I had some “me” time the other day and decided to spend it watching the latest pop music videos. I was quite disturbed to say the least. As a mother, I find the direction Hollywood is currently going in to be frightening.
One of the most common defense mechanisms of celebrities who receive backlash from parents for publicly exhibiting bad behaviour is to claim that they did not sign up to be role models. They also complain that parents are responsible for what they allow their children to watch and listen to.
You’ve probably heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. Well, in today’s media-driven world celebrities are unfortunately a part of almost every child’s “village”. So if they don’t want to be role models they shouldn’t get into show business; it goes with the job.
I do agree with them that it is ultimately the parents’ job to censor media.
I do not plan on letting my child play violent video games or watch television shows and music videos with inappropriate content.
I will not allow her to listen to inappropriate music under my roof.
I will not allow her to follow celebrities with racy or otherwise inappropriate pictures on social media.
I will definitely not allow her to have unlimited and unsupervised access to the Internet.
However, I cannot say the same for other parents.
There are, unfortunately, plenty of bad parents these days who irresponsibly let their children be exposed to inappropriate content in the media. I personally know parents who let their children watch adult programs and play violent video games all the while neglecting to monitor their internet usage.
The children of those parents will go to school with my kid one day.
What happens when those children start to expose my kid to inappropriate things at school and other places?
What happens if the kid whose parents allowed him to watch too many violent movies, listen to violence-promoting music and play too many violent video games shows up at my child’s school with a gun?
I can protect my child in my own home but I cannot keep her locked inside the house, nor can I completely protect her from the kids of all the bad parents that unfortunately do exist out there. I can try to strengthen my bond with my child as much as possible and teach good values at home, and in some situations this will be enough to prevent her from being corrupted or harmed by outside influences.
But she may find herself in a situation where no amount of good parenting on my part can save her. What then?
It really does take a village to raise a child. The media and celebrities need to be mindful of that. They cannot simply say that it’s the parents’ job to censor all the bad stuff. We’ve already established that there are a lot of bad parents out there. It is society’s job to help the kids of those parents. They did not choose their parents. We cannot change what they learn from their families.
We can, however, change what they learn from the rest of their “village” by demanding that the media as well as celebrities act more responsibly. We can ignore celebrities that exhibit bad behaviour instead of giving them more publicity. We can refuse to buy their albums and boycott any companies that pay those celebrities for endorsement. We can pay less attention to news programs that focus on celebrities and more attention to actual news.
I am not saying that all celebrities are bad people. There are some that are extremely talented at what they do yet still manage to remain humble and keep their morals intact.
But unfortunately there are too many who climb to the top by shaking their scantily clad derrières every chance they get to distract their audience from their lack of any actual talent. Others use sex tapes to catapult themselves and their entire families to fame. Some glorify violence or objectify women. Then there are the ones who make excessive partying and substance abuse look like a great “lifestyle”.
Even more disappointing are the “role models” who actually did make it to the top with real talent, but once there started using less than respectable gimmicks in a vain attempt to stay at the top.
Those kids who grow up with bad or no parents look to other role models for guidance. Sadly, many of those other role models are too focused on making money at any means necessary to care.
Shame on you Hollywood.