Role Models Lost…

Narcissists bask in the spotlight and we are to blame.

The thirst for fame and attention has become so popular that the media has been filled with untalented people who will do anything for popularity. These people are terrible influences on youths.

An example of this is Kim Kardashian, who allegedly leaked an explicit tape to the public for the sole purpose of grabbing media attention. She has been rewarded with her own reality show and making the rest of the Kardashian family famous, who now dominate celebrity news with their meaningless drama. Oh, what role models!

These types of people who receive the most media attention can make you wonder why they are famous at all. Yet the appeal of many internet “celebrities” or “influencers” seems to be the ongoing drama that they incite. Nobody wants to give attention to the outcries of Greta Thunberg when we could instead be watching young “influencers” pummeling each other for the sake of Instagram followers on Love Island.

Maybe we feel better about ourselves when we’re sitting in our homes after a long day of studying and can be happy to think: At least I’m not in the news for selling my bathwater.

Or maybe this makes us feel worse: I could be making millions selling my bathwater!

Clearly, actual talent is not required for people who can market their personalities for mass consumption.”

People who work their entire life to support themselves and their families receive no recognition, but the YouTube channel Drama Alert receives millions of views for discussing obscure internet drama for ten minutes each week.

Clearly, actual talent is not required for people who can market their personalities for mass consumption. There’s little incentive to be a good role model when you can gain fame from being like Billie Eilish and whispering into a mi- crophone, almost prompting your fans to romanticize mental illness. When becoming the most followed person on TikTok and obtaining your own (incredibly uneventful) reality show like Charli D’amelio only requires you to do simple dances in front of your phone, there’s no reason to be a good influence on society.

Once “celebrities’’ or “influencers’’ have a taste of the riches and attention provided by fame, they become addicted to having the spotlight on them. By starting more internet dramas than any other “influencer,” Trisha Paytas has managed to land herself a spot on the popular H3H3 podcast. Soon after, Paytas wanted even more attention and decided to harass the the mem- bers of the podcast online and recently has continued to fake having mental illnesses such as dissociative identity disorder.

Notoriety and fame go hand-in-hand as the means of steering and keeping the spotlight require more and more outlandish behavior—A famous example of this is Logan Paul, who in 2017 posted a video of himself in the “Suicide Forest” in Japan. In this video, he showed the body of a deceased man. This, creat- ing a controversy that ended with a hefty lawsuit and a loss in many brand partnerships. Yet his audience still supported and the creator has a large following of young viewers.

Why do we direct our attention towards such unlikeable people? Why do we choose to celebrate these people and what are they influencing us to do? Is it because they make us feel better about ourselves by knowing that we aren’t like them? Is it jealousy or entertainment that draws us to such unsavory “celebrities” and “influencers,” and how harmful is their influence?