Celebrities acting as role models?

By Jessica Wegelin
February 26, 2009

Shannon Keough

As I turn on the TV or take a walk down the magazine aisle at the grocery store, I can’t help but notice all of the negative publicity some of the people we consider heroes are getting.

Just to name a few recent happenings, 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps smoking weed, all-star baseball player A-Rod using steroids and singer Chris Brown allegedly beating his girlfriend, Rihanna.

The pressure of always being perfect in the spotlight must be challenging, but for stars like these, they need to step up and make a better example for the young children who dream to be like them.

Many people admire and look up to professional athletes, movie stars and singers who have made it big. People are always waiting in lines for autographs and paying big money to see them in concert or in a game, but that is when I ask myself the question, is it really worth it?

I feel as though many people in America are materialistic and we are always trying to keep up with our neighbors. The people we look up to and idolize aren’t really good role models, but in reality those are the people who have the most money.

We see these big stars driving around in their new sports cars, wearing designer clothes and living in these huge houses and that is what we consider the ideal life. Yes, they may have accomplished big goals and broken records but are they the ones who put their lives on the line every day?

It is time for America to start recognizing the heroes in the big picture, not just on the movie screen.

The people who go to war and those who give their lives to fight fires and keep our streets safe need to be recognized as the heroes of today.

To me, that is who a hero is and that is who we should be looking up to, not the people who continuously let us down once they make it big.

I understand that Michael Phelps, A-Rod and Chris Brown are humans and make mistakes, but when you have a fan base and people who want to be just like you, there is no room for mistakes. You have to step up, grow up and prove to people why you should be their hero. Why should parents allow their child to dream of being you someday?

It’s a big let down when you see someone who has the world at their fingertips make a mistake, but it’s even more upsetting that we give the name “hero” to people who aren’t deserving of the title.

We as Americans need to start realizing who our real heroes are in life.

How many times are we going to build these big name stars and sports figures up, just to be let down, over and over again.?

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Jessica Wegelin

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