What is a Celebrity?

A celebrity is a person who has achieved fame through a career in the entertainment industry or other fields such as sport, politics, art and music. A celebrity may also be famous for their wealth or their connections to a famous person.

In the modern world, celebrities are often followed by paparazzi who photograph them at every opportunity, and they must be careful not to do anything that might cause them to lose their fame. This is why many celebrities feel that fame comes with a price and does not necessarily make one happy or healthy. Even if they do experience happiness and health, it usually doesn’t last long. Artist Andy Warhol once said, “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.”

The word celebrity is derived from the Latin verb celebrate, meaning to make known or bring to notice. The word first entered the English language in C15 and had a couple of different meanings. One was the “observance of pomp or special formality on an important occasion” and the other was the cult of celebrity that resulted from the growing interest in later-day saints and heroes.

Both of these early meanings have lost their relevance today, but the desire to be renowned in our lifetime has remained a significant goal of some people. In classical and medieval times, a person might have become a celebrity because they were a politician or a public figure. People who have won Olympic medals or are top performers in their field are sometimes regarded as celebrities. In modern times, it is more common for people to achieve celebrity status as movie stars or television personalities.

The modern concept of celebrity emerged with the advent of film and the rise of telegraphy and photography. A successful actor in this era might be able to promote herself with pictures and stories in penny presses that reached a mass audience. Actors might be able to travel and perform around the world, thanks to steamship and railway technology.

Today, celebrity is a highly individualized and subjective phenomenon that requires considerable social skill for those who want to manage it successfully. It is also highly dependent on technology, especially the Internet, which enables people to share their lives and activities with an enormous audience. Some people achieve celebrity by being sex stars, political figures, religious leaders or criminals.

In recent years, there has been increased concern about the impact that celebrities have on society in general and on our health. Several studies are currently underway to evaluate the influence of celebrities on specific health-related outcomes and conditions, including mental illness, physical disability, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity and smoking. The results of these studies will provide insight into whether the effect of celebrity is positive, negative or neither. In addition, it will be possible to identify the characteristics of celebrities that seem to exert a greater influence than others. This information can then be used to develop strategies to minimize the influence of celebrities on society.