Task 2 Essay: Celebrities and Charity
Question: Some people think that famous people can help international aid organisations to draw attention to important problems. Others believe that the celebrities can make the problems seem less important. Discuss both views.
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) Campaigns organised by international charities are often supported by celebrities or public figures. This has clear benefits in terms of drawing attention to issues, but there are also some concerns that celebrity involvement can trivialise the campaigns and the problems they focus on. Overall I feel the advantages of celebrity endorsement outweigh these issues.
(Body 1) Like or loathe it, it is an undisputed fact that famous people yield incredible power in today’s media-dominated world, and this is true when they affiliate to charitable campaigns. Whether it is actors, movie stars, or even rockstar entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, celebrity endorsement will turn heads faster, create more engagement and raise more funds for charitable endeavours. In fact many organisations are set up and run by celebrities. Comic Relief is a UK-based international charity which uses an annual night of comedy and entertainment to raise millions of pounds every year for a range of projects both in the UK and overseas. It relies on the participation of hundreds of celebrities combining their star power to maximise the amount of attention they can draw, especially on social media.
(Body 2) Celebrity involvement is not without its concerns, and some argue that it could trivialise campaigns through focusing attention on the celebrities themselves rather than the issues, which can sometimes be controversial. One good example of this is Live Aid 2015, which was a UK music concert organised to raise funds for impoverished communities in drought-stricken African countries. However, the event was shrouded in controversy as it was claimed that many of the bands that took part were motivated by the fact that they would personally benefit from increased album sales. The majority of the media attention was focused on the on-stage performances and subsequent controversy, rather than the plight of those in Africa.
(Conclusion) In conclusion, although campaigns by international aid bodies can sometimes be sabotaged by celebrity involvement, on the whole these cultural icons can massively increase awareness and funds for a range of issues. However, charities need to be careful which celebrities they associate with, as some public figures seem to have a talent for scandal. (350 words).
Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.
Images: Free-Photos / Pixabay.