Hajra Ashraf

Consumerism by Celebrity Culture


From the day we open our eyes in this world, our conditioning into becoming the ‘perfect human’ begins. Society and its norms constantly shape us into the person we become, influencing not just our social choices but as well as personal choices. From the career path we want to choose to the kind of clothes we want to deck ourselves in, everything is affected by our surroundings. In my thesis, I am going to create a visualization of the whole system of consumerism that benefits from celebrity culture. My point is to show the people what goes on behind the scenes and how unconsciously, we all fall prey to capitalistic values brought to us by our favorite reality shows. My focus will be on the most prevalent and popular reality show watched worldwide; Keeping up with the Kardashians.

In the recent advent of social media, these ‘surroundings’ affecting our behavior have expanded to a global scale. Sitting on my sofa in Pakistan, I have access to a kaleidoscope of ideas that swell my creativity. Building on this global network, the recent phenomenon of celebrity culture and endorsing has the world in a swirl. A common way celebrities flaunt a certain type of lifestyle is through the dawn of reality shows. By displaying their entire life publicly, these celebrities make you dream and yearn for this glamorous life that is made to look so effortlessly chic and accessible. You unconsciously start to adopt these ideas. Who hasn’t thought about renovating their house in entirely white after a tour of Kim Kardashian’s house? Forget interior designing, the Kardashians have completely revamped the fashion industry. It’s all about flaunting the curves now where once it was all about slim fit bodies. This isn’t just a casually spreading influence because people love the Kardashians; a lot of planning and strategizing goes into all of this. It’s a whole propaganda of sorts. The kardashians has a team of strategizing, marketing geeks who decide when, how and what information/gossip/rumour to release. It’s all about impacting consumer behavior through manipulative tactics. The reality show subtly promotes certain products and lifestyle. And we, the fans, end up unconsciously altering our own choices to a certain extent under the influence. Even if we refuse to, slowly as society evolves in accordance with these trends, so does our behavior. Hence we have seen an escalated demand for lip fillers, implants, liquid lip contour kits, ombre hair, etc. These are just to name a few things. The list is endless.

It isn’t about wrong or right, but its about who benefits from all of this? And it’s the capitalist. By manipulating into thinking that we need certain products in our life, they sell us useless luxury items that you can do perfectly fine without. And these capitalist put celebrities at the frontlines to promote and sell their products through a certain routine.

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