Celebrities: The Fine Line Between Idolizing and Admiring


Alisha Green, a popular blogger, stated in one of her recent posts, “I just realized my entire life revolves around celebrities…I would be a lifeless wandering soul without them!” Somehow, I don’t think she’s the only one who thinks this. Celebrities have a very strong influence in today’s society, especially among teenagers. We mimic every move they make. They influence how we dress, act and what we think is ‘cool.’ However, it’s not all bad. Some decide to use their power of influence in a positive way, by raising awareness for things such as charity organisations, poverty, or illnesses. Also, they can help companies sell their products because they make them seem more appealing, like when Usain Bolt was in a commercial for running shoes. But does this mean we should idolize them? What happens when they make mistakes, and we feel let down?

I had the exciting experience of  interviewing a couple of lovely young ICS students (Maybe they felt famous, being asked all these questions!) on what they thought of people using celebrities as role models. One student, who is a sophomore this year, said,  “I think people look up to celebrities because people see that they are successful in what they chose to live for, and this inspires people for their own personal goals and  achievements.”  I thought that this was a great answer for why people look up to celebrities. It puts things in a more positive perspective. In a way, it gives people something to strive towards.

Hey, here’s a thought to ponder over: Could it be argued then, that Jesus is a celebrity? If you think about it, he is kind of the definition of famous. People would watch his every move and ridicule him without knowing what he was really about. Sound familiar?

Another thing that came up in this interview which was interesting was when we were discussing the difference between idolizing and respecting or admiring someone. She said, “ One can respect someone for their success and let it inspire them, but it is not a positive, uplifting thing to idolize someone, for it is thinking of that person as better than oneself.” I think we all just nodded our heads in agreement at this one. We need to understand that there is a fine line between admiration and idolization

One thought that a junior at ICS shared with me on whether or not celebs should be role models was, “It really depends on the celebrity and the attribute for which you revere them, but overall, I think that it’s alright for young people to regard celebrities as role models, so long they don’t completely idolize them and restrict their lives so that there is no room for human errors. Since he or she is a celebrity, they must have done something good or admirable that is worth public acclaim.” A similar opinion to the previous interview, but she raised a good point when she said that we should be careful in not allowing our favorite singers or actors room to make mistakes. We need to remember that they’re human too. They experience all of the same feelings we do. They all need sleep, food, and oxygen to live. The only difference is that they are constantly exposed, their faces plastered across billboards and on magazine covers. They hardly have any privacy to themselves. We are constantly informed on what they’re wearing, who they’re dating and where they’re going. You can even find out what size shoe they wear! Just think about how it would feel to have people knowing every detail about you. It would be like living inside a glass house in the middle of a busy city for the rest of your life. In the same interview, it was noted that celebrities, “Should not be harmful to others or to their fans, be open and accepting, and know that people look up to them and that their actions have impact.” However, I think this is easier said than done. Sometimes the pressure can become too much for those in the spotlight. We saw an example of this when Robin Williams a famous comedian recently committed suicide. No one would have guessed that he was struggling emotionally. Celebrities can often be the most lonely, insecure people. They need a break sometimes!

Some of us need to reconsider who we regard as role models in our lives, and maybe ask ourselves: are we simply admiring them, or are we idolizing them?

Image: http://www.thv11.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/03/celebrity-selfie-breaks-twitter-record/5966555/

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