Are the 2010s the Last Decade of Celebrity Worship?
In the 2010s, social media gave everyone the chance to be famous. The human/brand hybrids referred to as "influencers" amassed millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram by telling us how to look, how to eat and how to find happiness. But even mere mortals got to experience widespread approval with Facebook likes, Instagram followers and retweets. So what happened to celebrities?
Donâ€™t get me wrong; celebrity fandom was still in full effect. Blogs posted paparazzi pics of the famous walking down red carpets and to court dates. Records were broken by athletes, tween pop stars and reality TV royalty for having the most followers online. And "stan" accounts flooded journalistsâ€™ email inboxes if they dared to criticize their favorite stars. But change was in the air.
The age of the untouchable celebrity was coming to a close. Documentaries, cancel culture and independent journalism exposed many notable neâ€™er-do-wells for their behavior. We also broadened our tastes with streaming services that provided endless numbers of programs with actors from all walks of life. So who will we pay attention to in the 2020s? The answer is complicated. Social media threw celebrity culture off course for sure. But as our old idea of celebrity may be waning, the next wave has the danger of going full-tilt Andy Warhol.