Star power

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October 3, 2012 by marissapags

Compressed Blog for Assessment:

Kim Kardashians recent visit to Australia caused quiet the stir amongst the youths. Hundreds of adorning fans crammed together in South Land shopping center in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs, to get a glimpse of this illustrious celeb. My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram news feeds were bombarded with snapshots of Kardashian accompanied with captions such as “Best day of my Life!” “Finally got to see my idol!” “My life is complete!”. Personally, I do not care for Kim Kardashian or her siblings or their show. There is a mass of people around the globe who share a unified adoration for her and her family due to their flush lifestyle, immaculate appearances and luxurious commodities. As talentless as they may be they gain more attention and publicity than celebrities and people who actually acquire talent. Their image dominates Popular Culture, in particular Kim Kardashian primarily because she is probably the better looking out of her three sisters. Not to mention her notorious sex tape with ex boyfriend singer/songwriter/actor Ray J in which propagated her image and heightened her fame.

The star system has always been essential in television and film since the early years. I always remember my film teacher explaining to us that in the early 20th century actors in films were not even listed in the credits and it wasn’t until 1910 when the actors became a marketable commodity (Butler). Throughout the years the presence of celebrities has only become greater and more eminent within society. The Hollywood mode of production turned the star into a commodity, a product, used to sell movies, promote television shows and endorse brands (Butler). Since the 1920’s the media penetrated the Hollywood scene with scandals involving actors such as Wallace Reid, Mary Miles Minter, Mable Norman and the infamous murder of director William Desmond Taylor (Butler).  Ever since then celebrity gossip has only become more prominent in the media, more fabricated and more ridiculous. It is has come to the point where it could be said celebrity gossip interests and concerns more people than most serious issues.  The star system is valuable to pop culture and without it Hollywood would not have the allure and prominence it has all over the world however the value of the gossip flowing through the media each day is worthless and insignificant. Stories such as “Kim Kardashian bought her boyfriend a Lamborghini” now make headlines in the media. Like many other celebrities her celebritism works and thrives because of the relationship between the spectator and the subject. Her fans see her as a form of visual desire; they gain pleasure in viewing her image, reading her stories, absorbing her gossip. The same goes for celebrities like Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp and an endless list of others. But, behind their star image there is an endowed performer, a skillful actor, and a talented musician. I remember once it was circulated Kim Kardashian was the “Marilyn Monroe of the decade” purely because they both flaunted a voluptuous womanly figure (Vogue). Despite their curves and status there is absolutely nothing these two celebrities have in common and that comparison will hopefully never be made again. The esteem of the star system is noticeably declining as more and more reality TV shows gain fame and popularity the more trashy, hopeless and notorious celebrities emerge and join the list of Hollywood “stars”.

Original Blog:

Kim Kardashians recent visit to Australia caused quiet the stir amongst the youths. Hundreds of adorning fans crammed together in South Land shopping center in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs, to get a glimpse of this illustrious celeb. My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram news feeds were bombarded with snapshots of Kardashian accompanied with captions such as “Best day of my Life!” “Finally got to see my idol!”, “My life is complete!”. Personally, I do not care for Kim Kardashian or her siblings or their show. There is a mass of people around the globe who share a unified adoration for her and her family due to their flush lifestyle, immaculate appearances and luxurious commodities. As talentless as they may be they gain more attention and publicity than celebrities and people who actually acquire talent. Their image dominates Popular Culture, in particular Kim Kardashian primarily because she is probably the better looking out of her three sisters. Not to mention her notorious sex tape with ex boyfriend singer/songwriter/actor Ray J in which propagated her image and heightened her fame. Her star power is almost more valuable than the second most loved topic in the media, SPORT. From television, to magazines and advertisements Kim Kardashian’s image appears everywhere. To some she is just a useless, highly publicized reality television figure but to many she is the epitome of beauty, a role model to young females, a fashion icon, and a television star. I have many friends who are loyal fans and claim what makes her so appealing is the fact she is a “reality star” therefore unlike many other film stars and musicians we are exposed to her true identity. Although the show may genuinely document aspects of her life and true persona she is still encased by a media shell. The media will always fabricate her identity whether it is intentional or unintentional. Of course the media fabricates and misconstrues many other celebrities and their lives however we still value them for their talent and their artistry in the industry. When I think of Kim Kardashian I think of purely superficiality and wealth, nothing more. The star system is integral to Hollywood and imperative to pop culture but when I think of the so called “stars” that have emerged in recent times I can’t help but feel that the concept of the star has lost its real importance. Not only is Kim Kardashian is an example of this, but many other celebrities as well including Jersey Shores Snookie.

The star system has always been essential in television and film since the early years. I always remember my film teacher explaining to us that in the early 20th century actors in films were not even listed in the credits and it wasn’t until 1910 when the actors became a marketable commodity (Butler). Throughout the years the presence of celebrities has only become greater and more eminent within society. The Hollywood mode of production turned the star into a commodity, a product, used to sell movies, promote television shows and endorse brands (Butler). Since the 1920’s the media penetrated the Hollywood scene with scandals involving actors such as Wallace Reid, Mary Miles Minter, Mable Norman and the infamous murder of director William Desmond Taylor (Butler).  Ever since then celebrity gossip has only become more prominent in the media, more fabricated and more ridiculous. It is has come to the point where it could be said celebrity gossip interests and concerns more people than most serious issues.  The star system is valuable to pop culture and without it Hollywood would not have the allure and prominence it has all over the world however the value of the gossip flowing through the media each day is worthless and insignificant. Stories such as “Kim Kardashian bought her boyfriend a Lamborghini” now make headlines in the media. Like many other celebrities her celebritism works and thrives because of the relationship between the spectator and the subject. Her fans see her as a form of visual desire; they gain pleasure in viewing her image, reading her stories, absorbing her gossip. The same goes for celebrities like Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp and an endless list of others. But, behind their star image there is an endowed performer, a skillful actor, and a talented musician. I remember once it was circulated Kim Kardashian was the “Marilyn Monroe of the decade” purely because they both flaunted a voluptuous womanly figure (Vogue). Despite their curves and status there is absolutely nothing these two celebrities have in common and that comparison will hopefully never be made again. The esteem of the star system is noticeably declining as more and more reality TV shows gain fame and popularity the more  trashy, hopeless and notorious celebrities emerge and join the list of hollywood “stars”.

Reference:

http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-curvy/curvy-news/2011/11/kim-kardashian-new-marilyn, Viewed on September 29th

Jeremy G. Butler, “The Star System and Hollywood”, In John ill and Pamela Chrch Gibson eds, The Oxford guide to Film Studies: Oxford University Press, 1998.

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