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Celebrity Role Models

Movie stars, TV sensations, rock ‘n roll gods, professional athletes, and the famous for no reason – these are celebrities that amaze people and leave them in open-mouthed wonderment. Celebrities have become omnipresent – they are smiling and pouting on the pages of magazines, crying love-disillusioned tears on the silver screen, rocking out on music videos, and scoring the play of the day. They are seen and heard everywhere. They are so overexposed that there is no escaping them, not that people would ever want to escape them. Conversely, people enjoy every bit of exposure celebrities give.

People are very engrossed in the lives of celebrities because they seem to have the time of their lives. They seem to lead perfect lives with their interesting, high-paying jobs, the best clothes, one set of expensive shoes and bags for everyday, heartthrob other half, and more money that could ever be spent in a lifetime. People want to be just like them. For many, celebrities are the ideal. For many young people, their favorite Gossip Girl actress and superstar football player are their aspirations for their futures. They are their role models. However, despite the media overexposure, celebrities for many young people are distant dreams.

The closest they can get to their celebrity idols is by imitating and copying them. This could start from the seemingly mundane such as following their fashion choices, trying to go to where these celebrities hang out and eating what celebrities do. However, celebrities are not all that. People put them on a pedestal and see them as if celebrities can do no wrong. The truth is that celebrities are very much human too and capable of making mistakes. Jazz and soul sensation Amy Winehouse is famous for her beautiful songs, beehive hair, and messy life.

The singer is noted for her talent, but just as equally for her drug and alcohol abuse. Supermodel Kate Moss and her rock star former boyfriend Pete Doherty are both popular and famous in their own fields of work. However, they are also role models who have been caught using drugs. This sends the wrong message for many young people adoring them. It tells kids that drugs are cool or part of why they are cool, famous, and gifted, and that if by some unfortunate circumstances one gets caught, one needs only to stay at some rehab for a couple of months then it will be okay again.

It dulls the danger that drugs have and makes the vulnerable process of recovering from it a joke. Celebrities are known and paid for their looks. Either by Photoshop or hard work, celebrities maintain flawless skin and stick-thin figures that define teenagers’ notions of beauty. These illusions of beauty can increase self-consciousness and vanity in many young girls. Further, conforming to this notion can also lead to self-destructive health hazards such as anorexia and bulimia. It is rather unfortunate that many of today’s celebrities are also just in it for the fame and the money.

They pull stunts and wear outrageous outfits that place them under the spotlight. The question of whether they have any dignity or self-respect left is one that magazines and websites do not tackle. For instance, the Pussycat Dolls is an all-girl group more famous for their short sexy outfits than their singing capabilities. One may argue that the short skirts show their confidence and pride in being women. Yet, do women really need to wear outfits skimpy as those to show their female pride? Is that the only way that they can portray strong, intelligent, and independent women?

The reality television shows create more and more famous-for-nothing, instant stars. Again, this sends wrong and confusing signals for the youth. They ask why is there a need to work and study hard when people like Spencer Pratt who does not have a visible job is making millions of dollars. It undoes the logic and virtue of working hard for one’s dreams. Even worse is that people might actually consider trying out for reality shows to be a celebrity and see it as a better option than staying in school.

Whether they know it or not, whether they like it or not, celebrities are very influential to the lives of many young people nowadays. Despite the fact that they are not worthy, some celebrities are treated as role models for many teens. On the road to self-discovery and identity-formation, young people mold themselves after celebrities they idolize, which is not always possible nor always good. For the future of the new generation, everyone – parents, the teens, the celebrities – ought to work together to present a good bevy of role models for them.

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