What is your opinion on celebrity worship

Teen Idols: Why Are Teen Stars Revered?

Many adults remember with a smile the times during their own puberty, when they raved about a star from back then and were even in love with him. In retrospect, this phase of life seems strange to them - until you experience it again in your own pubescent children. Because although the adored idols and the cult around their admiration have changed over the decades, the phenomenon of "star worshiping" as a timeless phenomenon is typical for every generation of teenagers. But we are now perceiving it more intensely, because never before have the media celebrated celebrities as extensively as they do today. But why is it that especially young people drive admiration to extremes and are infatuated with "their" idols?

Breaking the cord from the children's world

Screaming girls who wait for hours in front of a concert hall to get the best seats in front of the stage, rooms that become places of pilgrimage - covered with posters from top to bottom and finally entire folders full of newspaper articles, photos and loads of fan articles. This is what the "normal madness" of teenagers often looks like. But this "madness" is important for the development of kids in this phase of life, because young people are in a process of upheaval. Not only physical, but also mental development plays an important role between the ages of twelve and twenty. Much is changing now. The teenagers enjoy more freedom, for example they are allowed to go out longer, earn their first own money and begin to be interested in the opposite sex.

Idols help with personal development

During this time, when the individual personality is slowly taking shape, the world has to be rearranged, away from family and towards friends. A demarcation from children's life is now becoming more and more important. While parents were previously mostly considered to be the main reference persons, young people are now looking for new role models and are increasingly finding them in stars such as athletes, musicians or actors. These become idols and offer teenagers the opportunity to identify with someone outside the family who seems very far away and yet very close.

"Such projection figures are important in this age group, they give energy for their own development. Especially with idols who have a completely different way of life, young people want to deliberately differentiate themselves from their parents," said Swiss child and youth therapist Allan Guggenbühl in an interview with the Aargauer Zeitung. Child and youth psychiatrist Gunter Klosinski also knows the importance of such teenage daydreams: "That is good and helps young people to develop their vulnerable new personality, which is only just emerging. The idol is just a tiny caricature of the inner self that is just maturing. You design an image of yourself and project it onto your idol. Under this protective cloak, your own soft personality, which is still in a metamorphosis, can form like a cocoon, ”he says in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Dominance of the girls

Especially girls populate the world of the swarmed stars in large numbers. Their objects of desire can be mysterious young vampires, seductive werewolves, clever sorcerer's apprentices or singing high school boys. They all have one thing in common: They spark the first daydreams in the army of braces wearers. Such stars or the characters they embody are often the first conscious "contact" with the opposite sex. The Berlin pedagogue Bettina Fritzsch, who wrote her dissertation on the subject, describes such passionate admiration as the first "safe" test run for feelings of love : "You experience the intense emotions of your first love without the risks of a real relationship." Eveline von Arx, who headed the Dr. Sommer team at "Bravo" between 2003 and 2008, sees it the same way: "Girls in particular often experience this their first crush, which an idol triggers in them. ”That could also be a preparation in the fantasy for a later,“ real ”relationship.

Good and chaste - but still sexy

What is striking about this mass infatuation today is that many adored stars such as "Twilight Vampire" Robert Patterson - at least for the public - maintain a very good image. "Hanna Montana" alias Miley Cyrus as a female role model has long been an innocent angel . This trend can also be observed among teenagers and was confirmed by a study in the fall. According to this, young people today have sex later than they did a few years ago and a third of the 17-year-olds surveyed said they had never had sexual intercourse.

Youth psychiatrist Gunther Konsinski knows that the enthusiasm for being in love with all the fantasies that go with it is all the greater, and youth psychiatrist Gunther Konsinski knows: "Now the youngsters are trying it out. They fantasize, but in reality nothing happens. They live out things in their minds that they wouldn't dare to do. ”The fact that the adored are not just role models, but also potential flirt partners and coveted sex objects, is also shown by a recent survey by the youth magazine“ Popcorn ”, which reflects the wishes of the kids . Here 74 percent of the girls said they would like to kiss the star they had a crush on and almost half could imagine having sex with their idol.

