Celebrity Influences

Society’s gone to a place where parents put their children in the hands of celebrities hoping that they’ll teach them the right and wrongs of the world. Growing up with the show Gilmore Girls I was accustomed to this. Not in the intense way it is now but I learned a lot from watching TV. With a show that had the tagline “Life’s short. Talk fast.” I did just that.

Lorelai Gilmore taught me how to talk a thousand words per minute while being able to make witty and/or sarcastic comments within seconds of being spoken to. I even threw in pop-cultural references here and there. Too bad they were never understood so I received blank stares in response.

For those who don’t know the main idea of the show it’s about a single mother and her daughter but since Lorelai had her daughter at 16 they’re more best friends than mother and daughter. The show started when I was about 6 years old. At one point I remember asking my father what he would do if I got pregnant at 16. He told me he’d kill me. It surprises me how the girls on 16 and Pregnant don’t seem to have that threat on their shoulder but that’s besides the point. Lorelai Gilmore was my favourite character and I wanted to grow up to be just like her. Except that never happened, I had parents who guided me through my childhood and life rather than celebrities and television characters.

“When I was playing Mystique in X-Men, I remember thinking, If I’m going to be naked in paint in front of the entire world, I’m going to look like a woman. I’m going to have curves and have boobs and have a butt. Because girls are going to look at that, and if I look like a scarecrow, they are going to think, Oh, that’s normal. It’s not normal. I’m just so sick of these young girls with diets. I remember when I was 13 and it was cool to pretend to have an eating disorder because there were rumors that Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie were anorexic. I thought it was crazy. I went home and told my mom, “Nobody’s eating bread–I just had to finish everyone’s burgers”. I think it’s really important for girls to have people to look up to and feel good about themselves.”  – Jennifer Lawrence (Seventeen Magazine)

Right now I really look up to Jennifer Lawrence and I completely agree with her quote. There are so many anorexic celebrities out there who no one should be looking up to but they do. It’s like how Jennifer is now getting criticism for her role as Katniss in The Hunger Games, they’re saying she was too fat to play the girl who was supposed to be starving. People don’t just look up to the celebrity, they consider the character a role model as well. If Katniss appeared the way the book fully describes her to be then young girls would want to look that way; they’d make themselves sick trying.

Now there’s more awareness when it comes to eating disorders. Shows like One Tree Hill, where one of the main characters, Brooke Davis is a fashion designer made sure that they let people know that, “Anorexia is a disease, it is not a fashion statement.”

Celebrities aren’t perfect and sometimes it seems as though parents forget this. It’s not their job to guide your children through life, it’s yours. These child actors grow up in the public eye. They never get a normal childhood as much as they’d like one. They make mistakes just like everyone else, they can’t be perfect, it’s not possible. Then that moment comes where a scandal or rumor appears out of thin air and suddenly adults are angry and making statements on how they can’t believe they let their kid look up to this celebrity. That’s when all hell breaks loose.

We’re always stressing about how important it is to be yourself and not to worry about making mistakes, yet when a celebrity makes one we jump all over them. It’s disgusting. At least they’re able to admit when they make a mistake, that’s more than most people can say about themselves when put in a similar situation.

Yes celebrities have the ability to influence many people by the clothing the wear, what they do, how they act and what they say but they’re not your parents and they should not be blamed for your child’s behaviour. If anything went wrong it’s the adults fault for allowing their kid to only look up to a celebrity and not have the proper parental figures they should’ve had in their life.

Over-analyzing Literature

There’s said to be three ways a book is analyzed; by what the author meant, by what the teacher thinks the author meant and by what the fan thinks the author meant.

Whenever we read we overanalyze books by over-reaching, searching for something that doesn’t exist. Trying to give every little detail a meaning like the author intended it.

In English class I remember reading a poem that spoke of a black bird. The teacher begins to tell us about how the bird represents death because of it’s dark colour and it’s really used as symbolism for a persons life coming to an end. I find it hard to believe that they know exactly what the author was thinking at that moment when really they just chose a black bird because they like the way it sounded or that’s their favourite colour.

Then there’s the fans thoughts on what the author meant. Based on their favourite couples and characters they seem to find hints and foreshadowing out of words that aren’t there. The funny thing is that it always seems to make sense when they explain it to you, more so than the teacher’s thoughts.

