Celebrity opinions can be harmful


Courtesy of Washington Post.

Celebrity worship is something that many of us have been guilty of, myself included. Celebrities seem infallible, because they are larger than life people, people who we become slightly or all the way obsessed with. From musical artists, to social media influencers, we often look to them for guidance and opinions on everything; political, social and otherwise. However, this is not exactly ideal way of engaging new understandings and learning.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on everything these days, which is a good sign that people are actually learning, or wanting to learn new ideas. This does not mean, however, that they are opinions created of their own accord. In many cases, these opinions come from other people, namely celebrities. But, let me clue you in on something; these celebrities are not necessarily more educated on certain things than you or me, but yet, some people trust them way too much. Remember, celebrities are only people; they aren’t necessarily experts on everything.

Remember Jenny McCarthy and the start of the whole anti-vaccine movement? This is a great example of what happens when people put more faith in a celebrity than they do in the actual experts, who spent decades researching and making vaccines. It is sickening to see that the anti-vaccine movement is largely still in effect, despite the fact that all evidence points out that vaccines are not harmful and, most importantly, do not cause Autism.

I remember reading about the anti-vaccine movement when the story first came out, and even as a youngster, I was still thinking, “why would we trust a celebrity over the experts?” Honestly, it isn’t hard to rationalize looking up to popular people. The experts likely come off as boring and inaccessible to the general population, and they also don’t always tell you what you want to hear.

Celebrities are no more informed than the rest of the population, even despite the rise in potential celebrity political races. This is how we end up with people like Donald Trump, who, regardless of his character, doesn’t ever seem to come off like he knows what he is doing. When they voted for him, people put their trust in a popular person, and not a politician, a hard decision for some, but it showed how celebrity worship is getting out of hand.

Ever since the dawn of civilization, this has been a common case. Say in Medieval Europe, a popular knight goes around a village saying that monsters are going to come out of the woods and eat their children in the dead of the night. Then, the not-so popular huntsman in the woods disproves the knight, saying that these so-called monsters are just harmless deer. However, the people are going to believe the knight for the sole reason that he is popular, which is why we get stories about the monsters, and not the truth about the deer.

It is frustrating, but celebrity worship will likely be around for as long as we have celebrities. The only way to counter this, is to to get your information from a more independent source, and not from the opinion of someone who probably doesn’t know any better.

Reed McCoy can be reached at [email protected] or @ReedMcCoy6 on Twitter.