OPINION: Media is not to blame for adolescent rebellion

Melanie Roberts

For the first few years of their lives, children look to their parents for guidance. They follow their values and mimic their behavior. As a child grows, they start to question those values and veer from parental influence to that of their peers and the media.

Some parents begin to blame celebrities and the media for their child’s change in behavior, but they should be reevaluating the connection they have with them and lead a dialogue about how those behaviors shown by the media impact their family. Individual celebrities should not have to alter their behavior to fit someone else’s ideals.

According to everydaylife.globalpost.com, “As a parent, you can influence your child by helping him determine what makes a good celebrity role model. Discuss the consequences of the poor choices that a particular celebrity made, such as jail time or hefty fines.”

Exploited affairs, night club appearances and questionable fashion choices bring judgmental eyes to young celebrities, but even more so to ex-child stars who are often blamed for the bad influence they have on their young fans.

Celebrity lives are constantly on display for the public whether it’s on TV or in the tabloids, like Miley Cyrus’ performance on the Video Music Awards or the drug-related death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith where children and teens will inevitably see them.

However, these celebrities should be able to grow up and have the same freedom to express themselves as the average person, and not be accountable for the kids who might decide to follow them.

Daisy Bautista, a 21-year-old undecided major, said that celebrities should be able to act how they want, and rebelling is okay.

“In that industry, the best way to be an individual is to rebel,” Bautista said. “Restricting the media isn’t a good thing.”

Celebrities are human just like anyone else. They may rebel as they struggle to figure out who they are, but they shouldn’t be held to the mistakes they make at any given moment in time. Everyone makes mistakes and many times these young stars come out of the rebellion years later and turn their lives around.

Not all examples that young celebs set are bad either. For example 21-year-old Selena Gomez tells young fans during her concerts to respect themselves and it’s ok to be who they are, though she is most remembered for her public relationship with Justin Beiber that ended badly.

Star of the CW’s hit show “The Vampire Diaries,” Ian Somerhalder, used his fame to start his IS Foundation. According to his website, “The IS Foundation aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.”

Though some stars, like Monteith, don’t make it past their poor decisions, there are stars who have moved past their early-life errors. One of those success stories is Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter, who struggled with drug addiction throughout his young life, but sought help through rehab and now works everyday to stay sober. He told Fox 411 that he’s been sober on and off for 7 years.

Parents should focus their children’s attention on the positive things that celebs do and talk to them about how they are not perfect. They make mistakes, but also use their status to do good deeds. 

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