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.”
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.