Business idea "Boygroup"

This female emotional world has been exploited in the last few years by clever music managers who have made various casting boy bands a bestseller - regardless of whether they are "Take That", "Back Street Boys", "N`Sync", "Westlife" or "Boyzone" The profitable business concept was always the same: young, good-looking singers were specifically selected, each of which was a different type. This gave fans the opportunity to choose from a group of usually five boys who had their ideal ideas of a partner In some cases, however, the passionate admiration reached extreme proportions. When Robbie Williams announced his departure from Take That in 1995, helplines had to be set up as some fans threatened to commit suicide.

Girl bands for boys?

The girl bands have also played an important role in the teenage cosmos and were a profitable business model. This became clear in the "Popstars" casting format, because in recent years almost only groups of girls have been put together there. But like Miley Cyrus for example, these "pop creations" were not intended to make the boys rave, but instead had the female target group in focus. The young singers always represented powerful and self-confident personalities with whom even shy girls could identify. They could thus emulate their idol and practice the appropriate stage choreographies in front of the mirror or orientate yourself on the trendy "style".

Boys, on the other hand, think differently than girls when they worship their stars. They are seldom out for enthusiasm and the erotic component usually falls under the table with them. This is also confirmed by the “Popcorn” survey. After that, none of the respondents wanted to kiss their favorite star or even fell in love with him. No wonder: the celebrities favored by boys are mostly men. When looking for strong, masculine role models, they often try to emulate their idols in specific activities, for example to play football perfectly or to imitate a solo by a brilliant guitarist. The aggressive macho behavior of gangster rappers like Eminem or Bushido also finds many followers, especially among male teenagers.

Fan culture promotes togetherness

But no matter who you rave about, you are never alone with your passion. Fans always appear in groups. This is also important for pubertal development. Because the shared experience of music or a film by the admired artist creates an intense feeling of togetherness. The psychologist Martin Huppert, who deals with this phenomenon in his book “The Star-Fan Relationship in Pop Music: Forever Young?”, Explains: “Young people can find security, orientation and stabilization in a fan scene. In addition, by adopting fashion trends and interests, a new attitude towards life is developed that he can share with his peers. ”In a fan group whose members have a common passion, internal conflicts are far less likely, since the entire energy of the group rests on the Idols.

Career springboard YouTube & Co.

Recently, digital media such as YouTube & Co. are responsible for a new way of "making stars". Here, clever producers no longer market an art product, but the young users themselves "create" their idol: Justin Bieber is currently personifying this phenomenon . Wherever it appears, millions of girls worldwide screeching alarms and ecstasy, and even boys are copying the "Bieber style". And it all started with a YouTube music video of his own that the young Canadian who singing, guitar, I learned to play piano and drums myself and put it online. The users liked it and the success story began: Today the video is the most clicked of all time on YouTube. And it recently only took 22 minutes for the New York concert in Madison Square Garden to sell out was.

For the young fans, the "Bieber magic" is that the young star is an idol you can touch. He is the boy next door, a peer at eye level who, like millions of other teenagers, is on social networks and in this way - very everyday - also maintains contact with his fans. Justin Bieber has seven and a half million followers on Twitter and more than 22 million friends on Facebook. For the kids he is the ultimate figure to identify with and a role model in the truest sense of the word. The boy from a small Canadian community showed that anyone can become a star and that you can do it on your own. Such stories form the bridge between teenage dreams and reality and make up the fascination of "Justin Bieber". But thanks to the huge success, a professionalized star machine is slowly getting going and the "nice neighbor boy" is also beginning to move away from everyday teenage life as an adorable mega-star - more and more being put on a pedestal. Justin's hair is a symbol of this: at the end of February, when he had his typical hairstyle trimmed, his curls were auctioned on ebay for a good cause. They brought in almost 30,000 euros!