“Both are 19 years old. It is shameful kids still look up to one more than the other. I will always do my best to teach kids who the real role models are!”
Who are role models in our childrens lives today? The person on the left or the person on the right? Unfortunately, for most kids, young faces in entertainment such as Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber ARE who children look up to. There are many ways to approach and consider this idea, so I decided to take it to facebook to explore just that.
The first question I thought should be looked dealt with parents and their encouraging or discouraging their children to look up to these child stars and attempt to emulate their ways in their daily lives. The overwhelming response I got was somewhat surprising. A few words on the matter were :
“I believe we should take Hollywood and pop music lightly and make sure parents are telling their kids to take it at face value.”
“As far as role models no, I’d rather use them as examples of what not to do…”
“…I would allow my child do look up to whoever they please, but I would also highlight to them the importance of knowing the difference between right and wrong…”
According to the answers received in the thread, most people would not discourage their children from emulating these people all together. Instead, they would use SOME pop stars of today for teachable moments when it comes to helping their children understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The reason I say “some” stars is becuause of course there is no cookie cutter example of what a teenage entertainment star must be. Jennifer Lawence and Dylan O’Brien were two names that were mentioned in reguards to teenage stars who could be considered positive role models for todays teenagers. Someone also brought up the idea that someone like Drew Barrymore, while she had a history of drug and alchohol abuse, she faced her problems head on and was admitted to rehab at a very young age and according to that member of the discussion:
“I would rather have my child look up to someone like her. Someone who was able to turn their situation around, better her life, and work hard to gain her career and good name back”.
The second aspect I thought would be intersting to look into was the debate about whether today’s popstar behavior can be attributed to just being a teenager or if it was an abuse of power complex. Given that question it was said that:
“Bieber and Cyrus should be used as examples of what abusing your success looks like. It is okay to be very good at what you do when you’re a young individual but with success comes responsibility, not just for yourself but for the individuals who work under you, or look up to you.”
With that, I completley agree. Of course, no one is perfect.; however, it is known from the very beginning that with fame comes no privacy and way too much publicity. These stars are aware that all of their actions are going to have repercussions and even worse then that, their buisness becomes EVERYONE’s buisness. It is their responsibility to continue to strive to be the best role models that they can for their fans. Not saying it is easy, especially in the lime light, but stars must be hyper aware of their life style choices and how they may or may not effect their career and support base.
Thinking about this topic as a 21 year old, I believe it is also to think back to my childhood and remember that stars such as Brittany Spears, Justin Timberlake and Lindsay Lohan all went through this transition stage like the Bieber’s and Cyrus’s of today. The only difference is, being 21 I can UNDERSTAND what the transitions mean and it will begin to sway my thoughts on the person at times. When I was a young girl I never understood why my mother did not think it was appropriate for me to go around singing “I’m a slave for you” because I did not know what the subject matter was, all I thought was HEY, its Brittany Spears! The ability to actually comprehend the events taking place in a stars life again goes back to remembering to take hollywood life with a grain of salt.
I am so excited about the way this thread turned out. I enjoyed reading other people’s responses and ideas on the subject. It is very beneficial to inquire and listen to other people’s stand points becauase that allows ones mind to grow and look at a topic from different angles that they might never have before. In summation, I would like to leave you with these:
“I hope to teach my children to be wise enough to know the difference between success and short lived stardom and that they love themselves enough to recognize destructive behavior and to stray from it.”
“In short, the success of a young celebrity is not something to ignore when it comes to role models, but the distinction between the results of success, and the abuse of success should be clearly made.”
Just as it is important for entertainment figures to put their best foot forward and be as good of role models for their fans as they can, what it also comes down to is the fact that children need to have REAL LIFE role models that are able to teach them the reality of what they are seeing on the television. It is of course acceptable for children to be fans of people in the spotlight, but most importantly they must be ‘fans” of themselves and realize that they do not want to be just like the Miley Cyrus’s and Justin Bieber’s of the world and that they must be a great (insert name here) first and foremost!