Lilly’s Blog: 1 Teen Girl Sick of Celebrity Culture (Yes, Kate Moss. You, Too, Sofia Vergara). Wanted: New Role Models for Teen Girls
Am I the only one who thinks disappointing someone feels so much worse than making them angry? Well, I’m disappointed in you, Kate Moss. And in you too, Sofia Vergara. I’m not angry, just disappointed.
Kate Moss recently told a fashion website that “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” First things first, who’s her fact-checker? I can think of hundreds of things that taste better than skinny feels (I’ll give you a hint: one of them rhymes with “schmocolate.”).
I’m not surprised by the sentiment she expressed. The heaps of money she’s paid for looking tiny probably help to make being skinny feel (really) good. On a larger scale, the media tells girls skinny is beautiful, and who doesn’t love feeling beautiful? And when the entirety of girls’ worth is measured in pounds, being skinny, and therefore a worthwhile person, can seem more important than food.
I can (sort of) understand why a woman may feel like her appearance is more important than eating, but I can’t understand what Moss was thinking when she divulged her “diet” tip. It is irresponsible for a celebrity of her fame to so blatantly endorse disordered eating.
I’m not angry at Moss for saying such a silly, dangerous thing because I can sympathize with her desire to be thin. But I am disappointed that she did not consider the impact she has on young girls, as the mother of one herself, when she espoused her view.
Just as Moss failed countless girls, Sofia Vergara messed up big time. I’ve been watching her on ABC’s new comedy, Modern Family, and I am was such a fan. When talking to the ladies of The View about her eighteen year old son, Vergara reveals that she had him when she was thirteen. She then jokingly says, “I was raped” (Watch it here). I hope that the ensuing laughter was a nervous reaction and not genuine delight in the horrible comment. Rape jokes are never okay. Never ever. Vegara sets a troublesome example of trivializing rape. And while I am not condoning her “joke,” I imagine that she was nervous and ended up putting her high-heeled foot in her mouth.
I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. Celebrities mess up, a lot. So really, I’m disappointed in us. I’m disappointed in us for turning to celebrities again and again, hoping to see them say the right things. But they never fail to remind us that an actress or a supermodel, a role model does not make. We sympathize with celebrity gaffes because we, too, diet unhealthily and joke unthinkingly.
It’s like being in a bad relationship; you hope the other person won’t screw up and that you’ll be pleasantly surprised – yet there’s comfort in the fact that he or she inevitably will. So we romanticize celebrities and model our hair color, our clothes, and our attitudes based on what they do and say. Then we feign shock and indignation when the highlights and skirts are unflattering and the advice is unsound. Rinse and repeat.
We complain about Hollywood’s behavior without stopping to think about what we’re looking for in a role model. Is it really wise to look to a woman who is credited with making emaciation look cool for thoughts on loving your body? Is it really that surprising when an actress says something insensitive?
I admire actors and musicians for their talent. But when it comes to life lessons, I’ll stick with the words of writers, activists, and loved ones. I’ve decided to stop being perpetually disappointed by celebrities and start re-appointing the job of role model to people I can count on.
Lilly is a high school senior and guest blogger for RachelSimmons.com. Read more about her here.