America's False Idols Will Destroy Our Society

America's False Idols Will Destroy Our Society

You can cash me ousside if you disagree.

Here in America, we have two types of celebrities –– celebrities that are famous for doing things and celebrities that are famous for just existing. Paris Hilton and the Kardashians? Famous for just existing (although yes, they have done things since then to increase their fame and give their lives some meaning). Singers, athletes and movie stars? Famous for doing things. In general (yes, generalizing), the public tends to look more favorably upon celebrities who are famous for doing things since they can see a logical reason why people idolize them –– even if they don't agree with the level of fame that the person has, they can say "well, they did this, so people know them" and then they move on.

But sometimes, we let people get famous who have done things that really do not deserve fame. T.V.
"stars" from shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom are exhibits A and B. And somewhere within that museum, probably with a huge banner reading "FEATURED" right above her, is the newest installment ––Danielle Brigoli.

If you haven't seen it, there is a video going around of Danielle Brigoli, a 13-year-old girl who tries to be "thug" and sasses her mom, telling her she will fight her. This video received massive popularity and became a huge meme, and she returned to the show and told Dr. Phil that she made him –– that "he wasn't nothing before she came on his show".

The internet laughed, people talked and it should have died down like the "damn, Daniel" meme, right?

Nope. Danielle has since been featured in multiple music videos, has her own fashion line and is set to become a reality TV star next year. Songs have been made remixing her iconic line, "Cash me ousside, how bow dah", and even t-shirts and car decals feature her. She is expected to be a millionaire by the end of the year, despite arrests for car theft and multiple Instagram-live videos of her cussing out her mother.


Since when is this okay? Who decided that the country should idolize spoiled brats who lack respect for everybody and their own privileges? Our society DOES know that we pick our own celebrities by voting with our attention, so why are we picking her?

Kids look up to whatever is popular. Think about everybody who tried the Kylie Jenner lip challenge to look like her or everybody who has emulated Justin Bieber's iconic hair cuts. And now, with kids' consumption of mainstream media at the highest it's ever been, these role models have an even bigger audience of followers. Why have we voted –– with our jokes, our views and our likes –– for this 13-year-old girl to help lead our society?

And I understand that a lot of this attention has been negative and full of shock. But negative attention doesn't always matter when one can make millions of dollars off of it, and we all know kids who are perfectly willing to garner some frustration as long as they get attention out of it (especially if that attention is positive peer reinforcement).

It's one thing to elevate and idolize people who just kind of sit there in big houses with posh dogs, or people who model and just post travel pictures (that's another article). It's another thing to elevate and idolize people who are deliberately disrespectful to their mothers on national television and who are known felons. If our entire society suddenly decided tomorrow to follow Danielle Brigoli, America would collapse and implode.

These false idols have to stop. Society will always stop and notice the irregular, but if that means something genuinely awful, let's collectively agree to just leave its fame at fifteen minutes. Let's stop giving these obnoxious people T.V. shows, and let's stop spending our money to support them. Because, truly, if people like Danielle Brigoli become our pop culture icons, American society will crumble under the weight of its own population's lack of respect.

Cover Image Credit: Madeleine Marr

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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