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Moms Talk: Misbehaving Celebrities As Role Models

Patch mom worries about some celebrity fan favorites at this year’s Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards.

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?

Concerned Citizen April 07, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Wow Chris, lighten up. You can disagree with her opinion, but to call the writer "evil" and an "ugly human being" is ridiculous and destroys any valid point you may be trying to make. Also, you may want to get help with your anger issues if an article about Miley and Vanessa gets you this fired up. Personally, I think her article made several valid points about teen "pop stars" and how their behavior can be perceived by children.
Marta Wyngaard April 07, 2011 at 11:26 PM
My children do not watch TV and only read and listen to things that make then think. I protect them from the machine that is eating our children to buy, buy and buy. How about reading the book The Age of Missing Information by Bill McKibben, then you could understand the power of TV in the lives of US. Good luck
Cindi Lash April 08, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Folks, Patch encourages robust and thoughtful discourse and the exchange of diverse information. Patch does not encourage personal insults, profanity or crude language. Please think of our comment box as you would your living room and choose the wording of your comments accordingly. Thanks so much, Regional Editor Cindi Lash
Cindi Lash April 08, 2011 at 12:22 PM
Marta, Your comments about providing your children with opportunities that make them think and analyze what's around them are great advice. How do you do that gently to engage them without completely turning them off? I'd love to know how other moms succeed at this also.
Nia Stanley April 13, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Chris, I'm sorry if this is what you took away from my article, but slandering and judging were certainly not my intent. Not only have I made mistakes as an 18 year old, I'm still making them as an older adult. I'm also a parent and former elementary school teacher, and have done pretty well being responsible for my own and other children. Nia

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