RP Roundtable: Celebrity Worship
Four moms discuss our obsession with celebrities. How much is too much?
Brought to you by Liberty Mutual’s The Responsibility Project
This is a transcript of the film, included for screen readers and the visually impaired.
This is a Liberty Mutual Responsibility Project
(clap of a slate)
There's always been that fascination with celebrities' private lives.
I have to look. I can't not look.
I keep up with celebrity gossip. I mean I'm not trying to say I don't. I definitely do.
Because of the internet, you're able to check Perez 20 times a day.
Anything a celebrity puts out in public, that's fair game.
Now it's just so accessible. You can be standing in line at the DMV and you can be reading tabloid stuff on your phone. You know, so I mean it is everywhere.
(Jazzy background music plays)
At the roundtable today we have mom bloggers who are going to talk about celebrity worship and what role parents play.
Do you think that the, uh, whole celebrity obsession is addictive? Do any of you feel like any of you are addicted to it?
I feel like it is addictive. 'Cause I can't think of any good positive fulfilling reason why I would do it.
Other than it's giving me some sort of guilty pleasure. It's not really additive to my life.
It's the same emotional thing that makes it impossible to not look at a car wreck as you drive by.
I mean we don't like to like watching a train wreck, but we can't turn away from the train wreck.
I like to see what people are wearing and then you sort of get invested in them after you're reading about them everyday you feel like you know them,
you feel like you can predict their behavior, so then when they do something unpredictable it's something you want to talk about or write about or whatever.
I think that people have a tendency to both idolize and villify celebrities and I think that's part of the personal letdown factor you can get when they don't behave.
Like Tiger Woods is a good example of that. People thought they really knew him and knew what he stood for and you don't.
Kids nowadays are becoming more and more interested in the celebrities that they're watching on television, the celebrities that they're following on Facebook-
What they're doing, what they're wearing, how they're dressing, how they're acting, and they in turn want to act that way.
I mean I'm a mother of four daughters and my girls are definitely in to reality shows, and I find myself watching with my mouth open, but I can't turn away.
How do you talk to your children about it, or do you?
I feel as though I can't stop it. She's going to school and she's riding on the bus and she's talking to other kids her age who are immersed in these things.
And to say "You're forbidden from looking at any of those things or too young" just creates this irresistable allure for her.
So I like to monitor it and I like to stay close and be informed and we'll watch it together.
I have a two year old, and so the celebrity in my house right now is Elmo. (Laughter) Elmo, Elmo everything.
So we're just on the cusp of potty training right now and he wanted nothing to do with the regular potty.
So we got an Elmo potty and I couldn't get that thing out of the box fast enough. He wanted to sit on it.
Well that's a maybe a bit trite, but that's a teachable moment of Elmo goes on the potty, you want to go on the potty.
So I can see when he's 8, 10, 12, seeing those moments of those celebrities who are real people and not a furry red monsters
and saying ok let's look at what they're doing and let's talk about if that's a good decision or that's not a good decision and how that relates to you.
I think you can't turn a blind eye to what their seeing and so having conversations is so important.
So as parents, what steps do you think we can take to help our children?
I think demystifying it is a big part of it. I, um, I was walking in the mall with my 8 year old the other day and we walked by Victoria's Secret and they had one of those big posters with the full-on model
and she had her little bikini underwear on and the tiny little bra, and my daughter looked at that and said, "Oh Mama, she's perfect"
and I took her home and we googled airbrushing and I showed her what airbrushing is- that they look like this before and this is what they look like after.
Cause you know I worry about sort of body image and sense of self is sort really heavily overlayed on celebrity.
It's a very difficult thing to know as a parent sort of where your responsibility is to stop it, to roll with it,
and I think I sort of am choosing a middle ground which is just to demystify it to make it real.
I think it's also important to recognize that what we do as parents is also having an influence on them.
So what the media we are consuming or the magazines that we're looking at, the types of purchases that we're making, that that is influencing our kids too.
What we figured out at the roundtable was that we can use the interaction with celebrities and ourselves and our children
as a teaching opportunity to talk about right from wrong, to talk about moral values.
I think it's important to model responsibility myself to my child
Instilling in your children a sense of personal responsibility by behaving in the way that you want to behave
I'll have to alter my own behavior, you know. I can't go out and buy the latest bag. I can't be obsessed with what I'm wearing all the time.
I'll try to do is keep an open discourse with them to help them understand that these things aren't real
and to help them to draw a boundary between wanting to be those people and enjoying watching those people
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