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Essay on Popular Culture Icons Influencing Self-perception

3 pages
676 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
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We live in the twenty-first century where information goes around at the speed of light. Social media has made the world, once a vast wilderness of cultures separated by cultures, a "global village" as the cliche goes. The internet has connected more and more people from all the points in the world. Twitter and Facebook have become a must-have. Basic needs nowadays include food, shelter, clothing, and a good internet connection because social media is where all the action is. Self-perception according to popular culture is more about how others see you rather than how you see yourself

Celebrities or idols have been the fuel and engine for the vehicle called pop culture. To me, popular culture as the name suggests is a manner of living that appeals to a wide audience variety for its uniqueness and sometimes for its defiance to all expectations. Popular culture spearheaded by icons makes no sense, and nobody can stop this vehicle once it starts rolling. Popular culture defies expectations, and it shuns at non-conformity. It uses brute "love en masse" where people become emotionally invested in icons and their works be it in film, music, writing and other art forms and also their daily routine. With popular culture, there is no right or wrong instead you are either a hater or a lover.

When Justin Bieber first hit the scene having been discovered on YouTube as a teenage boy with a supposed angelic voice, I did not see what all the fuss over him was about. I saw videos on Youtube where Bieber toured places all over the world, and he was greeted by mammoth crowds. I scoffed when I learned Justin Biebers concerts attracted a lot of under-age girls- some as young as nine years old. I did not like his music truth be told- but the thing is many my friends liked his songs. I resisted for a few years. I did not like the song Baby which he collaborated with the rapper Ludacris even though I loved the rapper. In 2017, I listened to Despacito, " and I loved it even though I did not understand all the Spanish lyrics. Imagine my surprise when I learned later that the song featured Justin Bieber and that he had sung in Spanish. Anyway, now I listen to Bieber songs and even though am not yet a Belieber (a term for Justin Bieber diehard fans used in the social media networks Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter) I have stopped hating the music of Bieber.

Trends influenced by pop culture icons work like this: If everybody likes it and you do not, then you are weird. There are no two ways about it. It is all about belonging to a group. In the years that I disliked Biebers music, I could not enjoy myself as much as my friends when his song played at a party. I felt left out, but I soldiered on determined that there was nothing Bieber would help me with through his music. I was wrong, and popular culture was right. At first, I saw myself as a pure music fan, and I would identify with people who also "hated on" Justin Bieber and opted for deeper music genres like Adele.

My defense back then was that Bieber sang only to select audience- early teenage girls. However, Bieber grew up, and even though he has had drunk and disorderly conducts, egging a house in Beverly Hills, fighting a photographer, leaving a pet monkey in Germany, he still maintained his fans. In fact, the majority of Beliebers believe in doing everything Bieber does, and that means tattoos, hair-cuts, wild parties and so on. An idol like Bieber has helped propagate the You Only Live Once (YOLO) mantra made famous by the rappers Drake and Lil Wayne in 2011. In short, your life sucks if you do not live fast. That is how popular culture idols influence our self-perception. First, logic is not involved and secondly you feel left out if you do not acknowledge the influence these idols have in our lives.

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