Celebrities…Why Do We Care?

By Alexandra Truszkowska

Photo by CNN.com

Photo by CNN.com

First she worked under Paris Hilton to build a following, was known as the daughter of the lawyer for O.J. Simpson, then eloped in 2000 to an unknown music producer, released a sex tape, and rose to fame with the debut season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Now, Kim Kardashian’s third child is to be born through a surrogate in January of 2018. But, honestly, why do we care? Kim isn’t a personal friend nor does her personal life affect the public. Still, 2.5 million fans tune in every Sunday night to see what the millionaire family of 6 is up to.

What is the crazy, wild obsession with celebrities and their lives? Do their elegant and lavish lifestyles reel us in? Or is it the fact that they lead lives we can’t compete with? Why are their photos on every magazine, every news page, every TV screen, and in our social media? These celebrities, and especially reality stars such as Kim Kardashian and her siblings, are everywhere and we can’t escape them, but it doesn’t seem like we want to.

“I think that the Kardashians are very interesting because they’re not seen in movies, but in real life settings, so they’re public figures. I watch because I thought it would be different to see these non-actual celebrities leading their lives,” says senior Olivia Lein. She follows Kylie and Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian on Instagram but she says it’s hilarious. “Khloe is so funny, but Kourtney cracks me up. Kim, there’s people that are dying!” she quotes, repeating the eldest sister when Kim lost a diamond earring in the ocean on vacation.

“Celebrities” of 2017, if they can even be called that, are different than those before them. There is no talent in being in front of a camera and showing off, nor is there any talent of being dramatic and overreacting to fake situations. Now, it’s all about presence in the (social) media and how many followers they can gain from their actions, as known as publicity stunts.

Junior Natalia Miniatis religiously watches The Real Housewives of New Jersey but became embarrassed when she explained why. “It’s entertaining to see how dramatic people can be and especially because it’s in a familiar place. My favorite is Jacqueline Laurita because she’s the most down to earth, but I hate Danielle Staub because she goes out of her way to hurt people.” But, she doesn’t think they’re celebrities, just “people who were lucky to be in front of a camera and went viral.”

These celebrities aren’t exclusively on TV, they’re on other platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter, promoting themselves as a “brand” to get sponsorships from major companies. But what got them these followers that allowed them to become internet celebs? Why do these fans follow the “influencers” in the first place?

Lauren Elizabeth is a Youtuber know for daily vlogs and her presence on Instagram with a total of 2.3 million followers. With over 3,000 posts, she oftens takes photos with products she’s labeled with such as Neutrogena and various jewelry companies. Junior Skylar Bachman is an avid fan and follower of her and says, “I think her pictures [on instagram] are aesthetically pleasing and it makes me want to be more like her. She’s an influencer and so many people want to follow that lifestyle and adapt. Plus her boyfriend is so cute!” No word yet if Elizabeth or her boyfriend have actually changed any lives.

These “celebrities” are popular because they have something that we desire, whether it’s money or a “cute boyfriend,” or just the opportunity to have a massive following. Instead of tuning in Sunday nights and refreshing the Instagram home page, maybe we should ask why Kourtney Kardashian fed her family placenta in season 8, and why everyone seemed okay with it. Oh, that’s right, because she’s a celebrity and gets paid to do it.