A Letter to the Young and Famous

Ok. I’m tired of seeing the stories about how certain celebrities are becoming horrible role models.  I know they will never see this, but hey.  I need to vent.  

Dear Famous People,

You don’t know me.  I don’t know you.  But I see your names all the time when I log onto the internet, so I feel like I know a little bit about your life.  And I feel like I should share with you a little bit of advice from my short time here on Earth.  Will you listen to it? There is a 99.9999999% chance you won’t. I still feel like I need to share it, though.

There’s nothing special about me.  I’m just an average college student.  Like most people, there was a time in my life where I did look up to a lot of you and dreamed about being a famous actress, or a pop singer, or just famous in general.  I wanted the life you all had.  But, as I got older, I realized just what lied behind the glitz and the glamour.  I saw some people who were genuinely good people, who used their fame to set a positive example for the world and inspired generations to be the best they could be.

And then there’s some of you.  I’m not going to point fingers, but I’m going to be honest.  You drink, you smoke, you make high-risk behavior seem safe.  I can’t begin to understand WHY you do the things you do, and, to be honest, I don’t think I want to.  What I would like to know, though, is if you think about how this will all play out.  Do you seriously think that you can keep drinking and doing drugs without there being any effects down the road?  That you can keep acting this wild and rebellious and not risk driving away the people who love you?  

I know this may seem weird coming from a nobody, but let me explain my story.  I’m a college student with big dreams.  I want to go to medical school and be a doctor, and I’m not going to let anything get in my way.  Which means that I have to always think about the future.  I haven’t drank or done drugs, because I fear either I will get arrested or the results will end up on the internet for all to see.  I may not be famous, but way too many people have had their dreams crushed because of one picture like that. I put my studies first so I can have the strongest chance possible of getting into a good medical school.  I push myself so I can look back and be amazed at what I can do, and then know that I can push farther and do greater things.  I focus on what is important in my life.  And I know that, while it may seem hard now, I will be able to look back and say that I made myself proud.

I’m not saying that you have to drop everything you think is good about your life, and go become a nun or something.  Unless you really want to, in which case go right ahead.  I’m just asking you to think about what you’re doing, and how it might affect the future.  If you’re 18 and famous, and think, “Gee, I want a beer,” consider the fact that we live in a world where almost everybody has a cell phone that can connect to Facebook or Twitter.  What may be a harmless drink with friends may wind up being a tabloid’s photographic evidence that “Insert Name Here is a Raging Alcoholic!”  And, no matter how unfair it may seem, people will remember that picture. They will think of it when they hear your name.  Their first impression will be based on that picture and that headline.  

We live in an impressionable age.  Children imitate what they see on TV as being acceptable.  Would you want your children to think it’s ok to provocatively dance in front of thousands of people?  Probably not.  Would you want them to pretend to be doing drugs or pee in a mop bucket because a certain pop singer they aspire to be like did it? I know I wouldn’t.  But there are most likely children attempting to do this right now.  

I’m not saying that everyone have to be perfect angels, and go around spreading good will and strewing flowers everywhere.  That’s unrealistic.  All I’m asking is that you THINK.  Think about the person you looked up to when you were little, and if you would like children looking up to you right now.  If you think that your actions will be fine, and won’t cause negative repercussions, then go right ahead and do whatever the heck you want to.  I’m not going to stop you unless it puts yourself, myself, or anyone else in danger.  

You were given a brain for a reason. Use it.

~M

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