“They” say that if you have a voice, you should use it. If you have a brain, you should use it.
And if you have a platform, you should use it.
I’m someone who has a voice and a brain, but no platform. No power. Every day, I am frustrated by my lack of ability to make a difference in the world. I still try, but it’s a disheartening effort as I know it reaches a very small audience — an audience of already like-minded individuals, at that. My words have almost no impact. And I have no real way to amplify them.
So, I’m with “them” when “they” encourage famous people to speak out about important issues.
Many times, the onus is put on famous people to be “role models” and “good influences,” etc.
So why do “they” also hate it so much when famous people do precisely what we ask of them?
There is a copied+pasted comment going around Facebook. You’ll see it on virtually any and every article that has to do with a celebrity endorsement. (West Wing cast, LeBron James, etc.) I won’t quote it here because I don’t want to boost its circulation. In fact, the only reason I bring it up at all is because it is indicative of this fickle attitude we have toward celebrities: it essentially posits that celebrities exist to make audiences happy for a brief period of time (the length of a song or movie, etc.) but that their purpose in our lives stops there. They have no more influence, no more power than that, no meaning. Therefore, they should shut up.
… But weren’t we just encouraging people to speak up, if they have a platform?
Weren’t we just telling that up-and-comer that they can be a good influence?
Didn’t we say, through our constant consumption of the work they produce, that we want this person around?
Doesn’t the very fact that we call ourselves “fans” mean we are justifying the promotion of celebrity culture?
Yes. Yes, it does. And we did. And we were.
We’re just fucking immature hypocrites when it comes right down to it.
We ONLY want a celebrity to speak out if they’re saying what we want to hear.
And that standard changes. FREQUENTLY.
One minute, we’re changing the Miriam-Webster definition of “snake” to include a picture of Taylor Swift’s face AND THE NEXT we’re shunning Demi Lovato for criticizing Saint Swift? Ok. Sure. Here’s the problem: you assholes will just flip on Taylor again in six weeks anyway!
Because she’s in the same trap as Demi. They ALL are. One wrong move, and you get a storm of hate. And a wrong move can be any of the following:
– Stealing someone else’s backup dancers
– Lying about giving a rapper permission to use your name in a song
– Being in a relationship
– Claiming to empower women & then pitting women against each other for money
– Licking donuts
– Sounding too much like Madonna
– Not acting like a Disney kid forever
– Speaking out about mental illness
– Speaking on behalf of a political figure
– Holding people to a high standard, and then realizing that society doesn’t appreciate being held to that standard, and feeling a need to escape for a year.
– Anything, really. The list goes on forever in a committed, nonsensical fashion.
When one person needlessly attacks another online, with the intention of making them feel bad for their traits/actions, which largely do not effect them, there is a word for that:
It’s called “cyberbullying.” And it’s usually a bad thing.
‘Celebrity culture’ is fine, I guess, and fun when you’re at a convention or something — but there’s always been a fine line between criticism and bullying celebrities, just as there has always been a fine line between admiring a celebrity and being obsessive.
Now, to get randomly political (stick with me, there’s a thread), we have a loud section of society, and a presidential candidate who represents that section of society, who have normalized it to the point of insanity.
Literally — people in our society are more prone to mental illness now than ever before. A topic about which Demi Lovato has routinely spoken out.
But you can’t deny that there’s a correlation between people who bully, and people who think that mental illness awareness, political correctness, education, and basic decency are all big jokes.
Or worse — some kind of insidious agenda, something worth fighting.
They’re the ones that push people like Demi away, and make them feel like it’s just not worth it anymore.
These people are the reason we’re in this Trump mess, and I hope Demi finds the strength to continue helping us fight them. We need her voice, and not all of us will shame her for using it.
– THE DUEL CITIZEN