I always think back to grade 8 when we read Speak in class and I absolutely hated it. It was an amazing book don’t get me wrong but being forced to read something I didn’t want to and having to analyze it by answering a million questions completely ruined it. Schools have a way of taking something that should’ve be great and turning it into something you hate.

What are we really learning if we’re creating meanings for books that aren’t there?

Hunger Games Movie Premiere

As you may or may not know today was the Canadian Hunger Games premiere in Toronto. It was a long day full of press and promo for the three actors from the film who were in town; Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Alexander Ludwig.

In the not-too-distant future North American is now known as Panem and ruled by the Capitol which has divided the country into 12 districts. Every year two young representatives (tributes), one male and one female anywhere from age 12-18 are picked to represent their District in the annual Hunger Games; a fight to the death. If you haven’t read the trilogy or even the Hunger Games you don’t need to for an understanding of the movie but I do urge you to go and read it because it’s a great read. You’re missing out if you don’t but that’s your loss not mine.

My day started at 6:00am when I woke up. My best friend slept over and we quickly got ready and headed to the subway. We were arrived in downtown Toronto by 7:30 and made our way over to the parking lot near Much Music. The Hunger Games cast was supposed to be on the Marilyn Denis show from 10:00am – 11:00am so we decided we’d try to get standby tickets if available. Turns out they’re not. However, the security guard inside let us know that if we walked around the back we could get a number for being outside of New Music Live later at 4:15pm. So of course we did and it meant we didn’t have to stand in line as long as we returned by 1:00pm. Watch Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Alexander Ludwig on the Marilyn Denis show herepart2 & part3.

We then decided to go back to our spot by the parking lot where we were earlier told by security that we’d see nothing (they lied). A car pulled in and Alexander Ludwig got out of the car. From where we waited I decided to scream his name. He turned his head and waved to where me and my 3 friends stood. We asked him to come over and he promised to later, he had his interview on CP24. Meanwhile we were showed on CP24 where they said to Alex “We’ve had fans outside since first thing this morning for you do you know that?” and he replied saying “Actually yeah I saw this morning, it was really sweet. It was very flattering.” (Insert squeal here!)

As we waited around for him to come out security told us we weren’t allowed to stand there anymore. I then told him how Alex promised to come over to us and he simply replied with “If he wants to find you he will.” Wtf? Are you serious? As we were walking away Alexander started to chase us down. We noticed him and went over to where he was. He came up to us, held out his hand and said “Hi, I’m Alex.” (Like we didn’t already know but he’s adorable so it’s okay.) We talked to him for a while, he is one of the sweetest celebrities I have ever met (and he’s Canadian so that’s a plus). We got pictures with him before he headed inside.

Not too long after two more black cars pulled into the parking lot and guess who was inside? That’s right, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth!

The stage was being set up for New Music Live and we went to check it out. Alexander was around the corner peeking over where a ton of fans were but none noticed him except for us. He was with his publicist and walked over to Starbucks so of course we followed being the creeps we are.

In Starbucks we bought drinks and food so we wouldn’t be as obvious, even though i’m positive we were. Alexander looked over at me and said “Hey again!” and then we talked for a little and he asked us if were were going to Much Music later which we were, obviously.

We walked over to the Scotiabank Theatre where the premiere was going to be held starting at 6:30pm. They were just putting up posters on the wall at the time.

And then there was a lot of waiting… we went back into line for New Music Live and after a lot more waiting FINALLY we got to see Josh, Liam and Alex close up and personal. At one point I held out my book to Josh and asked him to sign it and he looked at me which is adorable sad eyes and said “Sorry, I can’t.” So then I said “I love you!” and he replied saying “Thanks!” My heart melted and I almost passed out. After that segment at the commercial Josh walked right over to me, signed my book and then walked back inside. At that point I was the only one to get an autograph from him and I was over the moon. I was on the verge of tears (okay fine I was crying.) When Alex came out he spotted me in the front row and smiled and waved and it made me really happy. Besides almost dying from being squished up against the barrier it was an amazing day! You can watch their interview on NML here.

(You may recognize this photograph from Conan O’Brien)

And last but not least a picture of the venue that the Toronto premiere actually took place at. My friends at this point wanted to leave and wouldn’t stay with me any longer so I had no choice but to leave as well. It was really frustrating after I hadn’t ate one thing all day and looked forward to this for the past months. It was a downer and seemed like I had given up on getting my picture with Josh when I wanted to keep on going. Sometimes friends CAN suck.