Audience, Performance and Celebrity

Reflection on chapter 12 Audience, Performance and Celebrity from Ryan, M (2010) Cultural Studies: A Practical Introduction.

Only traumatised people want to be famous. – Alanis Morrissette

This chapter explores celebrity attachment as an essential part of psychological constitution, inasmuch as our lives start out being attached to another human’s body, then we grow being attached and depending on family, and later to friends and lovers, meaning that becoming human happens through our attachments; moving from a selfish core to a social, mediated, civil. Thus to some, identifying with a celebrity, gives guidelines and hopes for the future, in the same way as religion does. Celebrity attachment highly makes sense in the society of which not everyone gets to be important, fulfilled or recognised. So to identify with a star allows for momentarily changing into being someone else.

Further, the chapter presents the concept of moral sensibility, which is the hot topic of the gossip of, especially female celebrities, some classic examples that most of us know of would be Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Even due to the positive development of gender equality and women’s rights, women are expected to act and behave in a certain way – or – at least not do certain things. Female celebrities are often reminded to remember that they are role models for their fans.

Personally, I experience, that some of the women’s harshest critics are often other women, I also often see concept of feminism being turned into the hateful bashing of men (especially Caucasian and privileged men (who, by the way, was just born into this world like everyone else)) – there is still an imbalance between the way media portray female vs. male celebrities (and transgender celebrities for that matter as well). I won’t say too much about the following videos, they speak for themselves, but they are my arguments for the importance of bringing these issues into the classroom when talking about media, identity, and culture.

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