In my opinion, it is the outcome of capitalism imposed on a largely primitive society. Capitalism means profit no matter what. with an overabundance of competing products, the makers have a problem of attracting the attention of the primitive and the not so primitive minds to their products. Plain advertizing does not cut it. They find it easy to pair it with entertaintment like nudity, sports, talk shows, game shows and so on. Anyone who can attract the attention of the primitive minds, reaps huge rewards because of the media's ability to reach the huge number of primitive minds. The value of these people is multiplied a thousand fold by the far reaching media. A singer or a model would not be worth even a small fraction of what he or she earns without recording media like CDs and DVDs or television broadcasting. Yet that revenue is not shared with the technologists who make this happen. The primitive minds have no idea what it takes to develop these technologies vs posing nude on a front page. The primitive mind does not even understand what the hidden cost of these advertizing are, the costs that are added to everything that is purchased. And the primitive minds have no individual control over this business though collectively they encourage this business by patronizing.
A thoughtful response. Balance in life is a worthwhile pursuit. Its not the presence of sports on my cable network, for instance, that I rail against, but it is the fact that it has occured at almost the complete exclusion of any real science programs. (unless you pay for dedicated channels). I agree it is ok, for those who can, to push the limits of human strength, agility, and reflexes, but our society now, more than ever, needs skills in other areas as well. It is not an either/or senario, it just that there it is easier to connect a single athlete when a team wins, than to understand what group designed their latest I-Phone.
@realjjj What a laughable comment. Our society is primitive because it admires athletes who compete well? I hate to burst your bubble but that's the way it has always been and always will be. I'll go further and say it's not primitive at all. It's important for "thinkers" like yourself to develop some appreciation for giftedness in different areas. You'll be more well-rounded and won't come off sounding like a self-important geek.
I subscribe to Randy Cassinghams This is True newsletter - a digest of 4 (free) or 10 (paid) wacky news items emailed to you every week. It contains the "Honorary Unsubscribe" a section where Randy honors someone usually a bit less than famous who died that week. Joe Sutter is the kind of guy you'd find there (though he is not in, pity). Usually fairly inspiring people, usually ones you never knew existed.
It could be that people idolize, or want to emulate, or wish they could be, whatever they can understand. If you talk to the average "person on the street," it is surprising what they don't know about the technology they use every day, or how it is developed. It just is, apparently.
It's been well publicized, even in EE Times, how most people don't even know what engineering is. Pretty hard to make a celebrity out of those you don't know exist.
Possibly, back in the 1950s, when space travel began, a small number of the actual movers and shakers were covered in Time Magazine. I would suggest that Time may have stopped that practice, in search for greater circulation?
I'd say a supermodel is one who can earn a large income well past normal earning years based on recognition and not on inherent "value". Gisele Bündchen earned around $45m in 2015, but at 36, she's long past the normal age of a model, and would not be hired at all if she were starting as an unknown. A normal model's value plumments to zero as soon as she ages out of her last photo shoot at 25. There are analogs in many other fields, including engineering and academics.
Supermodel might be a Victoria Secret marketing term at this point in time but not quite sure as i'm not even mildly familiar with that circus.
This summer ahead of the Olympics, i was noticing that the games are showing us how primitive our society still is. It's all about physical strength and skill, same as 2000 years ago.
The celebs issue starts with children's books and toys - princes and princesses, superheroes- continues in school where history is neglected - history could teach kids respect for skilled people instead of respect for fame and can also teach respect and tolerance for other cultures.
The focus society puts on looks has a substantial impact too and it's something marketing heavily promotes.
It's also a problem that this is not necessarily a global issue so not all countries will be held back by this mentality.