What do Miley "That Looks Just Like You Using Drugs in a YouTube Video" Cyrus, Katy "I Kissed a Girl" Perry, and Kim "Sex Tape Scandal" Kardashian have in common? They were fan favorites at this year’s Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. Cyrus and Perry won awards, and Kardashian was a presenter.
The Kid’s Choice Awards are like the Emmy’s, Grammy’s and ESPY Awards, rolled into one big gooey green ball of amusement for kids. Categories include "Favorite Buttkicker," and the show often features celebrity burps or "arm fart" contests.
Presenters and some audience members are covered in Nickelodeon's famous green slime. Gross-out humor aside, the bigger concern is the selection our kids must peruse to win the awards.
Smaller children may be unaware of Miley Cyrus’ alleged drug use. They may not understand the meaning of Katy Perry’s ode to girl-on-girl action. We hope they haven’t seen -- or are even aware of -- the sex tape seen 'round the world that made Kim Kardashian a household name (although if they watched the show, they certainly saw her skimpy, cleavage-bearing dress.)
'Tweens and teens are probably much more aware of the personal lives of the stars. Shows such as "Inside Edition" and "E! News" are devoted to the comings and goings of Hollywood’s elite, and thousands of websites update every time a starlet crosses the street. The magazines lining the grocery store check out aisles blast headlines that air all the dirty laundry of celebrities.
Yet these stars, bad behavior and all, seem to get away with things we tell our children not to do.
"No stealing!" But Lindsay did it.
"Drugs are bad!"But Miley does it, and she’s OK.
"No taking nude photos of yourself and sending them to your boyfriend, because you are a minor. That is considered ‘sexting,’ which is
child pornography, and you could be charged with a felony." But Vanessa Hudgens did it, and nothing happened to her. As a matter of fact, she played the victim, lamenting over the photos being leaked and her privacy invaded.
Even when stars do spend some time in jail, they come out seemingly
unscathed -- their careers intact or busier than ever.
Adults understand that there are circumstances that help to keep celebrities out of reach of the long arm of the law -- kids do not. They see what they see, which is a celebrated individual getting away with murder. (OK, maybe not so much murder, but you get my drift.)
How do we explain to our children why celebrities seem to get away with the very things that we tell them not to do? How much do you think this influences our children’s perceptions of right and wrong?