How Fame Has Developed as a Concept


According to Neimark (2016), the nature or concept of fame has evolved in modern days. This individual says that celebrity has often accorded people an outlet for their imagination, in a similar manner to the demigods and gods of the ancient Rome and Greece. According to Neimark (2016), celebrities or fame are the myth bearers of humans and the carriers of divine forces of redemption, lust, evil and good. The researcher claims that in the same manner the ancient Greeks accorded trace divine elements to stones, winds and trees, the modern world has also assigned similar characteristics or powers to animals such as spotted owls, whales and to celebrities. Neimark (2016) says that at one point, famous individuals were recorded for many years in paint and in stone. For example, Alexander the Great, became the first famous individual in a modern perspective. Neimark (2016) says that Alexander the Great not only wanted to be different but also wanted to let everybody know about his popularity and he had the apparatus or means of telling all people about it. The individual also had different techniques or ways of developing famous things. The person also had gem carvers, sculptors, painters and historians to work on his famous battle activities. students seek guidance to navigate the complexities of this area of the subject. For that, they prefer the assistance from History Dissertation Help as it provides invaluable insights about the subject.


Neimark (2016) says that heroes have or portray intrinsic value which is the sense of the noble and the heroic. And, similar to the durable gods, famous people lift the human vision. However according to Neimark (2016), the concept of fame is no longer as it was perceived in the old days because today, famous individuals are borne in images that are marketed and sold, as well as, passed along with rapidity and more cunning ways. They are then cast aside as quickly. According to Neimark (2016), in the contemporary world and unlike in the old days, numerous new celebrities emerge across all media branches. People love them as quickly and cast the aside in the same manner. The researchers links this change in fame to technology and states that technology has instantaneous and immediate impact on fame making peoples’ fascination on the celebrities to be very fickle.

According to Finsterwalder, Yee and Tombs (2017), the old celebrities achieved close to godlike status which seemed historical and impermeable. On the contrary, the current celebrities exist by and for an information era. This individual says that in today’s atomized and global world of bytes and bits, where data is immediately massive and available, famous individuals help to personalize their information by putting their faces on the data. They then become diminishes in this process, and so are their fans. This individual further says that, the old celebrities were known for their actions and were immortalized through paints, sculptures and historic writings, but today’s culture produces endless images are tightly controlled and fed to people, alongside their information, this creating less real famous individuals.

Aims of the Research

To investigate how the concept or ideology of fame has developed over the past 500 years

Research Objectives

To evaluate how fashion as an element of fame has changed

To examine how the celebrity culture has also changed

To examine how the concept of fame has developed with regard to paparazzi or media practices

Research questions

How has the change in fashion among celebrities developed or changed?

How has the celebrity culture changed over the last 500 years

What role has the paparazzi media practices played in changing the ideology of fame?

Celebrity Culture

According to Furedi (2010), many people today spend a lot of time following celebrities’ lives than they do with legitimate news. Furedi (2010) says that though this can be harmless, it is not spontaneous as people did not become ravenous for insider data or information about the sex lives of celebrities or about the clothes they wear. Instead, peoples’ appetites for such information was whetted and the people cultivated their taste for such data themselves. People want to know when, how, by whom, why and the consequence of the actions taken by other people, particularly the celebrities. Furedi (2010) highlights that in most cases, people are interested in things concerning the culture of celebrities, the interesting things about these individuals, which in almost all instance are lest important. This researcher claims that the most interesting aspect of celebrity culture is ordinary peoples’ preoccupation with celebrities or famous individuals whose lives do not intersect with their lives and whose good fortunes have no material benefits to the ordinary people. Furedi (2010) says that another interesting aspect of celebrity culture is the expensive and extravagant value which people attach to the lives of popular individuals whose real accomplishments may be few, but who have extensive visibility. According to Furedi (2010), there are global industrial tools which are geared towards generating talent-free entertainers and ordinary individuals who desire fleeting renown. Additionally, the consumer society has a relentless drive to “commodify” everyone and everything into items which can be sold thus appearing worthy of peoples’ attention.

