Many people believe that media coverage of celebrities is having a negative effect on children. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
In our modern world, celebrity news is ubiquitous, bombarding us 24/7. Many feel that this constant stream of star gossip is having a detrimental effect on youngsters. Personally, I completely agree that not only is the quantity of such ‘news’ troubling, but also the content sends the wrong message to children. There can be no doubt that the overwhelming amount of celebrity news in the media these days sends a powerful and worrying message to young people. When, despite global crises or tragedies, Kim Kardashian’s latest selfie is headline news, it suggests to children that celebrities and their glamorous lives are the most important things in the world. This, in turn, implies that fame ought to be the ultimate goal in everyone’s life. Such a message undermines the importance of education, of striving to achieve, and of pursuing a career in a field other than show business. Rather than being swamped by images of actors and singers, young people should be surrounded by stories of compassion, leadership and inspiration. In addition to the sheer volume of celeb news, there is also the actual content to consider. Rarely do we see stars celebrated in the media for their humanitarian work or acts of generosity. Instead, the media reports on Britney’s weight gain or loss, Beckham’s new hairstyle, or Angelina’s new shoes. This focus on superficiality reinforces the idea that life is all about looking good and having an expensive wardrobe. For young people, this message can lead to serious body image issues including anorexia and bulimia, as well as an unrealistic view of the world and of success. In conclusion, the media is saturated with the minutiae of celebrities’ lives and this is having a negative impact on the way young people see themselves and the world. It is therefore incumbent on parents and educators to steer young people away from such nonsense and towards more important stories that may inspire and motivate them to achieve something beyond simply fame.