A decade ago we were used to seeing pictures of celebs stumbling out of nightclubs when we picked up the morning paper. Back then programmes like 'Ibiza Uncovered' and 'Booze Britain' filled our TV schedules. Now, we’re more likely to see paparazzi photos of celebrities coming out of the gym or with their children in tow. On the box, it’s cooking, weight loss and home improvement shows that dominate prime time viewing. Drinking less appears to be a trend that’s here to stay.
Drinking less has become a trend because more celebrities are aware of the potential problems of drinking too much. The media love to pick on stars making fools of themselves and there are more celebrity magazines now which show the impact of having too much drink.
Most celebrities are not keen on having that kind of publicity because they don’t want their fans to be turned off by their bad behaviour or unattractive images of them looking worse for wear. Loss of popularity equals less work and less money, after all.
The current financial climate is also responsible for the trend of drinking less. Showbiz commentator Simon Thompson says celebrities know that fans are no longer interested in their frivolous and decadent lifestyles in times of austerity. “The media holds a mirror up to celebrities and they can see that drinking to excess is not aspirational, sexy or appealing to the people who buy their music or go and see their films,” says Thompson former showbiz editor at Heart FM.
“Companies are less willing to put money behind someone who drinks too much and whose behaviour becomes erratic and unpredictable. The industry is not as lavish these days and there’s always someone else waiting round the corner.”
This trend is being mirrored in the ‘real’ world too. Celebrities who are drinking less reflect a general ongoing trend of cutting back on alcohol.. Data from the Health & Social Care Information Centre1 shows that the proportion of men and women drinking on five or more days a week fell from 22% of men in 2005 to 18% in 2012 and from 13% to 910% of women.
So, it seems that celebrities and society are setting a good example to each other and showing up heavy drinking to be a negative thing.
But how much of a part do celebrities really play in the fact that Britain’s drinking less? Thompson believes that with the impact of social media, fans feel more personally connected to celebrities and compare their lives to their own. “There’s an aspirational feel in that connection; we think we can be like these people,” he says. “If celebs are talking about the benefits of drinking less, we’re much more likely to cut back ourselves. It’s about where that message comes from.”
Of course, there will always be celebrities who do the opposite. But Thompson believes that seeing the physical manifestation of drinking heavily over a prolonged period on the faces of certain celebrities also encourages shocked fans and observers to drink less.
Indeed, over time alcohol can have a permanent effect on your skin as it is thought to deprive it of certain vital vitamins and nutrients.
Unlike celebrities, the average fan doesn’t have access to a personal trainer or an expensive life coach to help them cut back. MyDrinkaware is an online tool which can help you stay motivated and cut back on your drinking, as well as set yourself drink less goals. It will help you keep an eye on what you drink, who you normally drink with and figure out the units and calories in what you’re drinking. It also allows you to add notes so you can track exactly how the previous night’s drinking made you feel.
For tracking drinks on the go, download our free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app.
You might not wake up to newspapers full of pictures detailing your drinking to excess antics like some unfortunate celebrities but staying within the UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines by not regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week, will help you stay in control and ensure you don’t do anything you later regret.
Drinking less is a trend that shows no sign of disappearing in both the celeb world and ‘real’ world so if you want to be on trend, it’s time to cut back.