According to Guglani (2016), the celebrity culture comes from or has its roots in the social and emotional changes which occurred in the 18th century when at this point, life became a spectator activity or sport. This individual highlights the modern celebrities is about courting recognition, posterity and stage-managing the lives of the famous individuals like art. According to Guglani (2016), both the 18th century and the 19th century people surveyed one another and the most glamorous, notorious and fashionable became celebrities simply because they are the most viewed or watched individuals. This writer says that the 20th century is also an era when the intense passion about other people began to wear off as they noticed that they had conflicting emotions. As a result, people are trapped today in frozen sensibility of keen or careful consideration of the actions and inactions leading to a culture or lifestyle of personal therapy, increasing the importance or significance of celebrities even further. This individual further claim that as is projected on television screens and cinema, famous individuals or celebrities do our feeling and living for us. The researcher says that people often look up to or worship celebrities, wishing to live or carry themselves as the stars do.

Gundle (2008) in his work “Glamour” also assessed the history of fame and how it evolved over the past. Gundle (2008) traced the origin of glamour to the era of Napoleon Bonaparte and found that it is mainly based on more fanciful precedents and romantic movements seen in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as, it is also linked to magical reams of belief and existence. Gundle (2008) continues that glamour evolved in the 19th century with the courtesan culture of both France and England, particularly the theatre and later in the 1920s, with the growth of the Hollywood films. Gundle (2008) says that increasingly, national passions, racial battles, political climate, sexual mores and cultural watersheds are seen through an always changing kaleidoscope of tales concerning individuals. This results in a culture that can be defined based on the personal, as is perceived through the famous individuals. The researcher states that in the modern world, there is selling of persona even in traditional pure areas and people live in illusory or a world of characters that are created.

Research by Lee, Scott and Kim (2008) shows that historically, people have often followed and wished to live like celebrities, or have been influenced by the famous individuals. As a result, the celebrities act as their role models or inspire them to live in certain ways. People can also use famous individuals who have failed as examples to highlight certain wrongs in the society. This role played by celebrities in the society has not changed. For instance, during the time of Marie Antoinette, who was born in Austria in 1775 became a symbol of surplus in her kingdom. Married to the heir of the French throne, Louis Auguste, She is credited with a popular quote “Let them eat cake”. It is said that this is the answer she gave when she was told that the people had no bread. She is represented in fanatical scholarship on her jewellery and wardrobe selection, as well as her continuous speculation concerning her extramarital love affair. She became very popular among her people and beginning in 1780, she started spending a lot of time in her expensive and luxurious private fortress. She lived a fabulous and lavish lifestyle even during hard times making her a hot topic of the popular ire. There were innumerable pamphlets which were published concerning the queen’s infidelity, extravagance and ignorance, some dubbing the queen “Madame Deficit” and others featuring her as salacious animations. People paid attention to her lifestyle and were keen to see how she lived and find her mistakes being a famous individual (Hardman, 2019).

This is similar to the modern day celebrities whose lifestyle are screened and criticized. According to (Backaler, 2018), people are always looking at how celebrities live and when they are found with issues such as those linked to infidelity, corruption and other wrong doings, they are discussed in all platforms of media, what is famously referred to as trending. They are then used as examples in the society, either as good or as bad examples, indicating the behaviours which people should not follow.

According to Gamson (1994), consumers play a significant role in the making and breaking of celebrities. This researcher says that the consumers, collectively, have more power toady as compared to in the past. The contemporary consumers are no longer luxuriate in anything they see but are educated and skilled in making celebrities using the particular channels which are used to present the celebs. Gamson (1994) says that the modern consumers do not simply look at images or pictures but are able readers. This individual says that celebrity in the modern world and places like the US have fans who are savvy and who understand the process of producing celebrities. According to Gamson (1994) the modern audiences embrace positions that allow them to act as bot performers and voyeurs in the celebrity commercial culture.

