‘I only got 102 likes on my recent post, Kendal Jenner gets millions!’ ‘I need to go on a diet, look how small Ariana Grande is!’ In our technology-based society, our generation validates itself off the number of likes, followers and comments they receive. Due to the effects of this advanced society, teenagers encounter drug usage, alcohol and bad behaviour traits. From these encounters, celebrities can suffer from not only bad physical body image but an unstable mental state. Celebrities, who sit at the top of the social media hierarchy are easily able to influence the young minds of teenagers through their large amount of following. Immature acts of behaviour shown by these leaders can make teenagers feel as though they also have to undertake this behaviour to be seen as ‘cool’.
In our current world, 50% of teenage girls skip meals, food fast, vomit, smoke and take laxatives to lose weight. In this society, teenagers are forced to face unrealistic body image on social media apps. People like Ariana Grande are situated at 115 million followers and Eugenia Cooney who has just over 1 million youtube subscribers, have a worldwide audience. They are all role models to millions of people all of the world, and they are both noted for their body appearance of skin and bone. Eugenia Cooney freely talks about her anorexia and that she is just ‘naturally skinny’. Ariana Grande is almost unrecognizable without makeup, and her signature ‘ponytail’, is one of the only hairstyles she can wear due to the amount of damage done to her hair through extensions, bleaching and dying. For young teenagers to be confronted with material like this can cause them to try these desperate acts to create an appearance like these people. By middle school, 78% of all teenagers have an iPhone. Having this technology opens them up to a world full of influences by celebrities. In 2010, Girl Scouts did a survey with girls aged 13-17, and 9 out of 10 girls felt pressure from magazines and fashion industries to be skinny. Over 60% compared themselves to models and 46% used fashion magazines as a body shape to strive for.
Not only do celebrities have a negative influence on physical body image, they can also cause a pessimistic effect on teenagers mental state. In 2005, a survey of thirty thousand fourteen-year-old students was completed, the statistics showed that 34% of these fourteen-year-olds suffer from psychological distress. This same survey was then completed in 2014, and the data showed an increase of 3%. Eric Hollander, a professor of psychiatry and anxiety disorders, explains that there is a dimensional view of the weather celebrities affect your mental state. There are people who are fascinated with the lives of celebrities but have meaningful relationships, and real lives of their own, so there is no harm with them watching them on shows and seeing them in magazines or social media. The other view is more harmful, this view is when people replace the lives of celebrities with their own, they have nothing else in their life distracting them from this. Depression, anxiety and a lower self-esteem are problems that have been documented from this dimensional view. Teenagers who don’t have much going on in their lives apart from schooling and outside sports have nothing to distract them from this ongoing issue.
Our modern population idolizes and admires celebrities. Every erroneous move made by these people is seen as correct in the eyes of teenagers. These young adults need to be seen as significant, they try daring actions to boost their self-esteem, and to change the way they are viewed. Teenagers see their idols partying, drinking, and using drugs. This confronts them with behaviour traits that young teenagers should not be introduced to. In 2016, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 7.3 million American teenagers aged 12-20 have current alcohol consumption, 6.5% of 8th-grade students have been documented for using marijuana in the last thirty days. At this age, these are things that should not be seen nor experienced. Because of celebrities such as Snoop Dog, who was recorded in 2015 for having 686 of his photos included alcohol and illegal substances out of about 9500 photos in total, or Devin Copeland, a famous rapper, was caught boasting about having 23% of all his pictures included drugs and alcohol. What kind of world are children growing up in if this is what people have become proud of?