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.


One thought on “Celebrity Influences

  1. “With a show that had the tagline “Life’s short. Talk fast.” I did just that.” What a great line! Style and substance. You do talk fast sometimes 🙂 I too found joy in the dialogue and relationship of Laurlie and her sister/daughter/friend Rory.
    The idea of children being brought up through tv parents instead of their actual parents is an interesting concept. How you deliver that message in this column needs a bit more organization.

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