According to Cashmore (2014), all the modern celebrities do is be available to the consumers. This individual uses the example of Madonna. This researcher says that Madonna could be the first famous person to make her growing into a celebrity to be entirely transparent. This was the trend that all others who followed adopted. Even for the celebrities that were shy concerning revealing things about themselves to the fans, for instance, their monstrously and expansive expensive marketing which went into the movies, the stage acts, videos and cds, the consumers could still find this out by themselves. Therefore, a celebrity culture was established where being in the culture was pleasurable for the consumers who felt good that they were not merely observers bit important players in the making of the celebrities. According to Cashmore (2014), consumers understand that the success or accomplishments of most people who they are fans are not substantial and that they have an inconsequential impact on the society. This researcher says that consumers know things about the celebrities, some details which are not as important, for instance, the celebrity’s relationship with other another person and how they broke up, how much a reality show earns despite their self-acknowledgement of the absence of skills, knowledge, taste or intellect, or a lack of qualities worth merit. The consumers know such things and still fail to rely on them as reasons not to follow them. Cashmore (2014) says that the most important thing for the fans is the joy of participating and enjoying the celebrity culture.

As a result, the consumers pay for the celebrities to continue supplying them with appearance as these individuals offer no particular expertise or labour (Cashmore, 2014). Therefore, this individual claims that some celebrities lack valuable skills to sell but because people are fascinated by them due to their dramatic performances, or because of their link to Scientology, they are followed. This researcher points out that a celebrity’s talent do not have any necessary link to her or his status as a celebrity. Therefore, those contesting on a television show might lack conspicuous talent yet they get status even for a short time. This author says that once these individuals enter the celebrity market, they are able to dispense similar resources as the big Hollywood actors or rock stars using their presence and not necessarily talent. They then appear in gossip magazines, TV shows, advertisements and internet sites as long as fans maintain their interest on their activities and lifestyles.

According to McLean and Wainwright (2009), celebrity culture is present and invades or surrounds us besides shaping people’s conduct, manner, style and thought. This culture not only affects but is also affected by hard-core fans and the whole populations whose way of lives have changed because of the shift from a society that embraces manufacturing to those that deal in services, as well as , a shift from ordinary or plain consumers to those who are aspirational.

Lasch (1980) says that the celebrity cult of the mass media and the attempt by these groups to surround fame with excitement and glamour have converted nations into places of moviegoers and fans. Talking about what this individual refers to as ‘the Culture of Narcissism’, (Lasch, 1980) says that the media has given substance to as well as intensified the narcissistic dreams of glory and fame, and encouraged ordinary people to identify themselves with celebrities. As a result of thee, people have been encouraged further to identify with celebrities and to reject the banality of their daily existence. Lasch (1980) says that people might secretly harbour or explicitly show their dissatisfaction with their lives but will cling to an invisible attachment to a glitzy world of the famous individuals’ activities. Therefore, people survive by thinking about or having narcissistic dreams. Giles (2003) says that the uniqueness in the celebrity culture is the change seen where emphasis is no longer put on achievements but fame is now media driven, a phenomenon known as to ‘celebrify’. This is interpreted as to praise widely, to exalt, to make famous or invest an inferior or common thing or person with great significance. This is what Giles (2003) calls an immortality illusion where an ultimate contemporary celebrity is one who is also a member of the society or the public and who is made famous via through media participation.

Paparazzi and Media

According to Gundle (2008), there is a relationship of glamour to the 19th century middle class and aristocratic display and the genesis of photography, as well as the increase of urbanism and commercialism. This individual says that our lives and cultures as heroes show our belief on what we think is the best in our lives or ourselves. Gundle (2008) says that in the past, heroes were distinguished by their achievements but today’s celebrities are differentiated by their images. In turn, the images transmute the celebrities into items which can be sold for a price. Gundle (2008) says that today is not like it was in the past because in the past, people cared less about whether an individual took photos of themselves doing things. On the contrary today, celebrities are more cautious about the many news magazines and TV shows that exist and they do not want to be caught unawares in real-life incidences.

