Why Paparazzi Are Good for Us (Time.com)
Images, after all, are valuable commodities. A well-constructed image of a celebrity as accessible and yet larger-than-life increases ticket sales, television ratings, endorsement opportunities and can even garner influence in cultural and political realms. Celebrities tell us not only what movies to see but also what products to buy and what social causes to support. Their behavior shapes ideas about gender roles and, in a sense, helps define the American Dream. Their image is a form of power that is quite real — even if the image itself is often not real at all.