A dumbed down celebrity culture?

Is today’s celebrity culture dominated by attention-seeking women?

Umbreen Ali
By Umbreen Ali
Columnist
March 14, 2012, 1:03 pm
A dumbed down celebrity culture?

Is today’s celebrity culture dominated by women who are hell bent on using their femininity and sexuality to gain some level of fame?

A culture that has been condemned by Jon Hamm of Mad Men who is less than circumspect when stating, 'Whether it's Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated. Being a f***ing idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you're rewarded significantly. ... It's celebrated.  It doesn't make sense to me.'

A scathing perspective or the harsh truth?

Daniel Craig has been equally contemptuous in his opinion: 'Look at the Kardashians, they're worth millions. I don't think they were that badly off to begin with but now look at them…You see that and you think "what, you mean all I have to do is behave like a f***ing idiot on television and then you'll pay me millions".’

Although we must direct some criticism towards our domestic grown TOWIE’s and Scousewive’s who endorse a hedonistic and self-absorbed lifestyle.

As if the prevalence of the Jordan’s, Jodie Marsh’s and Chantelle’s weren’t tragic enough. Such characters are heaven sent for the tabloids that thrive on vacuous headlines.

And we can only have heaved an audible sigh of relief as Big Brother was laid to rest.

With the ubiquity of Reality TV, we see homogenous clones exhibiting trivial personal grievances which in their world are akin to a Greek tragedy.

And with the social gaucherie that surrounds it, women are becoming increasingly objectified, and yes, it is self-induced. It is the kind of crass display that was endemic of the wag era.

On Irish reality show Tallafornia which channels the Big Brother format, the viewer is offered scenes of a raunchy pole dance by a female housemate where her female bits are graphically on display. To say this is simply beyond reproach is a gross understatement.

Let’s not forget Sarah Burge who is famed for having had surgery worth £500,000 to make her look more Barbie like.

And somehow she has succeeded to make a lucrative career from marketing herself as a life sized Barbie. A chacun son metier?

The fake tan, tattooed eyebrows, botoxed lips, tawdry hair extensions and the obligatory 5 inch patent heels, now officially known as slag shoes are proudly emblazoned on our screens, reflecting what segments of society deem to be beautiful. It’s hard to do anything but recoil at the moral decay.

There is no surprise then that feisty female protagonists are taking prominence in the literary world to defy such materialism.

With Lisbeth Salander having taken the world by storm, Bella and now Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games, the ascension of such heroines defy worldly beauty ideals and are the antithesis of the fame hungry culture that surrounds us today. What is it these females have to offer? They exude energy and power.

They demonstrate strength, intelligence, independence and innocence, the organic role models that bear traits of Joan of Arc. And yes, an element of violence.

But it is justifiable. As Lisbeth stoically watched Martin Vanger crash into the truck and die in his bid to escape the multi pierced Goth, the reader hailed her bravado.

And with that, these literary heroines have created a belle époque with their own unique flavour. With this welcome evolution in female role models it may well inspire the stimulus of a female 007 in the future. Well, we can only hope.

(Picture courtesy of Parishilton.com)

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