As Fearson has explained , I believe that we all have two identities, one that is personal and therefore created by us and one that is social, which is the way we are given by people in society.
As a part of the young modern generation, we are exposed to the compulsion of the media and some of the biggest opinion leaders, Celebrities. Living in England has caused me to become entranced by celebrities, we adore them and look to them for inspiration in our everyday lives. Like most people I would claim to know everything about celebrities, it has become custom to youngsters to know everything about their favourite celebrity. In a competitive state you want to be that person that knows everything about your idol, and for many years I would research and constantly obsess over my idols. Recently I have been thinking about why that is. This started as me thinking about why we are so obsessive over celebrities, specifically in the UK which lead to this: what if we don’t know who celebrities really are? how can we be sure that celebrities are who we think they are?
Fearson’s Theory: Fearson argues that identity is presently used in two linked senses, which may be termed, social and personal. An identity refers to a social category, a set of persons marked by a label and distinguished by rules deciding membership and characteristic features or attributes.
Perhaps we don’t know celebrities as well as we thought. Celebrities are probably most likely to have two identities, they are living a very public life and in order to maintain a balanced lifestyle they have to separate their social and personal identities.
Miley Cyrus is the perfect example of the social and personal identities most celebrities have. When Miley was contracted with Disney she had to maintain her social identity of the kind innocent girl that played Hannah Montana on the hit Disney channel show, when the show finally ended people started to think that Miley had changed due to bad influences, this caused several parents to be upset with the singer for being a bad role model. It was easy to blame Miley or her surroundings for her ‘new’ ‘inappropriate’ lifestyle but nobody thinks about why she has changed. It is easy to supress your true identity in social settings because you are most likely dealing with people that do not know you on a personal level. Disney wanted the star’s reputation to stay ‘perfect’, and when they couldn’t control what she did she showed us her personal identity, well at least that’s what we think.
There have been several debates about Miley’s true identity, and although we would all like to think we know her identity now, we don’t. This could again be another social identity she has conducted to receive more attention in the media or this could actually be her showing the world what she is really like.
I think the most important thing to remember about identities is that unless you know the person on a personal level (and even then) you never know which identity is social and which is personal.
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