Big Brother: Part of our big celebrity obsession

What do Sam Faiers, Ollie Locke and Luisa Zissman all have in common?

What do Sam Faiers, Ollie Locke and Luisa Zissman all have in common? Besides being minor ‘celebrities’, singers and reality TV stars, these tabloid favourites are part of the twelve housemates in this year’s Celebrity Big Brother which kicked off 3rd January on Channel 5.

Marking the thirteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother, it beggars belief how a constructed reality TV show is still gaining controversy and a trending topic on Twitter. But we only need to look at how fabricated the reality TV show really is to see how it appeals to the masses.

With a controversial rap star, Liz Jones (one of the UK’s most reviled journalists, once dubbed by Phillip Schofield as “inconsistent, bitter, nasty and unhinged”), a serial celebrity dater and a glamour model, the audience can look forward to fights, fireworks and drama.  

How much is too much?

The fact that this series is continuing to run and still receives attention is merely symptomatic of a wider problem in society—our utter obsession with celebrities. During the Hollywood peak of the 1950s, celebrities were once untouchable. Yet by the early noughties, the arrival of magazines such as HeatCloser and Reveal changed celebrity culture so much so that a celebrity walking on the road or eating something was front-page news.

Now, celebrity culture has escalated more than anyone could predict; through a mere click of any electric device, we can see or hear them on the television, find what out what they’re wearing or eating on Instagram or even converse with them on Twitter.

With more and more forms of social networking sites to converse with their followers, “celebrities” have enabled both fans and trolls to “check-up” on what they’re doing. And it seems to work – an innocent peruse around Made in Chelsea “stars” such as Lucy Watson and the Kardashians reveal obsessive fans begging to be followed, dubbing them “role models.”

And Celebrity Big Brother provides a perfect platform where the celebrities can change misrepresentations of themselves in the press, thereby boosting their popularity and ensuring further exposure with the end result being profit.

Celebrity culture—embedded

Anyone questioning Dappy’s appearance on CBB would only need to find out that he is at present declared bankrupt—the show will provide him with enough profits, be it through interviews, selling goods or being the face of a brand. And even if a celebrity on the show is reviled, the British press would scope out interviews, wanting to feed our hatred even more, thereby it being very profitable for themselves.

So why do we have such an embedded celebrity culture? Perhaps celebrity culture has been so voraciously consumed by the masses because it deviates away from real-life issues and problems. As Chris Martin argues aptly, “Celebrity culture has gone crazy, and I think the reason is that real news is just not bearable, and it also seems impossible to change anything.”

Trying to emulate the lives of higher profile celebrities such as Rihanna, the Kardashians and the Made in Chelsea stars with similar clothes, Instagram pictures and frequenting their stores is perhaps more of an achievable goal than ending world poverty. It is little wonder that fashion blogs too have also been on the rise, creating a constructed ideal away from real problems.

After all, there is something to be said for the fact that Kim Kardashian has 18,871,661 followers on Twitter (her recent picture where her rear was the main focus gained 488 thousand likes on Instagram) whereas Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, has about 9,000 followers.

And lest we forget the ‘Aquila hoax’ where hordes of fans would attend nights by London club Aquila due to its promise of access to the stars of favourite television shows when in fact they had been paid to use their name and not attend at all…

Now, I wonder which ‘celebrity’ is going to release a fragrance, a clothing line or even a song? My money’s on Dappy.

What do you think? Are we living in a celebrity obsessed culture? What role does Celebrity Big Brother have today? Have your say in the comments section below.