According to Schwartz (2017), photographs which are produced by the paparazzi defy simple or easy explanation because they are usually shot out-of-focus and from long distances using telephoto lenses. The genre of these photographs also include hand-wave on the lenses, as well as celebrity lenses referred to as ‘no-pictures’ pose. Schwartz (2017) says that the value of these images is acquired from the information they portray, something ordinary people would not have seen or known, justifying the photos inclusion in journalism. The value of such photos also come from their dramatic display of facts like they were stolen without the celebrities’ permission, investigative in nature. This individual says that due to these nature of the photographs, they offer an overview of a subject and favour sketching and breadth in different subjects and filed which are relevant instead of focusing on a single area. According to Schwartz (2017), today’s modern digital era has propelled the paparazzi or image providers into a business that continuously produces new content around an image that is created to maintain their significance as images.

For example, the story of Princes Diana properly elaborates how paparazzi’s have influenced the concept of fame. History by Hindman (2003) indicates that it has been more than twenty years since Princes Diana died. The researcher says that the violence surrounding her death on a car crash as the driver tried to avoid the paparazzi. It is her lifestyle that is more impactful today, she lived an amply covered and vibrant public life and this helped feed media consumers worldwide for a relatable and more expansive celebrity culture. Princes Diana was a star and although she initially emerged as a natural royal intrigue, her Hollywood panache and cleverness turned her into a compelling celebrity even in the modern history. Diana’s playbook comprised of breaking celebrities’ wall with her frank and intimate air accompanied with some privacy. She became a highly magnetic personality on camera and turned the act of being spied on or surveyed into an obsessive activity where people always wanted more information about her. The researcher highlights that Diana seemed to enjoy or like communicating in bits with a glance and the public loved it. The solace of being famous or known, being heard or listened to and being seen gave made her do it even more. She became a more efficient and effective celebrity of the 20th century thanks to the extensive coverage. Princes Diana cunningly understood the press and her storytelling abilities made her develop an on-going drama, heightened by her paparazzi coverage. As a result, she became extremely famous (Hindman, 2003).

According to Chung and Cho (2017), the media plays a critical role in making a celebrity and attracting attention besides some deeds which they perform and however modest they are. This individual says that the small deeds can involve making appearance on TV shows, engaging in some criminal activities or an unwanted inept behaviour in a major function such as a sporting event. These include conducts which are not considered deserving of appreciation or recognition and which would not be commendable in the past like in the 1920s or even the 1980s.

According to Zestanakis (2015), the idea of merit changed between the 80s and the 90s and figures that traditionally acquired distinction and received praise for different activities and their efforts started competing with other people whose performance or achievements were usually uncertain. This individual says that it is this period when worthless people started cropping up and commanded a lot of interest for no particular thing or reason. The researcher says that they were, however, not entirely worthless where worth is an equal value of measurement of performance or merit that is conferred on something or someone by the society or a population. The individual recognizes that all those people or characters who are considered unworthy of other people’s attention rose to fame without doing anything substantial. What these people did was make appearances where their images became passed to many people through the media like the internet sites and televisions and when their exploits were recorded on newspapers, their thoughts also being recounted by magazines. Therefore, the key to the people becoming celebrities was media’s involvement. The consumers became delighted and the new generation demonstrated that, even people who lack obvious gifts or talents or those lacking any deserving distinctive characteristics can also be worthy of people’s serious attention because they are seen in the media (Zestanakis, 2015).

According to Dorland (2017), there are several reasons that made the media to change its attention or focus. First is because of the iconoclastic effects or tendencies that photographers had, something that became regarded as the paparazzi. This researcher says that the paparazzi came at a time when people were exhausted and bored by the anodyne productions of the film industry and fans excitedly consumed the works of different journalists who did not follow the unwritten rules concerning the boundaries between public and private life. The entertainment sector in the past strictly regulated the kind of information that should be released, particularly those linked to celebrities’ private lives. However, the paparazzi came to the realization that most fans wanted and had an appetite for a different version, one which the celebrities’ faces were captured in their embarrassing moments, doing what they were not expected to do or looking like they were not supposed to look.

