For the last, oh, 100 years or so, I think that at one point or another every person has admired or wanted to be like at least one celebrity. Whether it was Grace Kelley, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, a member of the Beatles, to any of the modern day celebrities. What is it that makes, or made us want to be like them? Is it the glitz and glamour that follow them everywhere? The way they command a crowd and seem so put together? Is it that their life looks dreamy and effortless? How about the fact that their performances are viewed not just by their friends but people all over the country or all over the world??? Is it the way their work product connects with you which makes you feel good or draws you in? How about their beauty or sex appeal??
There are so many reasons that we might admire or want to be like a celebrity. Especially now, with all the tabloid magazines, blogs, entertainment news shows, stations like E! that not only broadcast celebrity news, but host a million reality shows of all these celebrities and have a never ending collection of E! True Hollywood Stories. We are constantly flooded and bombarded by all of these individuals, their lives, and the glamour that goes along with it. (Well, what they and the producer want us to think is the glamour to go along with it).
Not all celebrities are completely put together or are able to stay out of the papparazzi’s lens (and by put together, I mean that they appear to be put together because the media only produces positive images of them). For example, lets take Gwenyth Paltrow. Aside from the eccentric names of her children, I can’t recall her being tied to any sort of scandal, never saw any clips or articles on any kind of mental breakdown, no arrests or court dates, nor has any of her work been criticized for creating a poor reflection of her image.
But, THEN there are celebs like Charlie Sheen and Britney Spears. Charlie Sheen took his own (I don’t know for sure if it was drug or alcohol induced or just sheer mental breakdown induced) act on tour and for all to see after being fired by the tv studio for his not so stellar conduct. Britney Spears shaved her head, had a pretty public incident with 9-1-1, tons of “down there feminine part” shots, and pretty much lost everything at one point, including her own right to make decisions when the court ordered her dad had to step in.
And let’s not also forget Lindsay Lohan. She started out as a cute little red-headed girl who was a Disney movie favorite. I remember her in the remake of The Parent Trap. (The original was one of my favorite movies growing up). She also did Freaky Friday, Herbie Reloaded, all the way to a few stints in jail, her inability to control her drug addiction (or alcohol, I’m get confused because she keeps switching), all of her SCRAM bracelet malfunctions, her relationship with Samantha Ronson, and then, after a breakup and time in jail, Lindsay moves into a place right next door to Sam (and yet claims she didn’t know Sam lived there…ummmmmm ok Lindsay. There are still some unresolved issues I think.)
Linsday went from the girl you see on the left, to the girl you see on the right, (earlier this week in Miami) [Pic from TMZ]
I mean, aren’t you AT ALL wanting to try to regain dignity
and/or a life that does not involve jail, drugs, and bad influences???? *sigh*
While the media is always blamed for putting a huge emphasis on what women SHOULD look like (size 0, but having perfect curves, no cellulite, perfect smiles, and dressed in the best designers) to be considered beautiful because that is what the models and celebrities look like, and we like to judge and ridicule celebrities for their behaviors outside of the stage and big screen, I don’t think any of us have really considered one rather important question (ok, a series of related questions):
Do celebrities WANT to be role models? Do they want the responsibility of all of us looking at them as the authority on beauty, style, behavior, etc….?????
I mean, lets be honest, whether the celebs like it or not, young girls and guys are always going to look up to them as role models. Their fans are young and just coming into their own. With society the way it is, having more and more families with both parents working, or many single parent families, a large number of children are left to fend for themselves afterschool. Why wouldn’t they look to the figures they see plastered all over the magazines and tvs in the absence of other figures at home or in their life? Clearly the celebs did something right in their lives to be able to get on tv or in the magazines. Who wouldn’t want to follow their footsteps? I know I did and I had a stay at home mom.
Do they WANT to be role models? Maybe not, but like all jobs, there are always parts we don’t like, but it comes with the territory. I don’t like doing my time entry, but if I want to be a paralegal, I HAVE to do it or the firm doesn’t get paid and then, well, adios paycheck for me!
Rihanna recently made a video for one of her songs called “Man Down” where she depicts premeditated murder and revenge. This has created a media frenzy and has a lot of people in an uproar because she is a “role model.” Here is what Rihanna has said in response to the controversy and about being a role model:
“I’m a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS! What’s up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!”
“We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US. U can’t hide kids from society or they’ll never learn how to adapt!”
“This is the REAL WORLD.”
(The Hollywood Gossip- this is the link for the full articlehttp://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2011/06/rihanna-to-ptc-im-a-rock-star-not-a-role-model/ )
So, what do you think?!
Do you think that celebs should expect that they will be considered role models once they hit celebrity status?? Or is Rihanna right???? That parents, teachers, the media, etc need to do a better job of teaching the public that when we, their children are young, celebrities should not be considered role models; that we can enjoy their work as artists (singers, actors, etc) but we need to look somewhere else for role models?
If that is true, then where do we need to look for role models? How about starting first at home?!