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Addict's Mom

By: Barbara Theodosiou

The founder of the Addict's Mom organization takes readers on a journey through the lives of many mothers who have been invaded by the destruction of addiction.

Celebrity Influences and Their Negative Impact on Today's Youth


Mar 30, 2012

Recently, one of the most recognizable celebrities, Madonna, created a stir of controversy with her comment, "Has anyone seen Molly?"

Molly is the street name for pure ecstasy. The DJ, Deadmau5, was very upset by the comment and chastised her for making light of substance abuse. Given ecstasy’s growing popularity, many teenagers’ concern about the risks surrounding it are surprisingly low. The percentage of 12th graders who perceive any health risk in using ecstasy has risen only slightly to 38 percent from 34 percent in 1997. Even so, the vast majority of teens disapprove of experimenting with ecstasy (82 percent) – about the same as those who disapprove of experimenting with LSD, or 81 percent (from “Statistics on Drug Use Among Teenagers.”)

Madonna's comments bring to light how important it is that we take the problem that has become an epidemic in our country of drug abuse seriously. When a celebrity chooses to make a comment like this, it has a negative effect on the youth of our country. Kids will say, “Well, Madonna's doing it. It's OK.”

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Today a child is more likely to listen to the comments and influence of a celebrity than their parents. With this trend it is important for parents to take an active role in their child's lives so as to quell the negative influence that a celebrity can have on them. Some of the influence comes from media sources who tend to thrive on negative behavior as opposed to those who are making a positive difference in others lives.

Why is it that we will cover Lindsey Lohan’s exploits with drugs and alcohol and glorify this behavior instead of glorifying the men and women of our military or celebrities that are doing something positive? The book The Harder They Fall shows celebrities who have fallen from grace and have made a comeback. The message we send to our children is very important. It is time for us to combat the celebrity influences that can negatively impact today's youth.

There are ways to combat the negativity, such as tracking who your kids hang out with, what celebrities they are following, watching their interaction with others, being aware of their behaviors and being an involved parent. It is time that we stop relying on celebrities to be the role models for our kids and go back to parents taking an active role in their children's lives. If we are going to come together and quell the negative influences we will need to stop turning to celebrities and start helping one another.

Photo courtesy of Sorn/Flickr.com.

Comments

Nicole J.  377 days ago

I believe that children have enough common sense not to follow what their favorite celebrities do. God gave you common sense you guys. USE IT!!!!!!

riley  601 days ago

Dear Barbara, I do agree with the idea that celebrities are a huge influence on teens life (i am one) but. I have seen this first hand and i liked what you said about “Why is it that we will cover Lindsey Lohan’s exploits with drugs and alcohol and glorify this behavior instead of glorifying the men and women of our military or celebrities that are doing something positive?” i think that the paparazzi are the problems. Celebrities are teens to and have the right to make these mistakes just like anyother teen should. It is the paparazzi who broadcast these to the world and make it sound like this is ok. Not only is it bad for the viewers but it makes the celebritie feel like they are not aloud to make mistakes.

Maia Feruzi  675 days ago

Dear Barbara, in some ways I agree with you but in others I must take the opposing stance. Yes I whole heartedly agree with the state,met saying role models play a huge part in people's life because they do. Young children see celebrities partying hard, getting high, losing animals and find it funny. Whether they realize it or not this is influencing them in a major way towards bad behavior. but then again it depends o. The certain celebrity. Many have forgotten about Madonna and her greatness. But people like Justin blueberry or Taylor swift hold a great influence on young people's lives. You saw what happened when job was caught on camera with marijuana. Girls started cutting his name into their arms. Crazy and unrealistic as that is its reality. Thank you for your opinion. Maybe others will read it and wake up from their corrupting slumber.

Amanda  774 days ago

Dear Barbara Theodosiou, I completely agree with your blog post. My name is Amanda and I am a teen myself. Celebrities play a huge role in the lives of teenagers. Teens look up to celebrities as role models and sometimes want to be like them when they get older. I feel that many people are blinded to what is really important, whether it is about school and extra-curriculars or family and friends but we can't help what people are more interested in. Like you said, "...a child is more likely to listen to the comments and influence of a celebrity than their parents." From my experience, this statement is very true. Teenagers will pay more attention to celebrities than their own parents because to us, the lives of celebrities are very entertaining.For example, the fashion and attitude of many celebrities is very influential among this generation of teens. Many celebrity influences negatively affects teenagers because we look at them and feel that they do everything right because they made it into the media world. Many teenagers know the difference between right and wrong but many can also be pressured into doing what "everyone else is doing." Honestly, I do not think that teens will not change the way they view celebrities. I believe that celebrities should be the ones to change because whether they like it or not, they are a role model to someone. I completely agree with your opinion on the negative affects that celebrities influence amongst today's youth. Hopefully, teens will think differently and make a positive adjustment in their lives and in others. Sincerely, Amanda Mahoni

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