A Dark Side of Celebrity Consumer Culture

A dark side of celebrity consumer culture

Why is it that we always see the celebrity news popping up like confetti? Why is it that people can’t seem to get away from celebrities?

If you almost want the attention of anything you step into the realm of celebrity spotlight. People don’t seem to be interested much in the problems of Pakistan that don’t get them interested but what a celebrity wore in a function is overflooding the news? Celebrity gossips that have become a staple of news, the lies of advertising have now become pop psychology of the masses. Celebrity is now a form of sorcery. In a celebrity culture, the line between social functions and fictional personas become so horribly blur which has now become a prolific example of hyperreality; reality has converted into statecraft, and fantasy is more real than reality. We could be the first people in history to make illusions so vivid, so persuasive.

In Medieval Christianity, charisma was a supernatural gift given by God and in modernity, this trait of charisma has been secularized. it has found its new home in “public figures”. Modern sorcery makes people do things otherwise they would not even do. Modern capitalism has played a substantial role in producing the celebrity culture because celebrities are often linked to brands and brands are often linked to identity. These brands take place in our modern collective unconscious and turn celebrities embodies the brands and we pay homage to celebrities to buy the brands and pay attention to them with our time, with our money, and even imitating them to feel we are something greater or close to achieve something great but instead binding us in this endless loop of consumption. Our culture builds temples to celebrities the way Romans did for emperors, ancestors, household Gods.

Consumer capitalism symbolizes celebrities as ideal. The apex of human desire is made into consumers, luxury, elite lifestyle flaunting, and where people are reduced to nothing but buyers and mere commodities. Because commodities and celebrity culture define that what it means to belong. Consequently, people then like to buy what the Kardashians and other celebrities like to buy, this is the Kardashian Phenomenon. Kardashian phenomenon has become a commercial and cultural force. We measure our lives those who we admire on the screen, we escape the chaos of real-life through fantasy. Many people don’t realize that celebrities are not people but they are the products of the marketing teams, brand deals.

Nowadays, as politics is preoccupied with populism, the politicians take cues from celebrity consumer culture to put a cultural, political impact as a politician. These celebrity politicians would ask you to rise in a system where only they can rise in the end. We then eventually worship celebrities in populist politics who depict themselves as the ultimate radical change of the society. These leaders predate their political involvement through public notoriety who would represent themselves as the sole savior of the people and who unifies people against the elites and all the inequality. Truth and authenticity become harder to discern when we lose more autonomy.

It is evident that how there is a vacuum in our collective unconscious, unless we fill that gap, capitalism will do it for us and we need to evolve from this form of worship which is modern sorcery. There is a famous saying, “We all have Gods, but it a question of which one”. Today, our Gods are celebrities be it in the politicians, religious charlatans, or movies/music industries.

By Kinza Fatima