Jenny Knowles weighs in on the alter egos of celebrities and their impact on popular culture
As it is nearing Halloween we focus on famous celebrities’ alter-egos that are designed to scare us, or at least gather our attention in a less than conventional manner.
Certain celebrities create a typically loud and scandalous persona, frequently under the name of an alter ego, a character that does not really exist but has an impact on popular culture nevertheless.
Lady Gaga, a prime example, brought us arguably the most repulsing outfit the VMA’s has ever seen in the form of the infamous 2010 ‘Meat Dress’—a full head to toe outfit constructed from raw beef which was later exhibited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
It caused outrage among the general public and was inevitably condemned by animal rights groups, but it certainly got the world’s attention. When we think of Lady Gaga unconventionally large fascinators, masks, spikes and even an entire outfit made out of Kermit the frog springs to mind.
One can only assume that her aim is not to set trends, but rather to appal and shock her way into our everyday conversations. It is a clever trick to ensure that you remain current and popular, whilst leaving the public guessing what your next monstrous publicity stunt will be.
Skipping a generation, described as a middle aged man who has not got over his Goth stage, Marylin Manson’s look stands out in the music industry as one with a ghostly edge.
Taking inspiration from Kiss, Manson’s trademark style sees him drenched in white makeup, heavy eyeliner and layers of black clothing laced together with an array of metallic accessories, Manson’s look is chilling.
In an interview, he once told the guardian “I created a fake world because I did not like the one I was living in”. Often this is the case with celebrities who fabricate an alternative personality as a form of escapism from their ordinary selves.
Although there are controversial views on these artists and what they do, I consider this as a positive aspect of pop culture. It demonstrates imagination in expressing ourselves through the way we dress and challenges the mainstream styles currently in play.