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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Idols like Bibles

Don Lawrence, Staff Reporter

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Children, adults, grandmothers and grandfathers are being influenced every day all day, but who influences you makes all the difference.

Celebrities are some of the most influential humans on earth. Celebrities have millions and millions of followers who want to look, perform and influence the same way they do. But why? Well, I want to be exactly like Barack Obama because, to me, he can do no wrong. Spoiler alert: yes, he can. Learning about his remarkable lifestyle brainwashed me to believe that he’ll make all the right decisions to avoid risking it all. Or ,was I being brainwashed because I only read exceptional reports on him? Organizations like TMZ make it possible for society to hear about some of the underlying, disturbing information celebrities far too often conceal. “Why would he do that?” says the fans of an exposed celebrity. Well, reality is just as strange as fiction, and we’ll never know why it was done. But, think about the number of people that an individual has influenced. Celebrity influence is an amazing thing, but total vulnerability will give audiences the truth they need to make wiser decisions as to who influences them.

By granting celebrities permission to only display the tiptop moments of their lives, they wield a great deal of influence over the people who admire them. For that reason, celebrity icons are put on a pedestal and worshiped as if they are deities. I must admit that celebrities are insanely gifted and talented. However, the way society glamorizes them takes it to an unrealistic level. Why is that so? Although there are celebrities such as Demi Lovato who allow themselves to be vulnerable by being honest with their fan base, most celebrities would rather hide their imperfections in hopes of sustaining their streak of stardom. Thus, they are viewed as “perfect” humans in the eyes of society.

Those who do not indulge in mainstream entertainment have a better chance of understanding me when I say that celebrities’ talents are actually common. Through TV show appearances and interviews, these “perfect” people do and say ordinary things.

Subsequently, ordinary people identify with them. As a result, people become loyal supporters and crave to be just like the celebrities they identify with. Also, celebrities are well respected because of the fact that they are everyday people living extravagant lives. I doubt I’m the only non-famous person who wants to live and be treated the way celebrities are. In order to do so, though, I must strive to be just like the celebrity I idolize and best fit my personality to theirs.

I have witnessed, like many of you have, loyal supporters adopting some of the same habits, thoughts, religion, traditions and appeals as their idol. Not all of the adoptions result in positive effects, however. Neither are they all negative.

On one hand, Misha Collins, best known for his role as the angel Castiel on the CW television series “Supernatural,” used his fame to promote and start charities. According to Look to the Stars, “in December 2009, he asked his Twitter followers for ideas on how to stimulate the economy. In response, they created ‘Random Acts’ for the purpose of doing good works in the world, donating to charity, and volunteering for good causes in his name.” Collins has supported a total of four charities, not one, but four.

In this small world, people either influence or are influenced themselves. August Alsina did both. Alsina influenced through his music, apparel and looks, but Jada Pinkett Smith’s influence on him saved his career and possibly his life. After passing out and falling off stage during a concert, Alsina was hospitalized, and drugs were detected in his system. In an Instagram video Pinkett Smith expressed her love for Alsina. Alsina saw the video, and that was enough for him to put the drug down.

On the other hand, influences can have negative effects. According to LinkedIn, “Before 2010 when Nicki Minaj was appearing as a new star with a plump booty, media has observed that star butts have grown as her fame from 2010 to 2015.” Cosmetic enhancements like Minaj’s butt created a heavier burden on women. According to Cosmopolitan, “Some evolutionary psychologists believe that men prefer women with fuller butts because it enhances the appearance of the curvature of the spine, according to a recent study published in ‘Evolution and Human Behavior.’ From an evolutionary standpoint, this is a very desirable trait.” The belief is that men prefer women with larger hips because it may indicate a wider birthing canal and are therefore better built for childbearing.

All in all, let’s try not to forget that celebrities are human just like you and me. Who knows, we could possibly help them escape the need to be someone they’re not by minimizing the pressure to be perfect every single day. Maybe, just maybe, we could help them accept their imperfections and let it be a part of their everyday lives. This will inspire future generations to be themselves and not this “perfect” human. So, the next time you pick up a magazine with a healthy model on the cover, ask yourself, “Am I influencing or being influenced?”

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