Role Models and Faux Celebrities

I never much worried about any of my kids "looking up" to a celebrity role model. None of them seemed to do that and as a parent, I guess I should be relieved.

Yesterday it was reported that Bristol Palin earned a hefty $262,000 when she represented the Candie's Foundation as their abstinence ambassador. I found that a bit disturbing.

Teen pregnancy statistics actually show that rates are declining in recent years even though there has been criticism over shows such as MTV's Teen Mom. Still, I have trouble with the idea of Bristol Palin pushing abstinence.

I got into a debate about this with my 21 year old son. He doesn't feel that she is a bad choice to represent why teens should choose abstinence. His viewpoint is that if you wanted to promote being drug-free wouldn't you choose Robert Downey jr. over someone who never did drugs and is just preaching without any experience?

That's what I love (and hate) about my son. He can be so wise and so frustrating. He does have a point. The difference is that Robert Downey jr. fell down several times and kept getting back up. He struggled and fought to get clean. He is a better example of the evils of drug addiction.

How has Bristol Palin suffered? Financially she has benefited from becoming a teen mom and cashed in on the Palin name. She barely gave birth to her son before offers were coming in.

When her mother Sarah Palin was campaigning, some felt that it was unfair to drag her pregnant unwed daughter into the campaign. As any political candidate knows, when you sign up to be a public figure, you are signing your family up as well. If you have skeletons in your closet, someone is going to find them. Not that anyone had to look too far, Bristol's baby bump was obvious.

Partly due to reality television, just about anyone is considered a celebrity these days. Contestants on reality television shows go to outrageous lengths to stretch their 15 minutes of fame. Then there are the people who are lacking in any real talent but because someone has given them a reality show, they have become faux celebrities. Some are awarded opportunities that show their lack of talent.

Take Kourtney Kardashian for example. (yes, take the whole family -please!) Kourtney, the eldest of the Kardashian sisters, recently made her acting debut on the daytime drama One Life to Live.

Just another Kardashian whoring herself out for a buck. That is what the Kardashian "girls" do.

Sorry, but I am going to call it like I see it. Yes, the older Kardashian sisters run a successful clothing boutique. Fine. I cannot dispute that. I am sure that there are several successful clothing boutiques in California. Their owners don't seek fame by doing whatever someone offers them for money.

In case you didn't know, the 3 eldest Kardashian sisters are the daughters of the late Robert Kardashian. Robert Kardashian was part of the "Dream Team" of lawyers who successfully defended O.J. Simpson in the trial of the century.

With reality television letting us in on the lives of has-been celebrities and faux celebrities, many young people may think that emulating their lives is something to strive for. It is sad that a show such as MTV's Jersey Shore has produced a strong following. That a scanky girl from Long Island (NOT New Jersey) can get paid $32Gs by Rutgers University for a speaking engagement shows that there is something wrong with how we chose our role models. (Not going to name names, she disgusts me and I refuse to give her any more attention)

As a Jersey girl, it makes me sick that people who have never been to the Jersey shore think that these people represent young shore goers. Many of the cast aren't even from New Jersey. The series isn't even being filmed here! Okay, rant over.

Then there is the Charlie Sheen disaster. It was bad enough when overnight he broke a record for how many people started following him on Twitter. Then he decided to take his "show" on the road and actually sold tickets.

The public meltdown of Charlie Sheen is sad. The way he is exploiting himself must be bringing a lot of pain to his family. What is the most disturbing about this situation is how there are people who are paying to see it happen. It is also disturbing how some young people actually think that Charlie Sheen is awesome.

Charlie Sheen has issues people. Whether it is substance abuse or a mood disorder, he needs professional help. Anyone who thinks his behavior is cool or something to strive for needs help as badly as he does.

It never ceases to amaze me what some people will do for attention. It is a sad commentary that reflects on morals and what is acceptable in this country.

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