August 26, 2013

Annika bought her first teen magazine today. Looking through it, I noticed that there are only about a dozen celebrities in it, and it keeps talking about the same ones over and over. (I feel bad for the publishers/writers of these magazines; it must get really boring after awhile.) And I’m pretty sure every issue has the same set of celebrities. It never occurred to me before but our herd mentality is strongest around her age (8) and it lessens as we age. It is clear from observing Annika that her fascination with Taylor Swift isn’t so much about her music or her looks; it’s about her stardom. It’s as if her herd mentality was just turned on within her, and for the first time she understood the concept of stardom (and its power and appeal). So, for these kids, the bigger the star, the better; which means only a small number of entertainers can become famous among children at any given moment. We then gradually develop our own unique individualities, and begin seeking more unique entertainers to identify ourselves with. (The same goes for brand name products also.) At my age, we can shamelessly listen to just about any type of music without worrying about what it means to our own identities. To get to this point faster, I should probably encourage Annika to go nuts idolizing these superstars; perhaps I should cover up all the walls of her room with posters of Taylor Swift while she is at school...