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Barack Obama

How Celebrities Influence Us

Photo by Bill Ebbesen.

Image via Wikipedia

Our society is largely influenced by celebrity and entertainment figures. These figures can be extremely powerful in influencing individuals. Celebrities can influence beliefs, behaviors and interests, and this influence can start at an early age. A lot of children and teens want to emulate and imitate their celebrity icons.

This obsession with the celebrity may have started in the early 1900s when the entertainment industry began to really take off. At this time, we saw a lot of Americans becoming infatuated with that era’s celebrities, with that infatuation continuing to the present day.

Interestingly the celebrity influence over fashion seems to extend back to the 17th century and Louis XIV and his interest in clothing. In modern day, celebrities are fashion trendsetters. The media covers who is wearing which designer on the red carpet, to the latest movies and more.

Celebrities in the entertainment industry — especially women — are pressured to look very thin. Unfortunately, since many people want to emulate celebrities, this pressure to be thin can have impacts on body image perceptions. Because so many of us want to look like celebrities, we may often try to maintain or obtain an unrealistic body type.

Interestingly, in the past few years, we have seen an increase of celebrities who have started to use their influence within the political arenas. For instance, we saw Oprah Winfrey endorse then-candidate Barack Obama in a presidential election. We have also seen many other celebrities backing or endorsing political candidates, as well as lending their names to political causes and movements.