The cult of celebrity
The cult of celebrity has risen in importance at the same time that belief in God, or a higher being has been waning, and television has become more dominant. People have a natural instinct to look to someone for reflection, affirmation and authority: whether a hero, mentor, protector or higher power, and what makes celebrities popular at the moment is exactly what they symbolise and represent, that 'higher' being, with many people turning away from religion.
Celebrities tap into our need to be significant and they realise our dream of freedom, riches and fame - a potent lifestyle combination which many people crave, especially younger ones on the threshold of life. Celebrities these days, especially those emerging from reality shows like American Idol, are usually ordinary people plucked from obscurity to be famous, and that gives many others hope that something similar may happen to them. Now with the Internet and television running a constant stream of celebrity images, news and gossip, people are bombarded daily with a lifestyle many aspire to. The net effect has been a dramatic shift in society regarding values, priorities and aspirations.
Our values are changing in that many people are no longer famous for doing something regarded as ethically and socially beneficial. Many celebrities, like Paris Hilton, are famous simply for having a wealthy background and being famous. Naturally, because there is no substance to their fame, they tend to be boring individuals whose looks and background become the currency for attention, but are equally transient because they lack depth. Our priorities are also changing in how we view one another because anything to do with celebrities tend to take centre stage. Celebrities are the hallmarks by which everything else is judged and they set the tone and standard for fashion and behaviour. Nothing guarantees an audience like having a celebrity involved. Thus the cult of celebrity is dominating all