Pantyhose, exquisite weddings and diamond rings: what is it about the English royals that captivates our attention? From Princess Diana’s acts of charity, to Duchess Meghan Markle’s pregnancy announcement, the American attention towards the royalty has been proven time and time again, through news stories, social media, or simply a discussion at the dinner table.
The royals serve as elegant and admirable role models for many Americans, and allow us to have some escape from the envy-stirring, media-driven atmosphere we live in.
The royals have historically kept a somewhat mysterious and regal air about themselves; however, the addition of Princess Diana into the royal family in the 80s and 90s created a new idol for many to admire.
Diana, known as the “Princess of the People,” introduced a spirit of service and social awareness to the public eye with her involvement in dozens of charities and advocation for HIV/AIDs prevention, cancer treatment and mental illness research, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Carrying these characteristics on through the generations, Diana’s son Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan Markle, have continued the charity-work and good spirit.
In contrast, the United States’ pop-culture, instead of charity galas and pristine fashion, focuses more on social media and reality stars, especially the iconic Kardashian/Jenner family. Piles of news sources, American and foreign, have dubbed the Kardashians as “America’s Royal Family”.
While there’s no denying the often scandalous lifestyle of the family, it’s difficult to denounce the empire that the Kardashians have built, from their show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” averaging two million views, to mogul Kylie Jenner gaining a worth of $900 million dollars before the age of 21, according to Forbes Magazine.
However, with all of this wealth and popularity being displayed, there comes a downside. The hyperactive and high-standard social media that surrounds the Kardashians and many other role models creates an extremely competitive and sometimes hateful environment.
The constant footage of high-end cars, new fashion looks, and the illusions of perfect lifestyles leads many to compare themselves with media icons. For some, these comparisons can lead to lower self-esteem and the feeling that you need to constantly be updated with the coolest clothes, cars, or simply just the coolest media feed.
And what’s worse, it also gives people a notion that it’s OK to overtly and horribly hate on these celebrities, and on not-so-celebrities, whether it be out of jealousy, spite or just pure negativity. Everyday, hate comments and false scandal stories spiral around the internet, making it a normal occurrence for people to be hateful and hurtful towards others.
With this atmosphere of hate and degradation that we’ve curated, I believe that it plays a part in why so many have become so obsessed with the royal family. The family puts their charity and elegance into the spotlight, which not only puts the competitive nature of social media on pause, but also reminds us of kind-hearted values.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with looking up to one of the Kardashians or another media-star as your personal ‘royalty’, but it’s no secret that the Kardashians aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. The royals offer something for everyone, whether it be high fashion, charitable values, or simply just a less controversial family to be entertained by.
So overall, our obsession with the English monarchy is nothing to be ashamed of, because it offers a different reality than social media and scandals. Is social media bad? No, it offers so many ways to keep us interconnected. Can the culture we’ve created from it be improved? Absolutely.