An exploration of the effect our celebrity-dominated culture has on our ideas of what it means to live the good life
What would happen if an average Joe tried out for American Idol, underwent a professional makeover, endured Gwyneth Paltrow's "Clean Cleanse," and followed the outrageous rituals of the rich and famous? Health law policy researcher Timothy Caulfield finds out in this thoroughly unique, engaging, and provocative book about celebrity culture and its iron grip on today's society.
Over the past decade, our perceptions of beauty, health, success, and happiness have become increasingly framed by a popular culture steeped in celebrity influence and ever more disconnected from reality. Research tells us that our health decisions and goals are influenced by celebrity culture and endorsements, our children's ambitions are now overwhelmingly governed by the fantasy of fame, and the ideals of beauty and success are mediated through a celebrity-dominated worldview.
But while much has been written about the cause of our obsession with the rich and famous, Caulfield argues that not enough has been done to debunk celebrity messages and promises about health, diet, beauty, or happiness. From super-thin models to Gwyneth Paltrow's endorsement of a gluten free-diet for almost anyone, celebrity opinions have the power to dominate our conversations and outlooks.
In this book, Caulfield provides an entertaining look into the celebrity world, including vivid accounts of his own experiences trying out for American Idol, having his skin resurfaced, and doing the cleanse; interviews with actual celebrities; thought-provoking facts, and a practical and evidence-based reality check on our own celebrity ambitions.