The Impact of Celebrities on Adolescents’ Clothing Choices

Sarah Danielsson
The Master’s College

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Abstract The literature indicates that most adolescents look to celebrities and favorite actors for fashion ideas of what to wear and how to look sexy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clothing choices of adolescents. This study was designed to collect information on whether or not celebrities influenced adolescents’ clothing choices. The survey instrument, which was distributed to junior high students at Immanuel Christian School and to high school students at Valencia High School during the spring semester of 2008, requested demographic information and included five Likert-type scale questions. It can be concluded that adolescents do not look to their favorite actors for fashion choices. They like to look more mature with their clothing choices, and they do not prefer to shop at designer stores. Editor’s note: This study was conducted in the 2007-08 academic year.

Introduction Celebrities and their visual fashion statements affect the fashion industry and also the dress of adolescent youth in America. “Researchers say many teenagers are emulating celebrity idols like Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, and Chris Martin (the lead singer of Coldplay), some scarcely out of their teens themselves, to cultivate an impression of maturity” (La Ferla, 2006, para. 11). This is evident in specific fashion replications manufactured by name brands like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Paul & Joe for Target, See by Chloe, and J. Crew. Gloria Baume, the fashion market director of Teen Vogue, said “there is no real delineation of what is ‘child’ and what is ‘adult’ anymore” (La Ferla, 2006, para. 15). This study researched whether adolescents turn to celebrities for their fashion role models and whether they have an impact on the clothing choices. This study used the following definitions. “Adolescence, the period from roughly age 12 through the late teens, is a time of dramatic and far-reaching change” (DeHard, Sroufel, & Cooper, 2000, p. 456). Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of certain groups of people (Schlecht, 2003, p. 2).

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