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‘celebrities Are Simply a Reflection of the Way in Which Social Values Change'. Discuss with Reference to the Changing Nature of Celebrity Status over the Past 100 Years.

Autor:   •  September 14, 2011  •  Essay  •  839 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,320 Views

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There have been significant changes in society's values over the past 100 years. These values have be defined as ‘core beliefs that embody preferences, conceptions and ideals and can be distinguished from attitudes and opinions as being more fundamental and therefore exert greater influence on human and social behaviour'. (allacademic.com)

In this paper I will attempt to prove that celebrities are simply a reflection in which social values change and exercise this argument by showing the changing nature of significant iconic celebrities through time.

One of the most significant and influential celebrities in the past 100 years and voted sexiest and greatest actor of all time by over 28 magazines worldwide is Marilyn Monroe. (marilynmonroe.com) She is a perfect example of the 1950's social values that have changed so significantly to that of this current decade. Marilyn represented beauty, sensuality and effervescence with her voluptuous and curvaceous body; considered beautiful at that time.

This can be contrasted with the current social agenda of women aiming to be a size 6 and boney looking. Throughout time, women have started to look thinner and thinner and we can see through the latest television program ‘90210', the avenue in which today's social values are travelling. Jessica Stroup plays the character ‘Silver' in this hit TV show and has been slandered as providing a bad image to teenage girls with her size 0 waistline. However, this is the current social norm which society is just accepting and through the use of celebrities and the media, is becoming a more prominent problem.

Another example of this current trend in society to be skin and bone can be seen in the recent death of two Uruguayan fashion models, one of which had eaten nothing but lettuce leaves in the months preceding her death. (Celebrity Bodies) Celebrities reflect the changes in social values significantly through taking them to an extreme level with crash diets and intense exercise regimes. The rail- thin actress, Mischa Barton, who has also been considered as looking sickly and malnourished was quoted stating, ‘the unhealthy look should be abandoned. It wrong to try to stifle womanly curves'. (Celebrity Bodies)

It can be seen through the obsession with weight and appearance by celebrities, that they are simply a reflection of the changes in society's values. Society views this ‘anorexic look' as sexy and appealing and in the hope of conforming to what is currently socially acceptable, celebrities got to all extremes to succeed in the competitive world of Hollywood.

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