The Importance Of Representation In Entertainment
Today in entertainment there is a bigger following in the latest Hollywood and the latest celebrity news than ever before. This can be attributed at least in part to the fact that today in entertainment we have greater access to celebrity lives than ever before, from social media platforms to a Hollywood gossip site. There are many people who diligently follow the lives of those who are big today in entertainment, not only envying them and becoming fascinated in their lives, but even looking up to them as role models as well.
Today in entertainment, many celebrities have begun to use their influence as a celebrity to do good. Many champion causes of various natures, from hunger in third world countries to disaster relief campaigns. Some even go so far as to openly support political campaigns, donating not only funds to the campaign but their time and effort into campaigning as well. For the popular celebrity, this can be an effective way to get people to join their cause, particularly among the younger half of the general population, as studies show that those who are between the ages of eighteen years old and thirty six years old are significantly more likely to take up a celebrity cause. This can, in part, be attributed to the bigger social justice mindset of the younger generations in the United States. It can also be said that today in entertainment celebrities have many platforms with which to support a cause across. Many will utilize their own personal social media platforms in order to spread a message about something that they believe is in important and in many cases, the people following them are eager to listen.
With the celebrity in such a spotlight today in entertainment, the celebrities that we see have a huge impact on us, as evidenced above. This is why representation matters, particularly for those who are considered to be part of a minority group. It is important to see members from that same group succeeding and thriving in all aspects of the world, including the entertainment industry. This is especially important for young children of that group. Kids need role models, and it can have a lasting impact when no one from your specific demographic is ever represented in the popular media.
Take that of African American representation. The African American population of the United States is a large one, including as many as forty five million people (around fifteen percent of the total population of the United States) and still growing. In New York City alone there are more than three and a half million people of African descent. For a long time, however, African American representation was slim to none.
Fortunately, in recent years this has been consistently improving, with many African American people rising to immense success today in entertainment. Look at Tyra Banks, for example, the creator and host of the television show America’s Next Top Model. Tyra Banks has long been a trailblazer in the industry, and was even the first African American woman to be featured on the cover of GQ at the beginning of 1996, when she had a successful modeling career. She was also the first African American woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in that same year and the first African American woman in the famous lingerie catalog for the popular brand, Victoria’s Secret.
Will Smith is another African American who has served as a role model to many for the considerable success he has achieved as an actor in Hollywood. In fact, he is considered one of the most highly paid actors in Hollywood today, with the vast majority of his films grossing at least if not more than one hundred million dollars. He is joined by other successful African American actors like Denzel Washington, who has earned himself not only one but two Oscars. Denzel Washington was only the second African American to be awarded the academy award, making history as he did so.
When it comes to celebrities in the spotlight, representation matters. It is important that we see all kinds of people achieving success, no matter what race they are. Equal representation makes an impact.