One question often asked and debated about in conversations and online is, why do we expect celebrities to be role models?
Miley Cyrus has been criticized for her near nakedness and all the stuff she does on stage. Isn’t that part of her job? When we criticize her, what are we expecting of Cyrus? To not work at her job?
Here is a quote from Cyrus: “My job isn’t to tell your kids how to act or how not to act because I’m still figuring that out for myself. To take that away from me is a bit selfish.”
I am forced to ask this question again. Why do we expect celebrities to be role models? Is it for us or for our children? If it is for our children then we have to look where we are lacking as parents and rectify that rather than criticizing and expecting a Cyrus, or a Kardashian or a Chris Brown to do our job for our kids.
Konkona Sen-Sharma is an Indian actor known for leaning towards meaningful roles in most of her films. Sen-Sharma refuses to be ‘"just another prop" in movies she is a part of. In an interview Sen-Sharma gives credit to her mother (Aparna Sen-Sharma) for shaping her personality. She say, “having a strong-minded, independent and capable woman [her mother] as a role model has deeply influenced me in terms of my own life, career and self-esteem.”
I am not saying we should not look for role models outside our family or any other immediate circle. All I am saying is, we should not put pressure on celebrities and expect them to be role models.
Because at the end of the day, they are human beings and can fail too. We are not perfect and it is wrong to expect celebrities to be picture perfect.
Another thing most of us forget is that celebrities have PR machinery cultivating a persona for public consumption - both good and bad. They are not above or below anybody else. They work hard to hone and develop it and reach the top.
After achieving success, they sometimes use it for the benefit of others, like doing charity work or fighting for a cause by becoming social activists. Angelina Jolie, for instance, is doing a wonderful job of being a working mother to her children as well as an activist. But even Jolie cannot boast of a clean slate.
The takeaway here is, it is not the sole duty of the celebrities to live up to our expectations. It is up to us to glean positive aspects of the celebrities we admire.
We also have to remember that celebrities have not made a promise that if they become famous they will rise up to the expectations of their fans and followers.
All this does not mean our children or we should stop idolizing celebrities. As long as we find the positive qualities to look up to and admire in them, it is okay. Therefore everytime we criticize Miley Cyrus, Angelina Jolie or LeBron James, let us also look at their achievements, hard work and the dedication they have put in their field of work.
I love this Japanese quote often found on Facebook, which says we have three faces. The first face we show to the world. The second face we show to our friends and family and the third face, we never show anyone and that is the truest reflection of who we are. This goes for the famous celebrities too.