Opinion: Celebrities have become branded

Zoe Donovan, Reporter

Reality television has made its way out of the television, and onto makeup brands, social media, movies and even politics. 

It’d be naïve and cynical to say that this was a new phenomena, only existing in our day and age. 

Sixteenth century Europe had Queen Elizabeth, who people idolized and strove to look and be like. 

Today, it seems we have the Kardashians, Jeffree Star and other social media influencers have taken her place. 

Opening up a news app, one expects to hear about the impeachment inquiry or updates on ongoing court cases in the United States and news on international relations. 

These are of course there, but given that I fit into the 20-something demographic, information is sorted and celebrity stories make it onto my feed pretty regularly. 

I truly wonder what newsworthy content that affects the average human being is embedded in the drama of a YouTuber feud?

Why are we as a society so obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous?

Scrolling through different platforms you’ll find a countless number of stories talking about who is in a twitter feud with who, and which celebrity left what movie star for who. 

This isn’t even factoring in that many people receive their news almost exclusively from social media, which is even worse on the amount of celebrity news that it filters to its consumers. 

Someone went to school, likely went into debt, and now spends their time writing about the different ways that celebrities eat kit kats. 

Private citizens have made their fortune in the selling of their privacy and individuality. 

Social media influencers sell a version of themselves online, often promoting untested and unsafe products they claim to promote certain health or beauty standards. 

Influencers aren’t qualified to talk about the products they promote. 

Yet, somehow we see them as plain folks, just your average person, and not someone with a personal chef, trainer, PR team and millions of dollars. We have turned celebrities into living brands, and they are profiting off the attention that the public gives them. 

Zoë Donovan is a junior journalism major. They can be reached at 581–2812 or at [email protected]