Young people today are surrounded by a celebrity culture that's hard to compete with and could have a negative impact on their self-image. Celebrity influence is everywhere, from style magazines to Twitter, Snapchat, the world of 'reality' TV and airbrushed images. How is your child coping?
The trouble with celebrity role models
People have never had so much access to celebrities and their private lives, and the line between celebrity culture and our own lives is getting ever finer. The rich and famous seem comfortable sharing their innermost thoughts, lavish lifestyles and wildest tantrums in public – so it's no wonder our children think this is the norm.
"Exposure to celebrity drama, and the implicit acceptance that this type of behaviour is normal, can have a real impact on the way girls behave and interact with each other," says documentary filmmaker and women's advocate. "It's important that girls learn to recognise what's real and what's manipulated to attract eyeballs and viewers."
The appeal of celebrity culture
When we asked 11-year-old Becky what she wants to be when she grows up, she responded instantly: "Famous!". When asked what she wanted to be famous for, she had more trouble deciding.
It seems the norm for girls to aspire to 'celebrity' with no real consideration for where that fame may come from. In her book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World🔗, author Lisa Bloom🔗 reveals that 25% of young American women would rather win America's Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize.
In a recent study by Girlguiding UK (PDF) (2.1 MB)🔗, 37% of girls said they compare themselves to celebrities most of the time.