YOUNG VOICES: Celebs are role models, like it or not

2013-08-05T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Celebs are role models, like it or notBy Grace Asiegbu nwitimes.com
August 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

There seems to be some sort of disturbing trend among our young celebrities, particularly our young ladies. We can obviously see a trend of bad, reckless behavior in some of our members of young Hollywood.

I mean, we have our notorious “bad girls” and also those few who are going through an “experimenting phase” trying to really figure out their niche in Hollywood, so to speak. And that’s all right. What is not all right is when the behavior gets so far out of control that you have everyone — your fans, your producers, your mentors, even other celebrities — calling you out on it.

The primary example that I can use right now is Rihanna. When Rihanna burst onto the scene as a teenage girl with Music of the Sun back in roughly 2006, the sweet-faced and even sweeter-voiced singer was definitely a breath of fresh air for the redundant music industry. Fast forward only six years, and this same girl has grown into a young woman. But it seems that in order to reinvent herself, she’s forgetting who she once was. Now all you see are photos on her own Instagram account of her posing practically nude, smoking weed, drinking all types of alcohol and living a life of recklessness.

But she attributes that to being “bad.” Her Instagram account name is even “badgirlriri.” A recent photo on her account is an unflattering image of journalist Ann Jones, and long story short, she humiliates her for the World Wide Web to see because of Jones’ not-so-positive review of the singer’s behavior. Rihanna went so far as to say in her rant, “! I don't pretend that I'm like you, i just live... My life!! And I don't know why y'all still act so surprised by any of it!! 'Role Model' is not a position or title that I have ever campaigned for, so chill wit dat!”

That is where I don’t agree, Rihanna. “Role model” may not be what you signed up for, but truth be told, when you are in a position of power and influence, people will look up to you. Some may go as far as idolizing you. When people shell out practically $200 to see your concert (that you show up to three hours late), that’s because they love you, aspire to be like you in some way, shape or form. There are pre-teen and even teen girls modeling themselves after you, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and the list goes on.

Now I’m in no place to try to tell someone else how to live their own life when I’m struggling to get my own together. But what I can say is this: People are always watching. That goes for anyone, not just Rihanna or some other celebrity but regular Joe Schmo who lives on Main Street in Anytown, USA. Someone is always looking at how you live your life, whether they want to imitate or criticize is left up to them.

You may not know it — or even like it — but you are always in someone’s sphere of influence. So you have to be careful and pay more attention to the things you say, do, wear, the way you behave, always. Because you never know who might be watching.

Grace Asiegbu, of Lynwood, is a student at Thornton Fractional South High School. The opinion's are the writer's.

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