Celebrities as a global identity- but at what price?

When asked the question of what is a global identity, I immediately think of celebrities and the certain ideologies and culture they posses. Global identity means for celebrities, worldwide recognition and status among which should pay thanks to the evolving establishment of globalization. We as audiences are able to see these global identities played out in the well-known and publicized lives of celebrities. Moore (2012) states, “popular culture- circulating through the media- is one of the most common ways in which contemporary identity politics is played out”. These so called contemporary identity politics are the main players in the game of obtaining a global identity. Many would question what does it entail for you to be viewed and labeled a globalized identity?

To achieve such status it is expected in today’s society for celebrities to endure all levels of popularity such as local, national, regional and then finally global status. Take Justin Bieber for example of someone who has transitioned through being a local celebrity, busking at shopping malls through to a regional celebrity via YouTube video. Nowadays, Justin Bieber has become a globalized brand with such popularity, fame and success, therefore a global identity, as he is known worldwide. But with such fame and popularity, there is a significant price celebrities pay to have a global status. With the help of social networking sites and the mass media, privacy boarders are lowered and everyone around the world can easily check where celebrities are holidaying or what issues they are dealing with. To audiences, this could be seen as a positive, working in their favor of obtaining a global identity as a celebrity or a negative, damaging careers and celebrity culture.

The view towards global identity for celebrities incurs more controversy than praise, as Nederveen Pieterse (2004) believes ‘globalization means the onset border less world’. This leaves no hope for celebrities as they are unable to protect their global identify with no boarders whatsoever.

So at the end of the day, when you are reading a trashy magazine, naming and shaming celebrities for having that one too many drinks or cellulite, have a think about the price they have paid for being in the magazine in the first place.

(Excuse the language within the video!)

References:

Nederveen Pieterse, J 2004, ‘Globalization: consensus and controversies’, Globalization and culture: global mélange, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., pp. 7–2

Moore, C, 2012, ALC 215 Study Guide, Topic 4

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