What exactly is it that makes so many follow celebrity influence? Is it the fact that celebrities are famous and everything they do is publicized or is it just because you happen to like a certain celebrity? Can it be a combination?
In my opinion, it’s a combination of both. Take, for example, Ariana Grande. Love or hate her, she’s one of the top celebrities in the world right now.
She also happens to be my favorite celebrity since I was 13 years old, and now at 21, she’s still in that spot. When I was 13, Grande had nowhere near the success she has now. She was a Nickelodeon actress, just starting her singing career. She didn’t reach mainstream pop fame until 2016, but I was supporting her from the start because I was a fan of hers. At that age, that meant supporting her in anything she did.
Hypothetically, if Grande said Nike was her favorite brand, 13-year-old me would have begged my mom to buy me a bunch of Nike merchandise. And seeing as I was a 13-year-old girl, knowing it would make me happy, my mom would get it for me if she could. When I was 16, Grande released a makeup line with MAC Cosmetics. I wasn’t big into makeup yet and only used a few Nars Cosmetics products, but because Grande released a line with MAC, I wanted to buy MAC.
At age 18, Grande led a campaign for Reebok, but this is when things changed for me. First off, I no longer had to ask my mom for money, because I was old enough to make my own. I was also mature enough to grow out of blindly following anything she put her hands on.
I never liked Reebok, and this was when I realized it’s okay to not want everything your favorite celebrity endorses. I mean sure, supporting her endorsements will help increase product sales, but it has no real benefit to me. All I’m left with is a loss of money and a product I don’t even like, bought only because Grande endorsed it.
Now at age 21, there are a few other celebrities I like to an almost Grande level, but I continue to pick and choose what I want to support. Yes, as my favorite celebrity, Grande still has some influence on me. She’s making a product more known or appealing to me, even if it’s subconsciously. But ultimately, it’s my decision whether I decide to support that or not.
You buy these products because you associate them with your favorite celebrity and because they’re famous and draw a lot of buzz with whatever they do. Recently, Grande wore a Café Du Monde shirt. She wasn’t even endorsing the shirt, but many fans saw she was wearing it and immediately went to buy it. One of the workers didn’t understand why there had been such a massive surge until she found out Grande had worn one of their shirts.
I think a lot of people in this world are still stuck in my 13 or even 16-year-old phase of blindly following a celebrity. And not just the products they endorse, but the clothes they wear, the opinions they have and much more. I think with social media, it’s a lot easier to get into this trance of being influenced by celebrities, but you have to remember it’s not always a good thing to follow them.