It is evident that the way we interact with the ‘stars’ of our society has dramatically changed. From the traditional newspaper and radio, we now have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There was a point in society where publicists, journalists and PR agents were what controlled an individuals identity.
But there has been a shift in rolls.
We now do not need to pay thousands of dollars to a reporter to sell your story in a particular way, or pay an agent extra to promote your ‘identity’. Now the most commitment required is an email, and date of birth. The rest is FREE and controlled by YOU. Social media has revolutionised the way the way we represent and present our persona.
Our online persona is defined by our digital objects in the forms of statuses, selfies, photo albums etc. We use these tools to create an identity for others to understand who we are, for the everyday individual it can be formally known as being ‘judged’ or in a celebrities case ‘admired’.
Turner outlines three main definitions of celebrities “(1) celebrity as a way that people are represented and talked about; (2) a process by which a person is turned into a commodity; and (3) an aspect of culture which is constantly being reinscribed and reformulated”. Kim Kardashian-West. A renowned selfie queen, who is now yet to release her newest book called ‘selfish’. A composition of her selfies over the last couple of years. She is what some could describe a ‘cultural phenomenon’, and is a reflection of Turners definitions.
Her online presence has attracted 31.7 million twitter followers and 32.4 million Instagram followers. Her constant activity is what has uplifted her image. Through her online presence and the content she posts, she has been able to create various images for herself, various examples seen in the youtube clip I created below.
Through these images we see how Kim wants to represent herself, selfies to high fashion photoshoots we can see that her intentions are to expand her image. While she is managed by her very own ‘momager‘, social media gives her the opportunity to promote herself and present herself in the ideal way.
But while social media promotes celebrities, we cannot forget the most important factor to a stars fame. FANS. Senft describes fan based activity as ‘micro-celebrity‘. where fans interact with a stars online presence through commenting, reblogging, favoriting etc. Twitter is one of the largest platforms that allows fans to directly interact with their ‘idols’, Erving Goffman describes this as a metaphor considering “how celebrity practice is performed with the help of others”. We create digital objects that reflect our persona and ultimately have the chance to grab the attention of our star, this can be through a simple tweet, image or the utterly powerful hashtag.
Social media has reinvented the way our stars promote themselves and reach out to their fanbase. Are we saying goodbye to tradition and hello to the influx of egocentrism?