Teen Idol

A teen idol is a celebrity who is widely idolized by teenagers; he or she is often young but not necessarily teenaged. Often teen idols are actors or musicians but some sports figures also have an appeal to teenagers. Some teen idols began their careers as child actors. The idol's popularity may be limited to teens, or may extend to all age groups. Many teen idols are targeted for adults for nostalgia purposes.

There were teen idols before there were teen magazines, but idols have always been a permanent feature in magazines such as 16 magazine, Tiger Beat and Right On! in the United States, and in similar magazines elsewhere. With the advent of television, teen idols were also promoted through programs such as American Bandstand, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Soul Train. Some contemporary teen idols include Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, One Direction, and Cher Lloyd. Many American teen idols achieve "cross-over" success internationally, however this list is not limited to American artists alone with some people like German popstar Bill Kaulitz of the pop-rock band Tokio Hotel. In Asia, idols range from Japanese pop megastars Ayumi Hamasaki and Namie Amuro as well as Kana Nishino and Japanese music groups such as Morning Musume, AKB48, and Perfume and Johnny & Associates boy bands Arashi, NEWS, KAT-TUN, and Hey! Say! JUMP among others while Chinese pop icon Jay Chou and South Korean singers BoA and Rain and music groups TVXQ, Beast, Shinee, Super Junior, 2NE1, Big Bang, Wonder Girls, T-ara, Kara and Girls' Generation are examples.

It is the essence of the teen idol to appeal to the burgeoning sexuality of the young without in any way threatening it. As recently as the 1970s, some stars were asked to shave their chests because it was perceived that chest hair was threatening to young girls. In previous eras, because teen idols were supposed to have an aura of approachability, they often needed to keep their romantic relationships and marriages a secret for fear of decreased popularity. In recent times, the concept of a teen idol has changed. Today's idols include film and television stars, pop singers, and supermodels. Celebrities' private lives are no longer taboo; to the contrary, they have spawned an entire industry of gossip magazines, television shows, and whole television channels such as E!.

Young sports icons and Olympic athletes during their competitive times were considered teen idols like Jean-Claude Killy, Peggy Fleming, Bruce Jenner, Joe Namath, Dorothy Hamill, Mark Spitz, Nadia Comăneci, Mary Lou Retton, Dominique Moceanu, Michelle Kwan, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Mia Hamm, Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, Shaun White, Apolo Ohno, McKayla Maroney, and Gabby Douglas.

Read more about Teen IdolEarly Teen Idols, 1950-1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and Beyond

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Famous quotes containing the words idol and/or teen:

    Your mock saint who stands in a niche is not a woman if she have not suffered, still less a woman if she have not sinned. Fall at the feet of your idol as you wish, but drag her down to your level after that—the only level she should ever reach, that of your heart.
    Emmuska, Baroness Orczy (1865–1947)

    Children ... after a certain age do not welcome parental advice. Occasionally, they may listen to another adult, which is why perhaps people should switch children with their neighbors and friends for a while in the teen years!
    Marian Wright Edelman (20th century)