Weekly Rant: Celebrity Role-Models

In today’s society we are bombarded by images of celebrities. “Normal” people have found their way into celebritydom by being on “reality” TV shows. When I was growing up, there might be someone that was a “local celebrity” usually a newscaster or a hero of some sort; but with the advent of the MTV show Real World, we all became exposed to this different voyeuristic lifestyle. I have mentioned before that we all find people fascinating and their stories make us think more deeply about our own. It is easy to see where the “reality” show phenomenon could take off. But with this invasion into real world territory, we have also started to take a different view of celebrities in general. Suddenly celebrities are health advocates and political advisers. When did this happen? I am a huge fan of Ben Affleck as an actor, director, writer and producer. But why is he speaking to Congress? I will be honest, I’m going to have a really hard time seeing him as batman now that he has in fact testified before a Congressional panel. And what about Angelina Jolie? Now I have personally never been a fan of hers. Yes the Tomb Raider movies were fantastic, what girl wouldn’t want to be able to kick that much butt and still look fabulous while doing it? However, her personal health choices are not my business and certainly should not be news. In this world of uber impressionable youth and our news sources are straight from Hollywood in almost every respect, at what point do we say enough is enough? I personally think that it is dangerous to be putting those personal health choices out there without some disclaimer and especially when you know that you are in a position to be influential to others. We used to live in a world where athletes were the ultimate role models. Kids wanted to be like Mike. And Bo knows baseball and everything else. Now athletes are being shown to be abusers, drunks and cruel to animals. It is exhausting. I’m not sure I have a solution for these issues, and I will be honest, I love seeing the hottest dress, and latest makeup trend and my subscription to US Weekly is all paid in full as I’m sure it will be for a very long time, but honestly, I think there needs to be some limits. I’m impressed that celebrities feel like they are able to make a difference these days and they are able to do good for charities and special causes to their hearts but are we giving them too much power and influence over ourselves and what about our children? Somehow we have to make sure that we are keeping our “reality” about us. Let’s not get sucked into Hollywood and think that these celebrities are the know all be all for every topic, believe me there is a lot to learn from everyone come into contact with, not just the person on the TV or movie screen. And if you have a passion by all means, do something about it. If there is a celebrity that supports that same passion, reach and be a part of making this world a better place, but let’s remember at the end of the day, celebrity doesn’t mean a better message it only means a wider audience for the message. Let’s make sure it is a good message.

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