Celebrities are very influential people due to their societal status, lifestyle and the trends they create. These celebrities dominate the entertainment and lifestyle industry, creating trends for the world to follow.
Celebrities influence can have a positive or negative impact on the way people view themselves and the society. All thanks to the internet and social media, people have become even more exposed to information about these celebrities, information which generally would be regarded as personal.
However, people are expected to use their discretion when interacting with contents these celebrities put forward to the public, but this could be quiet difficult for teenagers, as they are in a stage in life where they may find themselves searching for their place in the society.
Since celebrities are highly influential, it is easy for teenagers to copy the way they do things or take them as a role model. Therefore, teenagers need to be conscious about how they interpret the celebrity-related contents and the impacts these contents can have on them. This article highlights a few ways celebrities can influence teenagers and how parents can guide them.
1.Celebrity Influence on Looks
Appearance is one of the top concerns for teenagers. As much as friends and family influence a person’s perception of personality, celebrities also have a profound impact on how teenagers see themselves.
They are made to look good on camera, and they may be dressed to look a certain way depending on what they portray in their contents. And therefore, that may be the way we see them.
Youngsters who admire them may want to look that way and may begin to feel dissatisfied with their appearance.
Teenagers need to understand that most of these celebrities don’t always look the way they portray themselves on camera, and therefore should be careful of who they emulate, and how they choose to represent themselves in public.
They should also understand that celebrities have attained a certain level of societal and financial status that they haven’t reached. So it might be unhealthy to compare themselves with stars.
Teenagers may become dissatisfied with their body. This may cause them to battle with low self-esteem and depression in an attempt to be like these celebrities.
2.Celebrity Influence on Substance Abuse
Celebrities influence teenagers through the content they share to the public. When celebrities post images of them smoking or drinking on social media, they tend to normalize substance use. This may appear attractive and cool to teenagers who may be tempted to do the same.
Nowadays, many contents shared by the celebrities promote the use of drugs, or an alcoholic brand and the abuse of hard substance; the more teenagers are exposed to such contents, the more likely they are to indulge in such practices.
Teenagers should understand the detrimental effect of drug and substance misuse, and be careful in relating with contents promoting such acts.
3. The Impact of Celebrity Endorsements on Teenagers Nutritional Habit
Many food brands target celebrities with a large fan base constituting of mostly teenagers to help them promote their products. When celebrities endorse products such as alcoholic beverages, sugar-sweetened drinks and snacks, they encourage their followers to buy it.
Sometimes, these products content may not support the physical or mental health of consumers, but these celebrities endorse them regardless.
Nutrition plays a vital role in mental health stability; poor diet amongst other factors could lead to eating disorder, depression and anxiety.
Teenagers must be conscious of the products they consume due to celebrity influence, as it could affect them personally.
4. Celebrities Can Raise Awareness and Reduce Stigma
A lot of celebrities are open about their struggles with mental health and addiction in the contents they create. And they are capable of inspiring young people worldwide to open up about their struggles. As a result, they have helped to reduce stigma and create awareness about these issues.
5. Celebrities’ Influence on Violence and Gang Culture
Many celebrities are fond of flaunting ammunition and promoting gang culture in their contents. This is a pervasive act among young rappers in the United States.
Some of these contents are created in a way that relates to the personal life of the artist. This way, it becomes easy for teenagers to connect to the content.
As a result, many teenagers are influenced by such materials. Some teenagers may end up misinterpreting these contents and forget that most of them are fiction.
There is a widespread belief that gang culture is associated with violence and cultism. These are practices teenagers may adopt into their lifestyle because of celebrity influence.
6. Influence on Sexuality and Use of Strong Language
Many parents and adults shy away when it comes to discussing topics that deal with sexuality with their teenagers. As a result, teenagers only have internet pornography and sexual contents as their only source of sex education.
This is a significant reason celebrities can influence teenager’s view of sexuality to a large extent. Many teenager spend an enormous amount of time viewing pornography and sexual contents.
Most of these contents contain strong language, aggression and sexual immoralities, and they go a long way in shaping teenagers’ view of sexuality towards that direction. This can be very unhealthy for the mental and physical health of these young viewers.
How to Talk to Teenagers About Celebrity Influence
Because celebrities play a huge role in the lives of teenagers and can influence the way they think, act and what they talk about, it is essential that parents take time to discuss celebrities with them – especially the extent to which they can imitate them.
Parents can use the personal life experiences of these celebrities as avenues for addressing sensitive issues with their teenagers.
Therefore, a parent must get to know the celebrities their teenagers admire and follow, and know what they emulate about them.
Parents can address issues that concern body image by engaging in meaningful conversation and dialogues with their teens. During such discussions, parents can refer to cases of celebrities who battle with anorexia or cancer, as a result of addiction, plastic surgery, or tattoos.
Topics addressing healthy eating and staying fit may also be discussed. They can use examples of celebrities who have successfully managed their mental health challenges and have demonstrated that people with similar diagnoses can even live happily.
Although, some teenagers may get upset when confronted with such issues as they could see it as a personal attack from their parents.
Therefore, parents should offer a different point of view by not make the topic about the child but the celebrity. Parents should address such issues with love and empathy, and encourage their teenagers to follow celebrities that can influence them positively.
Teenagers should understand that celebrities are also real people. Thus, they may also go through real struggles, and could be affected by real-life circumstances, and that not everything they promote on camera is real.
Because celebrities are in the public eye, teenagers have the opportunity to learn from their success and mistakes. And finally, parents should help teenagers sort through the information they consume, to take away a good message, and dispose of the unhealthy ones.