Celebrities provide poor role models for children.
The purpose of this essay is to discuss celebrity role models and their influence positively or negatively on children. Throughout the world celebrities are role models to many people. Nauta and Kokaly (1999) define role models as “other person’s who, either by exerting some influence or simply by being admirable in one or more ways, have an impact on another”. In these modern times of excessive media coverage and the easy access of the World Wide Web celebrities are never far from our attention. Their lives are closely followed by every tabloid making it almost impossible to avoid some of the most intimate details of their lives. It is therefore not difficult to see how easily these individuals can influence impressionable children. Recent research carried out by the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester supports the view that children whose learning, experience and skills are acquired through observing and mimicking the behaviour of others “seem to have the tendency to mimic the overall behaviour pattern of higher status and more successful others”. In the field of psychology social learning theory can further explain how this happens. In this theory it is proposed that children learn behaviour by observing it in others and they mimic it if it appears as beneficial to them (Bandura 1986). This therefore goes someway in explaining why celebrities with their lavish lifestyles, riches and physical attractiveness are perceived as role models for all types of behaviour, whether good or bad. In recent years especially, the behaviour of some of these celebrities such as pop idols Britney Spears and Eminem, footballers like David Beckham and film stars for example Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been observed as good or bad example. One celebrity who is always receiving high profile media coverage which portrays her as a poor role model is Lindsay Lohan. She began her...
Bibliography: Bandura, A (1969), Social foundations of thought and action. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
De Backer, C (2005) The Daily Gossip. An evolutionary explanation for why we admire celebrities and gossip about them. Paper presented at ‘Media and Universals 2005 – Focus on Film and Print’, Siegen University, Germany, February 3-5, 2005.
Nauta, M and Kokaly, M (1999), Assessing role model’s influences on student’s academic and vocational decisions. American Psychological Association. Boston
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