Teen idol

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‎ A teen idol is a celebrity who is widely idolized by teenagers; he or she is often young but not necessarily teenaged[1][2][3]. Often teen idols are actors or pop singers, but some sports figures have an appeal to teenagers. Some teen idols are child actors. The idol's popularity may be limited to teens, or may extend to all age groups.

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 Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Lautner, Selena Gomez, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and The Jonas Brothers.[4] This list, however, is not limited to American artists alone with some people like Japanese pop megastars Ayumi Hamasaki and Namie Amuro as well as Japanese music groups such as Arashi, NEWS, KAT-TUN, Hey! Say! JUMP, and AKB48, Chinese pop icon Jay Chou, and Korean groups TVXQ, Beast, SHINee, Super Junior, and Girls' Generation as examples.[5] [6]

It is the essence of the teen idol to appeal to the burgeoning sexuality of the young without in any way threatening it.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] In recent times, the concept of a teen idol has changed. Today's idols include movie 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 are considered teen idols like Mary Lou Retton, Shawn Johnson and Michael Phelps.

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