I’ve always found the deep rooted fascination with celebrities to be disturbing. A once frowned upon pastime of gawking has become an acceptable mainstream activity fueled by the media via Reality Television, Celebrity Gossip, Entertainment News, and countless numbers of web sites. In addition, many highly trafficked Parenting web sites such as Babble.com have tapped into this insatiable feeding frenzy goldmine by offering up Celebrity Parents as a featured source of content for their readers. Schools are overcrowded yet Celebrity A’s daughter’s latest booties for Spring gets the headlines. What can a parent do to break the cycle of consuming empty calories for the mind?
From a business perspective, the allure of easy profits drives Media companies to appeal to the lowest common denominator. How else can one explain a barely literate Reality TV show starlet with a book on the NY Times Best Seller list. And more recently, the endless news cycle about a male star from a hit TV series on the path of self-destruction. It’s human nature to stop and stare at a train wreck. As a species, we’ve thrived from our ability to observe and learn from mistakes of the past. Yet the sordid nature of gawking detracts from the usefulness of perception.
Too many Mothers and Fathers vicariously live through the exploits of Celebrity parents. A sort of armchair parenting has developed in the form of emulating or disparaging our chosen celebrity proxies. One’s own parenting success or failure no longer requires meticulous introspection if the focus becomes externally based. How then do we stop the growing pervasiveness of this trend before it further erodes family life for our children and future generations?
The road to change comes down to access. Parents are the gatekeepers of information in the home. Making the conscious decision to abstain from certain media content can be an empowering healthy choice. Removing pollution from one’s mind is just as important as eliminating it from the air we breathe. Freedom of choice requires responsibility, consistency, and discipline. As a parent, the challenge begins from within.
What do you think? Are you an armchair parent obsessed with celebrity parents? How do you meet the challenge of eliminating potentially harmful media content from your home?