mostly love everything American but some of the celebrity influence I think we can do without… I’d love to know your thoughts – let’s talk about it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

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