We are living in the 21st century, a time of politics, social media, and celebrities. The average teenager uses social media 6 times a day, many people overlook the media and encourage their offsprings to do the same. But little do they know 42% of teenagers use social media as a way of following celebrities who inspire them. On a survey done in 2015, only 21 out 262 people say their main influence was a celebrity and the biggest influence was their parents (81 people said they were influenced by their parents. The average teenager rather than disdain our world and it’s tendency to change we should embrace the media and take the good with the bad.
They use their power for good not evil. “I support gay rights” is different too “I am gay, I support gay rights.” Countless numbers of celebrities have proven to the media that regardless of your sexuality you can support gay rights. In 2014, the country-singer Dolly Parton openly supported her love for all of her LGBT fans, as well as her feelings towards Christians who felt obliged to “judge” or “crucify” the LGBT community. 42% of LGBT lives in an adverse environment where they are not accepted; teenagers in the LGBT community are 2 or 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than other teens their age but are 8 times more likely to commit suicide. Later that same year the American-Actor Will Smith quoted, “If anyone can find someone to love them and help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form.” These two strong acts of support welcome anyone who may feel troubled about their sexuality. 92% of LGBT teens say they hear negative comments about being part of the LGBT community, most of these comments come from school, the internet, and their peers and on top of that they are 2 times more likely to have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school. Troy Sivan came out as gay to his family on the 7th of August 2010, making him 15 years old. On the 7th of August 2013, he told the world he was gay through a YouTube video. In the YouTube video he released he said, “I share everything with the internet, I share every aspect of my life on the internet and whether or not that’s a good thing I don’t know, but this is not something that I’m ashamed of and it’s not something that anyone should have to be ashamed of so, why not share it with all of you guys.” He then followed that with “I’m terrified, I know that some people are going to have a problem with this, I know that this could kind of change everything for me but it shouldn’t have too.” The rest of the video spoke about how uncomfortable he was about it but then tried to comfort and encourage his viewers to be brave and confront themselves. He is a perfect example of positive reinforcement.
Celebrities don’t only influence people with words, they make gestures of support and charitable actions showing a good example for young teens. Michael Jackson donated $300 million dollars to various charities. Whether or not he did this, as an act of kindness is irrelevant. If people less fortunate then we are benefiting from his wealth then why would we worry about something as irrelevant as his intentions? Oprah Winfrey donates $40 million dollars to multiple charities every single year, she also has a $1 billion dollar cheque on her will for numerous charities. If you know the first thing about Oprah Winfrey, you know her intentions are as pure as her heart. “If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.” And change is what she did, she changed the world. Oprah is an iconic celebrity whom teenagers can look up to for support, as a guide, or even just as a human who still has good left in her heart. Quora described Oprah as “the most influential and successful woman in media” then followed with “Oprah Winfrey has influenced the way women think, talk, eat, study, shop, exercise, and lead.” Another prime example is Emma Watson, in September 2014, she started her campaign called HeForShe, Emma Watson is all for gender equality and is encouraging the world to be too. Emma Watson believes “It is a time we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposite deals.” She isn’t just targeting women either, she is promoting males to take the pledge.
We all make choices in our life; get drunk or stay sober, buy a house or rent a house. All these little things help make up the person you are right now. So just take a moment to think, you choose to watch and listen to celebrities make mistakes, and you alone choose to copy them or ignore them. So at the end of the day, the only person you can blame is yourself.