I read “Digital Fame and Fortune in the age of Social Media” by Gomez et al for class. Gomez discussed the key differences between celebrity “idols” over the years, and traditional celebrities vs. influencers. He breaks down the different types of influencers that have emerged, and how their fame is different from traditional celebrities since they become their own brand in a sense.
This article was super interesting to me. I agree with him that social media has introduced us to a whole new scope of fame that we have never seen before, and has allowed regular people to achieve fame in a way that has never been possible before. In the past, you needed some kind of talent whether that be acting, music, or modeling, and even if you had that very few “made” it. Now anyone can put out content and skip traditional routes to fame altogether by building their own platforms. These influencers may not be talented in the traditional sense but they are very talented at marketing themselves and building their brands.
In my opinion, this had led to a struggle between influencers and “real” celebrities. For example, people were pretty upset to see TikTok stars at the Met Gala with the most famous people in the world. I don’t know where I stand on this to be honest as I see it both ways. People like Addison Rae are undoubtedly famous, but should they be at the Met Gala? I personally say no they shouldn’t, as I don’t consider TikTok stars in the same category as stars like Beyonce or Meryl Streep. However, Influencers are definitely here to stay and perhaps we should expect to see more of this in years to come. Influencers are beginning to crossover into mainstream stardom outside of the internet and I think time will tell if influencers are able to become “real” celebrities or if they are put in their own category.