When Public Figures Are Glorified

Article by Alfonso Syquia

Whether it’s Donald Trump and the recent election, or celebrities like reality TV star Kim Kardashian, there’s no doubt that those who put themselves out in the public are either glorified or demonized.

After what can be deemed as the biggest political upset in recent history, Clinton supporters took to the streets to protest against President-elect Donald Trump. Throughout the recent controversial election, Trump has been bashed by countless media outlets such as The New York Times and The Huffington Post. Consequently, some Clinton supporters have spread his racist and sexist actions across social media, portraying him as a human being with no consideration for people different to him.

There is no doubt that the majority of mainstream media portraying Donald Trump in this extremely negative way has affected the emotions of the public. With more and more people gaining access to the internet, the media has continuously portrayed celebrities, and even politicians, as exaggerated caricatures.

The public has evolved in a way that many people are now hungry for the next scoop on the lives of celebrities they follow – whether this be a political figure such as Mr. Trump, or the latest it-actress. Whether it’s Taylor Swift’s new boyfriend, Kim Kardashian’s latest scandal, or even a couple of celebrities doing the mannequin challenge, it seems like celebrity headlines catch the eye of the general public more than news about current events.

“Publicization in this digital era is inevitable,” junior Angelica C. claims. “With society becoming increasingly interconnected, public figures provide a platform for people to connect. Thus, these public figures become part of our lives.”

Another explanation behind our obsession with these figures may be the way they are presented to us. “Celebrities are idolized because they’re depicted by the media as perfect,” junior Danica H. suggests.

On the other hand, junior Andrea P. states, “By fixating yourself on someone you see on TV or in movies you start to strive to become like your ‘idol’, you essentially give yourself a purpose.” Whether the outcome of idolizing someone is positive or not, it is evident that media has a big role in the glorification of public figures.

Clearly, Bearcats in ISM have acknowledged this substantial issue. However, remember that balance is the key. Angelica C. states, “If idolizing someone motivates one to strive harder in life, then so be it.” As long as you don’t lose yourself in the confusing sea that is mainstream media, there’s no problem with expressing your love for a particular celebrity you idolize.