Whether you’re an actor, singer, or other popular figure, you’re likely familiar with the term celebrity. But what exactly is a celebrity? There are a variety of different definitions of the term. One of the most common is that someone is well-known for their work in the media. Some celebrities have an enviable following and make it their mission to live up to that status. Other people may be more elusive.
The word “celebrity” comes from the Latin celebritas, meaning “fame, busy, or crowded.” In the OED, early meanings of the word include “pomp and ceremony” and “act of celebration.” These are both ancient definitions, and they suggest the meaning of the word continues to change. While there is a certain degree of ephemerality that comes with being famous, this definition remains the most popular and versatile.
Another common definition is a social influencer. Many famous people gained their fame through their social media accounts. These people have become social influencers. Some people, like Coco Chanel and Robert Redford, have even become a part of society. This phenomenon has helped spawn a new type of celebrity, the social media influencer. They gain followers and subscribers by educating and entertaining their audience. These new types of celebrity are often described as instant celebrities.
In contrast, the definition of “celebrity worship” is a bit more complicated. The term is commonly used interchangeably, but no study has actually defined the concept systematically. However, the idea that people are addicted to a celebrity has been controversial. In fact, many studies have argued that this attachment is normal and psychologically healthy. The concept of celebrity worship was originally developed by Lynn McCutcheon in 2002 and developed a scale that allows researchers to measure how much a person idolizes a celebrity. The scale was designed to measure a person’s celebrity worship, but it has been widely criticized for pathologizing fans.
Other people who are attuned to celebrity may not be as accessible as their film-going peers. Some celebs, like Jennifer Aniston, were first known as child actors, and then grew up to be celebrities. Some even shifted to another genre after they became famous, such as on a sketch show or an old YouTube web series. However, their popularity may be limited to one medium. The fact that a celebrity is connected to other mediums makes them a celebrity in their own right.
Another form of celebritydom involves politics. Although celebrities are increasingly popular in mainstream media, politicians have become celebrities, with the Obamas and other formers branching out in other areas. For example, the former president and his wife, Michelle Obama, launched their own production company called Higher Ground Productions, which harnesses the power of storytelling to increase their fame. Meanwhile, other politicians, including Kamala Harris, have appeared in magazines and on television. The term celebrity is increasingly used in pop culture, and it’s hard to ignore it.
Reality TV stars were the most narcissistic, scoring highest on vanity, willingness to exploit others, and a sense of superiority. On the other hand, actors and comedians scored high in feelings of superiority, while musicians were the least narcissistic. However, the popularity of these celebrities was not associated with narcissism. And the fact that these stars were perceived as less than ordinary people makes them a celebrity.