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22nd October 2015

The fickleness of fame

Five minutes of fame are easier than ever to achieve but clinging onto stardom is a different story

Now that the internet has become firmly ingrained in all of our day to day lives, more and more people are finding themselves stamped with the label of ‘celebrity’. Although internet fame is a relatively new phenomenon, it’s one that has taken society by storm, prompting millions of young people across the globe to take to their computers in bid to post something funny/controversial/disturbing enough to go viral. This type of fame is a particularly fickle one, with many people being forgotten just days after they’ve achieved international celebrity status. However, there are some who have managed to stay the test of time.

One such figure is 18-year-old Kylie Jenner. You might know her as the youngest member of the infamous Kardashian-Jenner clan (who—admit it, we all love to hate), but it has been through social media that this young lady has truly managed to find her calling. Amassing over 39 million followers on Instagram and 1.8 million on Twitter, Jenner epitomises all that is to be an ‘internet famous’ teenager.

Distinguished by THAT bee-stung, overfilled pout, a typical selfie from her generally garners over a million likes—though that is not to say that she’s no stranger to criticism. Not too long after the brunette controversially enhanced her lips with surgical fillers, the #kyliejennerchallege took the internet by storm. Millions of people across the globe began posting videos and pictures of themselves using shot glasses, bottles and cups to suction their lips into ‘the perfect Kylie pout’—however the method may have taken an attempt at humour a bit too far.

The reportedly painful process was said to leave results that could last for hours—even days, when blood vessels in the lips burst. Although the teen tried to distance herself from the challenge and its promotion, it certainly worked in thrusting her even further into the internet spotlight. Her social media followers increased dramatically, and she began to overtake nearly all of her sisters in terms of popularity—something that was dramatically pointed out for all to see when the ‘Klan’ each released their own personalised apps last month.

Kylie topped the iTunes app chart in just one day after releasing her digital hub—beating her older sister (and argued ‘leader’ of the famous family) Kim. When looking at the app, it’s easy to see why she did it—it costs $2.99 to access its content and it’s also full of links to clothes and accessories that ‘King Kylie’ recommends, earning her thousands of dollars in advertiser’s fees alone.

As much as she’s been criticised, it’s somewhat hard to blame Kylie Jenner for utilising her status as a celebrity to further her income. Given the chance, wouldn’t we all do the same? However, money making isn’t the only side effect that social media can have. Nearly everyone we know has at least some form of it on their phones or laptops, and more than most have the whole lot: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. But hardly any of us seem to understand the risks that such profiles pose. While we might think social media is a great resource for stalking our exes to see whether or not their new babes is as hot as us, when you really think about it, the fact that we have the capability of doing that is actually quite scary.

While what we’re doing is pretty harmless, there are people out there that use the same methods to do a distinctly more sinister type of stalking. It’s easy to forget the safety measures you’re willingly foregoing when you sign up for social media, perhaps that’s something that we, as young people, need to become more aware of.

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