Trivial Celebrity Opinion – Who are we really influencing?

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By Pansy Wilde

“Stop making stupid people famous,” – It’s a phrase I have heard often when the topic of conversation turns to some pointless celebrity like Kim Kardashian. The concept of ‘celebrity’ has become so overblown that fame has now become synonymous with intelligence. The opinions of shallow celebs are now widely valued higher than that of professionals in the field. No topic is off limits for an uninformed, vacuous opinion. Numerous celebrities have donated two cents of their multi-million dollar salaries to everything from Trump to vaccinations. It is ridiculous that actors, whose job is to literally repeat someone else’s words in front of a camera, suddenly are the be all and end all of modern day political commentary.

Remember when P!nk (it pained me to put that exclamation mark there) openly criticised the Australian wool industry? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! To have a go at the Australian working class was a drastic miscalculation, especially when those people make up the majority of her audience. She later retracted her statements, but her apology spoke volumes, ‘I probably could’ve done more research of my own’. This proves that SHE doesn’t even know what she was talking about, so why should her opinion be valued?

A perfect example of brainless, hollow celebrity activism was the recent American election. Senior citizen, Madonna offered fellatio to strangers in exchange for votes for Hillary Clinton, even stating live on stage that, ‘I am not a douche and I am not a tool. I take my time, I make lots of eye contact and I do swallow.’ Katy Perry was also as cringe inducing as usual, needlessly stripping naked in a pro-democrat video, in which she said, ‘I use my body as click bait to help change the world!’ Well, neither of you changed a thing. The fairy tale is over.

Countless tired celebs (and Lena Dunham) came out of the woodwork threatening to move to Canada if Trump won, making sure that their inflated egos were easily on show. Would Earth really stop spinning on its axis if Whoopi Goldberg, Amy Schumer or Barbra Streisand left America? With the lacklustre stardom of this list, I would be surprised if Canada was on board with taking them. Again their words were hollow, as to this day none of them have gone through with their self-indulgent promise.

Social media has lifted the veil on the actual intelligence of the average actor, musician or sports star. Platforms like Twitter has given unheralded access to celebrity culture, but users have been disgusted at the incredible stupidity they have discovered. Uncensored celebrity opinion has been split into two categories. The first is uninformed drivel, conveniently shortened to 140 characters. A prime example of this is when Ashton Kutcher tweeted about the ‘classless, unfair’ firing of American football coach, Joe Paterno. Kutcher had not checked that the firing was based off of the allegations of Paterno’s suspicious actions involving sex offences, not any lack of performance on the sporting field. The second category is shameless bought advertising like Selena Gomez’s $550,000 Instagram posts involving Coca-Cola. Celebrities are unapologetically shoving soft drinks and sneakers down your throat. It does not take a genius to assume that their political opinions are bought as well.

Pop culture has even spread to people that aren’t even celebrities! The most irritating wave of superficiality is the rise of the ‘social media influencer’, also known as conventionally attractive nobodies posting selfies with detox skinny teas. These ‘basic bitches’ with pouting fish lips and ‘botox-at-twenty-three’ faces, or these ‘edgy art girls’ with UNIF tops and platform sneakers are brazenly calling the manipulation of your teenage daughter their ‘career’. Their blot tea isn’t going to do anything for these young girls, except give them crippling diarrhoea that leads to a splattering of depression when their ‘magic tea’ doesn’t give them that washboard stomach they were craving for.

I have no problem in people having opinions. I also have no problem in celebrities endorsing hair dyes or lipsticks. It would be wishful thinking that politicians, journalists, professors and doctors would aid us in structuring our opinions about the world. The age of Instagram ‘influencers’, TMZ or OK magazine has shattered that dream. The problem lies with these people of incredible influence pushing uninformed, incorrect ideas or dangerous health trends. The long held belief that ‘everyone’s opinion is equally valid’ needs to be dismissed thoroughly. The fact of the matter is that some people are more informed about certain topics than others, yet society continually heads to the easiest source of information, which is laden with bias and sponsorships. This needs to be addressed, if only for the benefit of the impressionable teen in the emergency ward with utterly destroyed lips, only because a hashtag told her to suck them in a cup.

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