The concept of celebrity is a fluid one, one that often reflects the values of the age that we currently live in. Those considered the first ‘real’ celebrities differ depending on who you ask, and range from the professional provocateurs of the French Revolution when mass media was in its infancy, to the icons of the early Jazz Age. Each generation has its defining mode of celebrity.
Consider the first generation of the ‘famous for being famous’ set, such as Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie. Since then, the scope and accessibility of celebrity have expanded dramatically, often facilitated by new forms of mass technology that allow virtually anyone to enter the ranks of the rich and famous. As we enter the first age of universal celebrity, let’s take a closer look at three types of celebrity that barely existed only ten short years ago.
Celebrity Makeup Artist
A decade ago, the concept of the celebrity makeup artist was generally unheard of. Those makeup artists that had achieved a certain level of notoriety had, much like famous fashion designers, done so due to their proximity to those that they styled for a living, rather than their penchant for the craft of makeup.
Today, people who experiment with makeup looks from the comfort of their bedroom are among some of the most widely-followed and highly-paid figures in the world. YouTube makeup artists such as James Charles and Jeffery Starr are able to shut down entire cities whenever they make public appearances.
Their own personal makeup lines sell tens of millions of dollar’s worth of stock, and they are given front-row seats to prestige events like Paris Fashion Week and the Met Gala.
A decade ago, if one was to ponder on the notion of a person who is rich and famous purely for playing competitive video games, few names would come to mind, save perhaps for PewDiePie. Today, there are countless names that have become as famous as professional athletes, entirely due to their skill in popular eSports games such as FIFA, Dota II, and Overwatch.
As well as six-figure sponsorship deals from the likes of Coca Cola and Intel, eSports legends such as Faker and Peter Dager are watched by millions on live-streaming platforms such as Twitch.
There is even a large market of people from every corner of the globe who place wagers on the most famous eSports teams, as major bookmakers such as William Hill move to offer online sports betting on eSports to the masses. If you’re handy with a game controller, you can become a celebrity.
Most would consider the term ‘influencer’ a distinctly 2010s term. Of course, prior to this, various elements of the influencer mode could be seen in other forms of celebrity. The likes of Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner were, and continue to be, paid millions by the biggest brands in the world, purely due to their immense visibility on television and social media.
However, the new form of influencer is something much broader in scope, and much more attainable for aspiring members of the public. To become a celebrity influencer, all you need to do is build your personal brand on a social media channel (or channels) of your choice. Although there are many types of influencers, what they have in common is a penchant for curating an online life that others covet.
Many of the most high-profile influencers are home fitness vloggers, such as Chloe Ting, travel aficionados, such as Chris Burkard, and avid foodies, such as Ashley Alexander. A marketable lifestyle is now a major stepping stone toward celebrity.
While definitions of celebrity change, the public’s fascination with them remains the same. The celebrities of tomorrow may not resemble those on this list, but their every move will likely be just as fervently followed as ever.