The influence of alcohol in popular culture is undeniable.
Alcohol culture in and of itself is a huge part of pop culture, it has a massive influence, and the media is many people’s first introduction to alcohol whether it’s being glorified or used as a warning.
Alcohol has been depicted in various forms of media including movies, TV shows, music, literature, and advertising.
For better or worse, popular culture is influenced by alcohol, and it’s good to be aware of this and to think about how it impacts us, our perceptions of drinking, and the potential ways that it can manipulate us.
We all know and understand that advertising works. Celebrity endorsements are incredibly valuable. So, why would seeing your favorite actors drinking in a movie or TV role be any different? It’s food for thought!
Here are some thoughts on the influence of alcohol in pop culture:
Glorification of Alcohol
In some instances, alcohol is portrayed as a symbol of romance, celebration, or bonding. Scenes of clinking glasses, toasts, or romantic dinners accompanied by wine can create an association between alcohol and positive emotions, leading to the belief that alcohol enhances social experiences.
If this is the type of media we consume from a young age, it’s no wonder that many people grow up thinking that drinking is a key aspect of socializing, having a nice dinner, and just about any other event with other people.
Drinking Culture in Movies and TV
Popular culture frequently showcases drinking culture, which includes activities like bar-hopping, binge drinking, and partying. While these depictions can be entertaining, they can also perpetuate the idea that excessive alcohol consumption is a normal and desirable lifestyle choice.
In reality, the music always stops, the party always ends, and there’s always someone left on the metaphorical dance floor while everyone else movies on with their lives. This part of the story isn’t depicted nearly as often, so we only see the positives but not the inevitable downsides of this lifestyle.
Public Health and Well Being
The depiction of alcohol in popular culture can influence public health outcomes. For instance, studies have suggested a correlation between alcohol advertising and increased alcohol consumption, particularly among young people.
And do you really need a study to tell you that advertising gets people to buy the product in question? Especially something like alcohol, that many younger people are already curious to try. Alcohol makes them feel different, and allows them to rebel – so it’s no wonder that glorified alcohol in commercials will encourage younger people to drink.
An increase in alcohol consumption is going to lead to worse outcomes overall. Even if most people can drink a bit more and not have a hugely negative impact,
The Other Side of the Story
Some works of popular culture challenge the traditional depictions surrounding alcohol consumption and how it’s glorified. Movies, TV shows, and music that explore the consequences of alcohol addiction or portray characters who choose sobriety can contribute to raising awareness about the impact of alcohol on individuals and communities.
Pop Culture Exposes Youth People to Alcohol
Popular culture, particularly music and movies, has a significant impact on youth culture and young people. When alcohol consumption is glamorized or depicted as a symbol of sophistication or rebellion, young audiences may be influenced to experiment with alcohol at an early age. This influence can shape their attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol use.
This can be really harmful, since people will start drinking while their brains are still at a relatively earlier stage of development, creating habits that can last a lifetime and be very hard to break.