Richard Dyers start theory is the idea that
icons and celebrities are constructed by
institutions for financial gain and to target one
specific group of people. He believes that
celebrities are constructed to represent ‘real
people’ experiencing real emotions. Stars are
created by the music industry to serve a
purpose which is to make money out of the
audience because fans idolise these stars and
buy their music and products.
His theory is spilt into three sections:
1. Audiences and Institutions - Stars are made for money purposes .
Increasing the brand identity benefits the institution as they become
a household name increasing sales in all of the different aspects of
media. The institution then models the artist around the target
audience they choose. For example Lady Gaga’s fashion was seen
to be chosen so that the audience can relate to her as a person
and also her music.
2. Constitutions - This is more or less the same as the audience and
institution part of his theory.
3. Hegemony- This is also know as 'culture'. It is the idea that the
audience relates to the star because they have a feature they the
share or admire with the star. Some fans may attempt to replicate
the star in their behaviour, what they and what they do. But this
could also be a negative impact as some stars often are heavy
drinkers and drug abusers. For example in the 60’[s and 70’s there
was an increase in cannabis sales due to The Beatles being open
about using it.
Pop star Beyoncé is a well known artist who is listened
by millions and has a huge fan base. Her identity
however, isn’t necessarily bounded by her singing
career. She was Following the disbandment of
Destiny's Child in June 2005, she released her second
solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained hits "Déjà
Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also
ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe-nominated
performance in Dreamgirls (2006), and
starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006) and
obsessed(2009). She is also married to celebrity Jay Z
and present in most magazines making people
recognise her not just for music but image.
Richard Dyer insists that true pop stars have a long lasting legacy if they make
sufficient cultural or sociological impacts, if not they will not be remembered by
Beyoncé Knowles has supported 27 charities with the greatest contribution being
to the Survivor Foundation, an organisation she founded with fellow Destiny’s
child Kelly Rowland to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. The foundation’s
accomplishments are many, including the Music World Cares Christmas Carnival
that enabled over 300 low-income households to enjoy a fun filled day of food,
entertainment, a visit from Santa Claus and free toys from the toy giveaway.
The foundation would leave a lasting affect on people after her fame making
her a ‘true pop star’.
Dyers theory suggests that stars are out to make money and that purpose alone.
Stars are often transformed to provide an image of their time and culture. They
start as a ‘real’ human in institution and then are changed, for example,
audiences can see how Beyoncé went from curvy to skinny seen in sexualized
clothing and admired by millions as trends have changed.
The audience often see them as not entirely fictional and see them as an idool
who they aspire to be like and also someone who they are meant to be like
which is why a lot of fans dress like their idols and also try and act in the same
Although Beyoncé is seen as a role model, there is also the debate that she is
infact a bad influence on young girls stating “She Is A Fake "Queen Beyonce"
and her "Bey Hive" claim she is a feminist icon, yet she calls her show "The Mrs
Carter Show" as if she is Jay-Z's property and is so egotistical she dressed up like a
Queen on the poster. Her "documentaries" are scripted, her routines and style
copied from Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner etc. And she teaches
young girls that they can only be successful if they undress. She also tries to look
more white, with her blonde wigs and skin that gets lighter and lighter as time
goes on. The main reason why she is so successful is her sex appeal. No young
woman or girl should ever act or dress as she does. Personally, I don't think she is
very smart either.”
However there is also the argument that she is a good role model as A good role
model is one who doesn't provoke. Not only she hasn't used drugs, but she hasn't
even been caught smoking either. As a role model, people idolizing them will
tend to copy their actions as they look up to them. If a star is presented as a ‘bad
role model’ it usually means that their fans are copying them negatively. I think
that Beyoncé doesn’t influence her fans to do bad things and she is a more
positive role model.