According to Marwick (2015) by the time of the extra-terrestrial transformation in broadcasting came when consumers had significantly habituated to getting to know some well-protected information about the private lives of music and movie stars. In fact at this time, it was easy to predict how the space-time compression that was introduced thanks to media technology would impact peoples’ ability to peer, scrutinize and examine in expert details hidden things about the famous individuals. Media globalization led to an increased ability to transfer large amounts of data all over the world instantly and quickly, particularly news, advertisement and entertainment.

Transponders and satellites were used by the media as tools of expansion across the globe. The media thus wrapped the world into a worldwide invisible communication network. The satellites could broadcast information, bounce them off and send it anywhere around the world. The satellite TV organisations understood no boundaries between countries and everyone in the world was virtually part of a single enormous global market. The power and size of companies also grew significantly, resulting in a growing control over institutional and economic resources. More importantly, there was an increased capacity to change popular attitudes, values and beliefs (Marwick, 2015).

Lundahl (2017) highlights one of the famous media figures known as Rupert Murdoch. The researcher says that this media figure exploited many opportunities provided at that time by satellite technology in the 1960s. The figure also exploited the privatisation and deregulation of the TV industry both in the 1980s as well as the 1990s. The researcher says that in 1989, the European satellite owned by Murdoch began to beam different programs through satellite via the Sky network. A decade after, different channels totalling to 66 percent of the global population were owned by Murdoch. The many channels posed a challenge, specifically the content that would be aired. To keep the world focused on their television screens, a formula was needed. The TV programs shifted from fixed information and content to entertainment, something to offer people amusement and occupy others agreeably, by diverting their minds from issues which can prompt reflection, analysis or introspection. The consideration by the research is that entertainment does not modify people in a significant way even though it can provoke contemplation (Lundahl, 2017).

Light entertainment became the best method to occupy people through the numerous TV channels that existed (Kovarik, 2015). This was the best formula which needed a small amount of attention from the viewers. Music, sport and movies became the business of the day. It was expected that people would easily get exhausted of this formula and would feel suffocated under the superabundance of entertainment. However, the revolution in communication failed to end with TV and the multimedia proliferation resulted in another layer of conduit, specifically the internet, to pass along information. The transformations in the orientation of the media affected the relationship between new media and the performers. According to Kovarik (2015), even before the emergence of the show-business, the industry of entertainment has furnished artists that drew acclaim, individuals who then acted as selling points.

From the minstrel shows of the nineteenth-century, music halls in the Great Britain, its radio, silent films and theatre, the popular entertainment provided a platform where figures distinguished from other contemporaries could be showcased (Laing (2016). According to Raymond (2015), the star system of Hollywood is an example. Started in the 1940s, the system successfully exploited this unlike any other sector in history. The system controlled a smoothly-running, factory or industry-like line of production where stars or celebrities where treated in a similar way that commodities would be treated. The system used value to generate more sales.

This concept of producing celebrities instead of waiting for them to attain famous achievements remained silent until the 1980s where prolific media offered a different opportunity where a different form if engagement with the celebrities was needed (Hackley and Hackley, 2015). As a result, the era when people became famous and remained that way by simply creating hit records or movies, or composing bestsellers was coming to a halt. One vital characteristic of the new age was simply visibility, defined by doing not very important thins but staying the gaze of the public. Many communication channels were filled up with different sorts of information and entertainment content. A stiff competition was thus expected, where there would be an overflow of actors or entertainers. The most impressive ones were expected to outshine the less impressive entertainers based on the consciousness of the public. Many entertainers optimised on this and helped the media and its effect on making celebrities to materialise. Many of the entertainers entered a deal or struck bargain with the many media channels where they would offer more about themselves, allowing the media to show more content on the celebrities than any other movie or rock star. The celebrities started disclosing more personal secrets and shared about their sorrow, joys and fears, the things that make them gratified, angry, sad and happy. They became more unrestricted and candid in their interviews as compared to the old era entertainers. The consumers could thus see through them. The media, on the other hand, agreed to do extensive coverage on the celebrities making them pervasive, ubiquitous and omnipresent (Hackley and Hackley, 2015).

