Focus on Hollywood fogs reality

Jen Mok


On Feb. 26, Hollywood gathered its finest specimens for the annual Academy Awards (The Oscars). Whether you were highly invested in the event or just one of the millions watching the spectacle, there is no denying that you participated in the big event in some manner. What exactly enticed you? Was it the attire? The night’s award-winners? Whatever it was, you were probably interested enough to Google or watch the event. The problem here is not whether you were interested but why, and what such interests say about today’s society.

If you haven’t noticed, Hollywood and its products dictate our lives. The immense impact Hollywood has on our lives is too prevalent to ignore. Our society is heavily invested in modeling ourselves off our most prized starlets. We closely watch their fashion and everyday lifestyles–-idolizing them in every way possible. People of all ages attempt to imitate the styles of those revered by the media. Their social influence goes beyond the superficial cultural aesthetics; even their political beliefs garner much interest and ultimately influence our own. Videos like those posted by in support for Obama spread like wildfire and most definitely swayed some to vote for him.

Our President is not exempt from this infatuation with Hollywood. He is known to often reference pop culture and has transformed himself into a pop icon. Just recently, when speaking at the 2011 Governor’s Dinner he said, “I want to welcome some of you back, and I want to welcome those who are here for the first time. I know some of you may be confused and think this is the Oscars … There are some similarities.”

While the acknowledgement of the present pop culture is refreshing, it makes me wonder how this reflects upon our society. In supporting this cult devotion to those of Hollywood, the President is in part responsible for validating the ever-false pretense that “everything is alright.”

I believe that we, as a whole, are desperate to mollify and somewhat romanticize reality. America has always been an idealized land of opportunities and limitless possibilities. With the financial crisis and war that struck our country, this need to comfort our concerns has been immensely emphasized and we have found escapes in our obsessions with Hollywood. By occupying ourselves with those on the big screen, we are continually lying to ourselves that greater problems do not exist. Our biggest concerns become not of those fighting overseas, but those who were caught drinking excessively or whose marriage lasted the shortest. We have decorated and created a false image of simplicity and ultimate glamour.

The population’s unhealthy addiction to our celebrities represents not only the increasingly superficial sentiments of the general public, but also the denial of the more pressing events of the world.

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