“Exclusivity” and “Exoticism”: Surefire ways to get famous?

In the last blog, I have mentioned “exceptionalism” and “everydayness”, two qualities of internet celebrity introduced by the author of the book. She reinforced that these qualities could pave way to successful stardom on the internet. Gamson (2007) and Turner (2006) also supported that one has to undergo a certain process of “celebrification” to become a celebrity. Although it seems like that having these qualities increases the possibility to become famous in the virtual world, we might question whether they are the most proper ways for an internet celebrity. To probe into this, I would look into “exclusivity” and “exoticism”, the other two qualities put forward by the author, in the following sections.


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Travel blogger Carolyn Stritch also conducted a similar experiment which reveals how social media influencers use fake photos to make up a sense of “exclusivity”. From both experiments, we could see how easy it is to pretend to be rich on social media simply by photo editing. The dishonest practice on social media has raised critical attention and the antipathy of these ostentatious posts started to grow among the public. For instance, people started “anti-rich kids of Instagram” campaigns to support posting real and ordinary photos and mock the luxury lifestyle posts. This wave of opposition shows that “exclusivity” could be worthless for an internet celebrity when people anticipate senses of reality on social media.

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However, it is worthy to note that the “exoticism” of internet celebrities is largely due to emphasis on their race, gender etc. Dave Schilling of The Guardian pointed out that many internet celebrities, be it eyewitness viral stars or influencers, are taking advantage of racial or gender stereotypes while missing out the possible repercussions such as intensifying bias on specific groups. Therefore, the ethic position of an “exotic” internet celebrity is still controversial.

Weighing the pros and cons, I contend that the qualities mentioned above are not surefire ways to attain fame. Meanwhile, I think ones should not limt themselves as there are no absolute criteria for an internet celebrity.

Stay tuned,

@influ_blogger x

Abidin, C. (2018). Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online. Emerald.

Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital . In J. G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education(pp. 241–258). essay, Greenwood.

Gamson, J. (2007). Claims to fame: celebrity in contemporary America. University of California Press.

Turner, G. (2006). The mass production of celebrity. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(2), 153–165. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877906064028

A third-year communication and media student who loves YouTube and Instagram. Here to discuss Abidin latest book: Internet Celebrity — Understanding Fame Online