Celebrity is a title that we can all admit to dreaming of having. Thousands of likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter, people queuing for days to get a quick look at you, magazines discussing who you’re dating and what you’re wearing but along with the power and status you have a responsibility to those who look up to you; the responsibility to be a good role model and give back to those less fortunate.
This week former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to 13 sexual offences, including two of attempting to rape a baby and having sexual interactions with two underage fans and has fallen into the category of a celebrity who has misused his fame. Similar allegations have been made about celebrity photographer, Terry Richardson who directed Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video and her controversial NSFW photo shoot highlighting yet another, possible, celebrity who has used their status to exploit those too naïve to know better or assault individuals who respect said celebrity and feel it is their duty to respond.
It should be an unspoken rule that when people have taken an interest in the work you do and respect you for the causes you stand for, allowing you to live the A-list lifestyle you have the obligation to treat your admirers with respect and pass a positive message through your fame. Artists, actors, models, and socialites that are prominent figures in the media are idolized by millions of people every day and know that they become role models for young impressionable people or figures of aspiration for others and having a negative image in the press, wither glamorizing drug use or committing sexual offences on fans, will affect those followers as they misuse their notoriety.
There are two sides to every story however, and luckily most celebrities use their fame to help others and spread a message of good to highlight certain causes they believe in. Actors and couple Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were pictured in September of last year holding up signs bringing attention to charities they support after discovering there was paparazzi waiting for them. Even simple acts such as this highlight the work that some celebrities do for others and the good they can bring to the community through their status. Other celebrities even draw attention to personal issues that can affect everyone of us such as Angelina Jolie who announced last May she was a BRCA carrier and had a double mastectomy (removal of both breasts) to prevent breast cancer. Acts such as this made public in an urge to inform the general public is a reason the celebrity status can be helpful and gain more coverage for charities straight to health issues affecting everyone.
Celebrities consume our daily lives from the ones we love to the ones we love to hate and we all look up to certain individuals who we believe we can relate to or just admire. There are certain individuals in this world who will unfortunately use their celebrity to misuse and abuse those who respected and admired them and those are the people in fame who have become a daily name for the wrong reason; those who use their status for good and helping others deserve more recognition whilst those such as Ian Watkins deserve no more time in the press than to highlight the negativity they have spread before being forgotten and allowing more positivity to be spread through celebrities using their power for good.