The Celebrity Syndrome


Early yesterday morning, I find a thread on X (formerly Twitter) that reads “A LIST OF
CELEBRITIES YOU SHOULD UNFOLLOW.” and the list is never ending. In the midst of a
world heavily influenced by media and content, the word of celebrities is often considered gospel. This past week, I found myself pondering why.
The central question that emerges is: why do we seek political advice from individuals whose expertise lie in different areas? In an era where social media platforms serve as conduits for
national agendas and political leaders twist information for votes, discerning between
propaganda and facts becomes increasingly challenging. And it is then easier to get our quick
fixes, our small doses of knowledge from sources we already consume on the daily, like our
favorite fashion influencer or the artist whose song has been on repeat all week. There is a comfort there, the awareness that they are young like-minded individuals who can be trusted not to lead astray. Many celebrities conduct thorough research, recognizing the platform that they have like Macklemore who recently came out with a very well thought take on the Israel-
Palestine conflict that makes for a wonderful read, broadcasting the intricacies that are missed in the crevices of such a large conflict and highlighting the loss of lives on both sides.

One must also acknowledge the many who mindlessly echo their publicist’s opinions to avoid lashes on the interwebs and the majority that choose to remain silent through it all. Taylor Swift has faced consistent criticism throughout her career for her silence on global issues. Her documentary “Miss Americana” emphasizes the pressure from a conservative industry to keep your political beliefs separate from your professional life and to not offer support in the public eye leading to alienation of potential consumers and endorsers.
Add to it the young impressionable fanbase consisting of millions of adoring fans a celebrity
often possesses and it is quite easy to track the trail of misinformation that plagues ours and the coming generation. Whether it is the Andrew Tate phenomenon, which consisted of multiple
young boys parroting his misogynistic rhetoric, without knowing right from wrong or the Israel-
Palestine conflict, where multiple celebrities posted condolences for Israel with pictures of
carnages of Gaza, the ones who post the first statistic to come up on their feed, often retracting
at the first sign of backlash. The lack of critical thinking when public figures are elevated onto
pedestals result in the ringing endorsement of ideas by their fanbase.
It is crucial to acknowledge the limitation of knowledge most celebrities possess in fields like
politics, medicine and economics given their dedication to their craft be it acting, singing or other creative outlets.

Yet, elevating their statements to the same level as information spread by
experts who have devoted their lives to accurate research can be problematic, often venturing into life threatening territory. A prominent example of the threat misinformation can pose is
Jenny McCarthy, a well-known American TV personality who has outspokenly criticized
vaccines. This happened after her son developed autism at 2 ½ years old and she believed it to
be due to the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) Vaccine. Having penned 3 books on autism
post this experience, she now gives interviews detailing the steps she carried out to cure her son of autism. Her significant influence has lead to a surge in vaccine hesitancy among
parents. Statistics in the US show that only 15% of parents had heard a great deal about the
possible disadvantages of vaccines for children in 2001. By 2022, the percentage had risen to
Prominent figures like Gwyneth Paltrow have frequently advocated unconventional practices, including, notably, her endorsement of apitherapy. Paltrow’s publicized experience with bee stings as a remedy for scarring and inflammation has since gained recognition as “Gwyneth
Paltrow’s Bee Sting Therapy”; While the health benefits of certain bee-derived products, such as
honey, royal jelly, and pollen, are well-established, the therapeutic use of bee venom,
specifically Melittin for its anti-inflammatory properties, remains inadequately supported by
rigorous scientific evidence. It is essential to underscore the limited and poorly documented
evidence substantiating these claims, along with the potential health risks associated with
apitherapy, including anaphylaxis, strokes, and, regrettably, fatalities. Of particular concern is
the phenomenon whereby individuals previously devoid of any documented bee venom allergies may develop sensitization over time, leading to unforeseen complications.                                                    This is exactly what happened to a 55-year-old Spanish woman who engaged in regular apitherapy sessions, primarily to address her stress and muscle tension. Tragically, her last session took a turn for the worse, resulting in wheezing and unconsciousness. The apitherapy clinic proved unequipped to handle this emergency. While her vital signs temporarily stabilized en-route to the hospital, physicians ultimately attributed her critical condition to a massive stroke precipitated by acute anaphylaxis (acute allergic reaction) Regrettably, she lapsed into a permanent coma and succumbed to multi-organ failure several weeks later.
We must also acknowledge the pressure this puts on modern-day celebrities. The relentless
spotlight demands awareness on a global scale . People repeatedly get upset when celebrities
choose to speak about one topic while disregarding another struggle. In a world with readily
available information and a knowledge disparity that is being bridged everyday, there is a
collective responsibility to ensure that individuals are well informed and capable of making
decisions rooted in factual knowledge 

Written by Chandini for MTTN 

Edited by Sidhant Tomer for MTTN

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