a profound impact on American society. The impact of celebrities on our culture and society can
be both positive and negative. It is important to look at the roots from which we as a society have
become so enthralled with the lives of the “celebrities” that the media has created and
perpetuated. The media once they realized America’s love affair with celebrity enabled them to
be influenced to buy anything from products, ideas or even to push their own personal agendas.
As a society we have continually looked to public figures as a means of self-definition. Some of
the earliest figures were war heroes and politicians such as Abraham Lincoln. By the twentieth
century the focus seemed to shift away from the war heroes and politicians to Hollywood stars
and starlets and athletes. “The vast cultural changes brought about by the communications
revolution of the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century and the increase in
immigration and urbanization between 1890s and 1920s, says a great deal about the nation’s
continuing need for self-definition, and about the culture which contributed to this search.
If a moment in time can be pinpointed to when this shift began, it was probably in the mid-
1920s, when Walter Winchell wrote the first newspaper gossip column. As his biographer Neal
Gabler points out, "In 1925, at a time when the editors of most newspapers were reluctant to
publish even something as inoffensive as the notice of an impending birth for fear of crossing the
boundaries of good taste, Winchell introduced a revolutionary column that reported who was
romancing whom, who was cavorting with gang...
... middle of paper ...
or donate to the cause. Celebrities can also help increase self-esteem in ways such as better
hygiene, avoiding junk foods and maybe wearing a certain hairstyle to look more like a specific
celebrity. Celebrities who attend college, write literature and books and or have an interest in
politics teach that it takes more than good looks and an excessive bank account to be successful
in the real world.
Celebrity culture also unifies the country and brings people of all races, ages, economic status
together by giving them something they can all talk about and express their feelings about.
Regardless of what is said of celebrities, they have and will continue to exist and influence our
society and culture in both positive and negative ways. Despite all the wrong doings there is
something idealistic and fascinating about the celebrity culture that will conti
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