At some point in our lives we have all dreamed of being famous or thought about what we would do if we were Michael Jordan, Beyoncé’ or Drake. For a lot of us, the pressure of being famous and having no privacy is enough to deter those dreams. For some, the glitz and glam of it all is still worth it. As with any profession, there are some appealing aspects as well as some drawbacks. For accountants, tax season is a horribly busy time of the year, but they are able to handle finances very well. Teachers get a summer break as well as other breaks throughout the year but they deal with overcrowded classrooms and children that aren’t theirs all day.
For the famous it’s not that simple. Celebs normally make more money in a year than the average person would make in a lifetime. They stay in nice houses. They drive the newest cars, if they drive at all and they rock the latest fashion. They easily set trends that the rest of the world follows. They are adored by the masses. Oh to be a celeb! Along with all of the perks and glory celebs are watched and scrutinized daily. They can’t go out to dinner or have an unpleasant face at any time without being labeled or scrutinized. Anytime a celeb does something that isn’t praised, in the public eye, the first thing someone talks about it how they are role models and they should behave better. Are celebs to be looked at as role models?
At one point I would have argued that celebs should not be looked at as role models. They are simply doing their jobs. Beyoncé’s job is to sing and dance, that’s how she makes a living. Cam Newton’s job is to make passes, score touchdowns and win football games. It’s his job. Miley Cyrus makes her money singing and getting attention, she’s an entertainer. Why would anybody look to these people to lead the masses and teach our children? Parents should be teaching their own children not Beyoncé, Rihanna, Drake, Cam and every other entertainer on TV. That’s not their job. Let. Them. Do Their. Job. Boo. Boo. That was my former argument.
As I’ve matured I’ve taken a less defensive stance in favor of celebs. I do acknowledge that though they make tons of money they still live a limited life. They are still watched and even stalked every day. They essentially have no privacy. Everyone clings to their every word, noise, tweet, post, text, hairstyle and outfit. That can get annoying real fast. Though that is annoying it comes with the territory. Yes, celebs should be shown respect and have some sort of privacy. Once you join the rich and famous world that is hard to do. It is, however, no secret that celebrities get a lot of attention. I’m sure us common folks don’t know to what degree they get attention but we all know they get it. If you decide to take the plunge into that world you are essentially agreeing to all that comes along with it. Along with that comes being a role model and public figure.
The celeb world isn’t just a free world of expensive trips, money and clothes. There are responsibilities that come with a certain degree of status. Your supporters, the people who are funding your life, expect and deserve a higher level of behavior. They expect you to bring light to social issues. When you’re a celeb you can’t go off on people on Twitter and expect no one to notice. You can’t curse out the server at Wendy’s and expect no one to film it. You’re a role model. You really are a role model, whether you want to believe it or not. There are children and adults who look to celebrities to gage their lives or how they should feel about a situation. There are also people who don’t know about a situation unless a celebrity brings it up. Back in the day, this wouldn’t even be a conversation. James Brown was black and proud! His message was widely heard. It also gave his community a sense of pride. Michael Jackson said they don’t care about us. USA for Africa said we are the world. Tupac said keep ya head up. Christina Aguilera said she is beautiful no matter what they say.
The general public has a right to expect you (celebrities) to speak on certain issues that are facing communities. A celebrity platform is bigger than many other platforms in the world. When you step into such a huge platform you are expected to do it some good. That means you are a role model. You are an activist. You are a public figure that others are looking up to. Use your platform. Stand for something. Make your supporters proud. It’s your duty.