Celebrity Role Models Children Emulate Gary Gardner July 11, 2010 Com 150 Phyllis Rosenburg Celebrities are all around us influencing our children; they are on the radio, televisions, computers, ipods and even on cellular phones. Our children hear and see what they do in our homes, cars, stores, and even in their classrooms. Though some celebrities can be a negative influence on children, some can have a positive impact because children will mimic what they see. There are several celebrities that have these positive impacts on children and help kids to aspire to achieve their goals and to follow their dreams. Some of the negative impacts from celebrities can be drug abuse and drinking alcohol like singer Amy Winehouse and singer/actress Lindsey Lohan. Both of these young women have been an influence on the young people who idolize and want to be like them, resulting in young teenage girls thinking it is cool and acceptable behavior to drink, do drugs, and have sex before marriage. Even the person that we are to trust the most, the President of the United States Bill Clinton, committed adultery; sending the message to our youth that it is acceptable to be dishonest and to betray another’s trust. Even though celebrities can have these negative impacts on our children, the good can sometimes outweigh the bad. For example, celebrities that has long lasting marriages, such as Denzell Washington’s 26 year marriage to his wife, or Kirk Douglas’ marriage to his wife for 51 years. This sends the message to our young children that stable homes and long lasting relationships are achievable and desirable. According to (Common Sense Media) when our children finally reach middle school, they become more interested in what their peers deem socially acceptable. Studies show time and time again that a connection exists between role models, advertising and the impact that these have on the way our children behave. However, parents still hold the primary influence in their children’s lives. Consider smoking, for instance. Research shows that when children see one of their idols or movie heroes smoking, and glamorized by the media, the odds that that child will start smoking more than doubles. According to (Common Sense Media) we are already aware of how advertising impacts young adults, this being the case; we should not underestimate the influence that young celebrities have on the lives of youth today. With celebrity blogs and gossip sites, scandalous pictures are mainstreamed online, talked about, kept current, and archived, making them accessible to children of any age. And furthermore the media’s unrelenting coverage centered on celebrity scandals gives the appearance that this type of behavior is normal. Our teenagers will mimic the actions of their peers and those that they look up to. One in every five teen girls have said that they’ve sent provocative and revealing pictures of themselves over their cellular phones. ” Since celebrities are in the spotlight most of the time, you would think they would watch how they behave in public. Some do and some don’t, but even the good role models can have a bad incident that the media picks up on. When it comes down to it we should monitor what our children are watching and listening to, in the event that they do try to mimic what they have seen someone famous do, we can correct them and teach them right from wrong. A great example of a good role model is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He started out as a body builder, became a successful actor and is now the Governor of California. He has a long lasting marriage to Maria Shriver. Through his life, he sends the message to our youth that through determination and hard work you can do anything you set your mind to. According to (Sherman, T. ) “Every celebrity, because of widespread fame and media exposure, has the choice to behave as a positive or negative example for the rest of society. Even in the lucrative field of professional sports, where opportunities to misbehave are everywhere, there have been good examples for kids to emulate, and are still greatly admired today. For instance, there's Joe DiMaggio, Annika Sorenstam, Tiger Woods, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lou Gehrig, Joe Louis, Wilma Rudolph, the Williams sisters, Jerry Rice, and Chris Evert. “ We have to consider that there are those celebrities who try to be better role models for their younger audiences. Parents should realize that who their children grow up to become in life is based on how they are raised at home and how much time we spend with them. That being said, if our youngsters get into trouble and head down a path of destruction, it is not conceivable to fault a celebrity that is not involved in the child’s life. Parents are responsible for their children, not the celebrities and how they decide to live their lives. References Common Sense Media. (n. d. ). Understanding Celebrity Influence. devine caroline. Retrieved from http://www. divinecaroline. com/22113/72758-underestimating-celebrity-influence Florence, R. (December 11, 2006). How celebrities impact our kids, article 7180. Retrieved from http://www. digitaljournal. om/article/7180/ A-List Celebrity Citizens. [Parade]. (2009). Retrieved from http://www. parade. com/celebrity/slideshows/editors-pick/celebrity- citizens. html? index=10 Lasting Celebrity Marriages. [Parade]. (2009). Retrieved from http://www. parade. com/celebrity/slideshows/lasting-celebrity-marriages/lasting-celebrity-marriages. html Sherman, T. , Meadows, H. L. (n. d. ). Do celebrities have a positive or negative effect on society?. Retrieved from http://www. helium. com/debates/151608-do-celebrities-have-a-positve-or-negative-effect-on-society/side_by_side? page=1
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