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Gundle (2008) says that the development of the concept of fame is linked to the advent or the beginning of modernity. According to Gundle (2008), the ideology of modernity in fashion among a large number of historians, has taken the place of Marxist concepts concerning class and material conditions as the driving factors that propelled historical change. Gundle (2008) says that there was a difficult relationship or link between sexuality and glamour, as the protean ideology increased with time to include the bare subject and the covered issues. This researcher says that the concept of fashion is rooted in the old or ancient notions of the ability and shape-shifting capacity of peoples’ eyes to cast evil or negative spells on others and glamour always linked to it undertones of spectacle, glorious display and perversity.

According to Gibson and Pesce (2017), the new millennium was accompanied by the interaction between show businesses and fashion. These researchers say that the business also received a huge boost through the emergence of the internet and platforms like YouTube, the massive growth of social media and the domestication of the entertainment sector. Gibson and Pesce (2017) claims that the recent two decades are marked with a great dissemination and availability of data linked to fashion items, fashion events and sites, as well as fashion personalities: the publicists, art directors, models and designers. These individuals say that the widespread accessibility to tangible assets and fashion imagery has interacted with different pleasures which come from films, show business and red-carpet events. Gibson and Pesce (2017) say that image creation, style and clothing has entered the field of entertainment and spectacle. They say fashion creates codes and images through which different celebrities are not only conceived but also exposed. The researchers say that fashion forges or develops celebrity test and in the modern society, people’s lives, sexuality, religion, creativity and intellect are the fashion vocabulary which are open for representation and renegotiation. The individuals argue that the modern celebrities or famous icons share an ambivalent status with fashion between insubstantiality and materiality, where a pivotal role is played by narration. According to Gibson and Pesce (2017), the general public’s denigration, contempt and enjoyment of famous individuals or celebrities depend on personal narratives or the stories about the personal lives of celebrities, their activities they do and their bodies.

Research shows that today, celebrities can be produced outside the market of show business, in a similar way that political statements, scientific discoveries and crimes can be converted into spectacle and entertainment. For instance, artist-as-celebrity has been accompanied by fashion celebrity, something that is associated with Andy Warhol (Flatley, 2017). The research shows that more than the past two decades are also associated with sporting fashion-celebrities and musicians from different genre who engage in the spectacle of new fashion, particularly those that are appropriately photogenic.

According to Martina and Vacirca (2017), the vital role played by fashion publicity in developing celebrities and the cult of fashion magazines must be considered. These individuals say that the association between fashion and celebrity must be seen as a relationship that is two way. Celebrities not only lead trends but also have guaranteed places in luxury brands. As a result, they influence the behaviours of many consumers. Martina and Vacirca (2017) say that celebrities have thus become a crucial strategic asset for luxury and fast fashion companies.

Caffaro (2017) provides some insight into the cult of fame in relation to the ready-made fashion or clothing market. According to this individual, the international field shows testimonials which can show how a strong image can become fluid when it is forged by styles and changing looks on social media. The celebrities also create a strong image for themselves by sanctioning beautiful or powerful outfits which underline their influential status. Militello (2017) says that while considering achievement and success as premises of celebrities, the entry of musical group’s into mainstream reveal cultural environments and ethics which are involved in in becoming influencers. Additionally, the application of certain styles of clothing in the negotiation of rising a celebrity’s status in the public sphere or the transformation of people into idols shows the influence that fashion has on becoming a celebrity.


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