Have you ever stopped to think about how it would feel like if every time you decided to do something, there was a group of people telling you all the things that are wrong with that decision? And by a group of people, I don’t mean five or ten. I mean, hundreds, thousands, millions of people around the world watching your every step, so that they can talk about your mistakes. Sounds awful, right? Or what if every time you decided to do something, there was the parent of a little boy or girl telling you that you’ve set a bad example for their kid? Sounds like a lot of pressure, doesn’t it?
Before I get into this post, I’d like to say that I don’t have kids and, even if I did, I would never pretend to tell someone how to raise their children. But there’s an issue that I’m really passionate about and that’s the problem with celebrities as role models.
While I’ve never been famous, I understand that fame and celebrity status include being in the public eye and puts people in a position of power—power to influence others or to shine light on all sorts of topics. That being said, I don’t think when a person becomes famous that means that they have to become a role model for others. Sure, using fame, power, and privilege for good causes is an excellent way of taking advantage of those things to help other people, but it doesn’t mean that a celebrity has to change their entire personality to become someone kids can look up to.
Celebrities are human beings, which means they’re flawed and they will make mistakes. It means they have insecurities and tough decisions to make, even in their place of privilege. Just like any other person, they will do and say things that they can later on regret. These decisions can go from a haircut or an outfit, to a romantic partner, a job, etc. etc. The thing is, it’s not their job to live a pristine, mistake-free life just to become someone’s role model.
I like to think that we, as human beings, are all unique in our own way. If we insist on placing celebrities on pedestals and following their footsteps, eventually people are going to abolish their differences to fit into a cut and dry model. Wouldn’t it be more interesting if we were all taught to be and think for ourselves? Sure, there are always going to be people to look up to or admire, and the people we admire can influence or shape us, but liking what someone in the spotlight is doing doesn’t mean we have do everything they do or say. Especially because, no matter how cool and good and awesome they’re being, they’re not perfect.
Besides, if we’re too busy paying attention to everyone else, we might miss what we have to offer. Instead of letting kids worship celebrities, maybe we could teach them about their own abilities and virtues. And as adults, maybe we should start worrying about making ourselves better out of self-love. I think it’s time we become our own role models.