Celebrity Representation in the Media | The World From the View of Two Teenage Girls: Celebrity Representation in the Media

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Celebrity Representation in the Media

Children and teenagers are extremely impressionable.  Celebrities are always shown in the news, magazines, and in other media.  Their work acting, singing, and modeling tends to be the main focus of this media.  However, these are often not the only activities celebrities do.  The media has the opportunity to filter the content adolescents see.  Maybe they should be showing more of the humanitarian side of celebrities instead of the glamorized one.

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) was a widely known actress of her time and is now a household name.  Between 1948 and 1989 she starred in nearly thirty films.  Though she's mainly remembered as a film icon, she did so much more with her life than act in movies.  Maybe the media has been focusing on the wrong thing.

Audrey Hepburn Picture - Image 28
Hepburn dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina when she was a child.  The war made her dream physically impossible, but not before she was able to raise money for the Dutch Resistance by secretly dancing for groups of people.  She also gave ballet lessons to refugee girls in her grandfather's house.

In her later years, Audrey Hepburn served as a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador.  For five years, starting in 1988, Hepburn traveled to more than twenty countries.  According to Madeline Eisner, who was on a mission with her, "She insisted on seeing the worst of the worst."  On her mission in Somalia, Audrey witnessed countless innocent children struggling for survival.  According to Audrey, "Every child has the right to health, to tenderness, to life."  Most of the children she met did not have any of these, though.  These gruesome truths were reported to world leaders, governments, and international media.  The time Hepburn spent with UNICEF inspired many to reach out and work to improve the lives of children all over the world.

Audrey Hepburn won around eighty awards throughout her lifetime as well as posthumously.  The number of awards given for being a humanitarian only total around twenty.  Her work for UNICEF caused far more of an impact on the world than her acting, but she was not as recognized for it.

What does this say for celebrities today?  Many will be idolized for acting in films, modeling in magazines, or singing on the radio.  While people who spend countless hours of their time helping others go unrecognized.  Children and teenagers are very impressionable and people in the media have the largest opportunity to leave that impression.  Seeing Audrey Hepburn star in Breakfast at Tiffany's may inspire a child to take up acting.  However, seeing Hepburn idolized in the news for being a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador may inspire the same child to make a difference in their world.  Which would you rather see today's youth doing?

Cardillo, Margaret, and Julia Denos. Just Being Audrey. New York: Balzer Bray, 2011. Print.

Giles, David C., and John Maltby. "The role of media figures in adolescent development: Relations between autonomy, attachment, and interest in celebrities." Personality and individual differences 36.4 (2004): 813-822.

"Life & Career." Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <http://www.audreyhepburn.com/>.

Spoto, Donald. Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn. New York: Harmony, 2006. Print.

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