DEBATE: Are celebrities worthy role models or bad influence?

I have seen people bash singer Miley Cyrus for being a bad role model to young people and on the other hand heap praise on Taylor Swift for being a positive influence. Granted, Taylor Swift has done well for herself and has still maintained the Miss Goody Two shoes persona.

Parents should be the first role models

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I have seen people bash singer Miley Cyrus for being a bad role model to young people and on the other hand heap praise on Taylor Swift for being a positive influence. Granted, Taylor Swift has done well for herself and has still maintained the Miss Goody Two shoes persona.

 

That said, so has Miley; only that Miley has decided to dress the way she wants which in most cases, I must admit, is not for the faint hearted; leading people to brand her uncultured and a bad influence. What people forget is that at 23, Cyrus is worth $160 million and that she has never used drugs or been in jail. Now, if you follow the world of entertainment very closely, you know that is quite rare. But no, people choose to focus on the stuff that Cyrus does on stage and her penchant for half nakedness. In fact, she was so fed up with this role model talk that she called on parents to take more responsibility for parenting their own children and not put so much pressure on her to be a role model because she just wants to live her life.

 

“My job isn’t to tell your kids how to act or how not to act because I’m still figuring that out for myself. To take that away from me is a bit selfish,” she said.

 

And I agree with her.

Many young people today look up to sports, movie and music stars as their heroes. Such people have a great influence on those who look up to them. Celebrities are human beings that have an exceptional talent but not above anybody to the point where we should idolize them. Television has now made it even more complicated. But not all is lost.

Nature and Nurture are important. As the society continues to rot thanks to the downhill trend of values and morals, it is important to keep your children grounded.

Your children are your responsibility.

It is human nature to want to look up to people. Our children are going to one day go out there and idolize someone but why shouldn’t that person be you, the parent? Children, in particular, have a need for idols but it’s your job to admire and to teach them to do the same of the people who are known for their good deeds, instead of for superficial reasons.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

We shouldn’t expect them to be perfect

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Although the idolization of celebrities can be positive because it gives young people someone to look up to, it is not all beneficial. I think that the best role models are people who possess qualities we admire, like passion, hard work or determination. Often times, celebrities only let the public see their facade which means that we the audience, never get to see what they really are. Just because someone is famous and rich in the public eye, does not mean that they have done something worthy to be there. I don’t mean to say that celebrities aren’t nice, decent people, as some are genuinely positive role models who achieve something worthwhile.

There are however, so many reasons why celebrities are bad role models especially to our kids that it sometimes seems puzzling that anyone should look up to them. Some of them set out to ‘shock’ not only their fans but the whole audience. It’s not the celebrities themselves that are the role models they live just like the rest of us do. Society sometimes makes us forget that celebrities are humans too and not angels.

It is unfair to expect to be infallible and hold them up to scrutiny but of course with children, you cannot rule this out. The problem we face with having celebrities as role models is that if they start endorsing issues which are not positive, it can very easily lead our children astray.

They are children for Christ’s sake and to them discernment on which path to chose can be daunting for them.

As children grow up seeing inappropriate actions and pictures, they will believe that behaving like such celebrities is right. What would happen if a parent found out that their child was harming themselves by not eating well because they want that look that the celebrities have just because they aren’t a size 6?

So many people have similar passions, same talents and these could apply to our children but we are all unique and we should teach them the same. The way we use our gifts and talents should not be about others. A lot of it is up to the parents educating their children not the celebrities doing it.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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