In a recent Newsweek poll, 77% of Americans believe that celebrities have too much of an influence on young kids. It’s evident based on their appearance and attitude. Teens are no longer dreaming of going to college, and becoming a doctor or lawyer. They are dreaming of living the glamorous life. A life that they see celebrities live, or so they think they live based on media hype. Whether we like it or not celebrities are role models for our teens. On Babble.com there is an article about “Dr. Drew Pinsky an addiction specialist and the host of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab. He co-wrote a book called, The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America, he talks about our fascination with celebrities, and mirroring back celebrities narcissism and running the risk of bringing their dangerous sexual behavior, drug use and emotional instability into our own lives. A mother on recovery.com tells her therapist that: That her 15 yr old daughter has quit the cheerleading squad, no longer dreams of becoming a lawyer, and isolates herself while reading celebrity gossip, and becoming more rebellious at home.
From Britney, Lindsay, to Paris, and now Disney kid Demi Lovato who recently dropped out of a world tour to enter rehab for “physical & emotional issues”. Young celebrities are spiraling out of control. Their wild partying, drug & alcohol use is being plastered on TV, internet blogs, and magazine covers for the entire world to see. A world filled with impressionable preteen and teens that idolize them. Adolescence is a time of soul searching and finding an identity. Often times mimicking the lifestyle of their favorite celebrity is the only way for them to form one. Teens are constantly processing information and a significant amount of that information affects the person they become. Should the media be the blame with our youth’s preoccupation with celebrities? Or should parents take some responsibility in how much a teen is consuming negative information?
Based on a recent survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, two in every three parents feel that their children are being exposed to too much inappropriate content in the media. 34% of parents say that they believe that television contains the most inappropriate content. Since many parents work outside of the home, and are not always around during times when kids are watching the news, MTV shows, or reading internet blogs, and magazines that can tell them things that should be left for parents to explain. It is the parents job to minimize the negative influence these out-of-control idols have on the kids. Teenagers who are not getting the proper guidance and advice from parents on what is appropriate behavior to follow, then this can cause detrimental effects.
Parents must be willing to set and enforce certain rules pertaining to what they feel is in the best interest of their children. It is up to the parent to help guide their teenager and make them aware of the potential difficulties they will face during these years. A teen’s personality is still very much a work in progress, so it is up to the parents to exercise their better judgment and put it in to play. Parents must make themselves accessible to their teen or risk the repercussions that may come with lack of good parenting.
Celebrities need to change the way they act and how they are viewed. They need to support more drug free programs instead of using drugs. Programs like, Live Above the Influence, which is run by Office of National Protection. They should use the media for good, and refrain from publicizing a life of excessive drug & alcohol use.