Claim: It is no longer possible for a society to regard any living man or woman as a hero.

Reason: The reputation of anyone who is subjected to media scrutiny will eventually be diminished.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.

It is unarguable that the “media spotlight” has inexorably increased in the 21st century. The rapid advancement of technology has made it possible for anyone to become a star simply by uploading a video to YouTube. This, coupled with the ubiquity of the Internet, has caused a tidal wave of celebrity culture. As such, it is unreasonable to believe that any person can become a celebrity without the general public’s approval. However, it is equally ludicrous to expect anyone to retain their celebrity status after the media scrutiny has faded. The mass consumption of media by the general public has, to a large extent, reduced the importance of an individual’s achievements, and this has created a ‘celebrity culture’ where fame is based solely on appearance rather than on actual achievement.

A society has to remember that a celebrity is simply a person with enough notoriety to receive media attention. A celebrity does not have to possess any skill or talent beyond the average person’s commonly expected. A celebrity does not even have to be good because the public does not expect much from anyone. A celebrity can be someone famous merely for being famous, such as Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, or a celebrity who has talent but whose fame is eclipsed by their colleagues. For example, Michael Jackson was undoubtedly a talented musician, but the period of his fame was usurped by the fame of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Consequently, Jackson’s fame diminished while that of Spears and Aguilera increased.

Consider that in a society of 8 billion people, only a select few will ever achieve celebrity status, and many of these people will have their lives shattered by fame, such as Michael Jackson. In 2009, Michael Jackson was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducting only five people per year. Although Jackson was undoubtedly one of the most fantastic performers of all time, his induction into the Hall of Fame was greeted with criticism by fans of rock and roll music. Critics claimed that the Hall of Fame used Jackson’s fame to legitimize his induction; they argued that Jackson was not a rock and roll musician but only a pop singer. To a certain extent, the critics were correct in that Jackson was a pop singer, but that does not diminish his musical achievements. Jackson was one of many rock and roll music performers, and, therefore, rock and roll music would not have been as popular without him.

On the other hand, Michael Jackson was unique, and the music industry would not have recognized his contributions without his notoriety.

Furthermore, even if Jackson had been a rock and roll musician, his fame would have been diminished by the arrival of newer, more talented musicians, just as Beyonce Knowles eclipsed Aguilera’s fame. In 2003, Aguilera and Knowles were the Top 5 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Aguilera held her position on the Hot 100 for 42 weeks, while Knowles was able to stay on for 114 weeks. However, although both artists were incredibly talented, their fame soon diminished because they were not as famous as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Spears and Timberlake dominated the charts in the 2000s, and Aguilera and Knowles could not regain their footing.

Consequently, their fame diminished as the public became more interested in Spears and Timberlake.

The media’s obsession with celebrities is harmful because it dehumanizes people and elevates them to the status of gods. A celebrity’s fame stems from their physical appearance, and this emphasis has caused many people to devalue their achievements. For example, when Janet Jackson exposed herself during a Super Bowl halftime show in 2004, her career was effectively over. Jackson had been one of the most popular performers of the 80s and 90s, but the incident undermined her credibility. Although Jackson had been married and divorced twice, she had previously managed to avoid scandal. Although Jackson is still married to her husband, Wissam Al Mana, the media cast a disapproving eye on her. A celebrity’s behavior often causes their reputation to plummet, and the media’s focus on trivialities exacerbates this phenomenon.

For example, in 2013, Justin Bieber garnered a tremendous amount of media coverage when it was discovered that he was dating Selena Gomez, his co-star in the sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place. Although Bieber and Gomez have not gone public with their relationship, rumors persist that they are a couple. In addition, although Bieber and Gomez are young, the media continues to focus on their personal lives, despite being in their early twenties. As a result, the public sees Bieber and Gomez as unintelligent and immature, and the celebrities themselves suffer from diminished reputations.

The mass consumption of media by the general public has also affected a celebrity’s social status. A celebrity’s social status is determined by their financial status, which is determined by their popularity. A celebrity’s popularity is contingent on their fame; therefore, celebrities depend on the media for their income. A celebrity’s fame is contingent upon the public’s interest in their career, which depends mainly on the amount of media attention. Consequently, stars have a vested interest in maintaining their popularity, or their income will be drastically diminished. For example, Kanye West is an acclaimed musician, but his recent Twitter rants have caused his popularity to plummet. Although West is talented