I have a beautiful (almost) 4 year old niece. She is smart, funny, and growing up far too fast for my liking. When I grew up, I looked up to people like sports stars or musicians or even astronauts (big space geek here). In short, I looked up to people who were “famous” for being good at something, anything! Whilst I do watch some reality TV, I do have major concerns about some of it. Instead of asking young people what they want to do when they grow up and getting answers like footballer, pop star or actress, they are saying they want to be famous. We are building a generation where people can be famous for doing basically nothing. Even for being really bad at something.
I have absolutely nothing against the guy (he actually seems really decent) but a great example is Wes who was on Love Island last year. I don’t watch that so I didn’t know who he was. First I knew of him was when he was Dancing on Ice. Now he’s in a “super group” on X-Factor Celebrity. It just feels like fame is so important that people will try anything and everything to get their 5 minutes of fame and once they are there, do the same to hang on to it.
It’s a controversial topic, but look at the Kardashian and Jenner clan. I can’t help but think their empire would never have existed if Kim had never done her s*x tape. Now look at them though. They are all obscenely rich (one of them is the youngest “self-made” billionaire ever) and have TV shows, product endorsements and appear to be happy to pretty much put their name against anything.
I don’t want young people to feel like they can do things like that and then end up where they’ve ended up. It’s not only not realistic, but it’s just not a great thing to be famous for. I want our younger generation to aspire to be more. Yes money is great, and it makes life a lot easier (especially where there are bills to be paid) and groceries to be bought, but it’s not everything. It really can’t buy happiness.
In fact, I also worry about the effects on mental health that being famous has. I’m not saying that any of the celebrities that have taken their own lives wouldn’t have done so if they weren’t famous – I don’t know anything about them, and it’s not for me to judge, but having your life played out for the world and the media can’t be beneficial, even if it’s not always directly harmful. It must put additional pressures on people and I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that must be.
Trolls and online bullies also have a lot to be held responsible for. I know of one Canadian influencer who started receiving threats of harm because people didn’t agree with a tweet she posted. She has had to report several people to the police over this. There is no universe in which this is acceptable behaviour.