“I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.” ~Banksy
And who would know that better than the reclusive street artist, Banksy, who made an entire career out of invisibility?
There’s a new category, called “Celebrity.” It’s a disturbing 21st century phenomenon and it drives some pretty crazy behavior.
I have to be honest. (Don’t you hate it when people say that?)
I don’t get the big quest toward fame that so many have. All those reality shows and their participants (hardly “stars”) all becoming famous for…doing nothing, achieving nothing.
Most distressing, though, is that these celebrities who accomplish nothing but fame and usually are only famous because of some form of bad behavior, become role models for young people, especially young girls and young women.
Let’s take that reprehensible family whose last name begins with K. I’m not sure if parents aren’t paying attention or don’t realize what these “celebrities” are all about, but they have a huge following among young girls. And yet, they represent values that most parents abhor.
How does that work?
Or Dance Moms. Duck Dynasty. And I don’t think I ever could have imagined people named Sugar Bear and Honey Boo Boo.
There are also reality show celebrities who don’t behave badly, but don’t do anything meaningful, either. Their job is to be celebrities: make personal appearance, appear on other reality shows and competitions and give interviews to celebrity-obsessed media.
How do parents handle the influence of our all pervasive media?
If I had a young daughter I would surely point her toward women who have accomplished something for their community or our society, or who have used their brains to build a fulfilling career.
I’d like to teach my daughter –and all young women today —that invisibility can be a super-power.
So today, I’m asking moms for their thoughts on this topic. Thank you.
Of course, as the mother of two daughters, I couldn’t agree with you more. My girls are certainly aware of these “lack of role model, models” but we have always discussed how they are not contributing members of society. I think that’s the key. Talk to your daughters about who and what you admire and WHY. The conversation will quickly end when centered around people who do nothing, and bloom when one is discussing say, Eleanor Roosevelt!
I love that it happens like that.
If I was raising children today…they would never see the K family, or any like family, on my TV set. But as soon as they leave my house, they are subject to everything that everyone else is exposed to. Becoming a hermit is not an option, of course. I would have conversations with my children, starting early, about the values that matter and that, just because something is on TV, doesn’t mean that it is right. I would read them simple biographies on people whose actions I admire. And hope that I (and those children) have the strength to resist what is around them.
I have to agree–conversation that needs to happen with kids.
I’ve never had to deal with girls, having raised 2 brothers and 2 sons, but I think that was designed from above. My patience level with girls probably wouldn’t have been very high. That said, I abhor reality TV. Now it has seeped into our politics and it is scary. With tech everywhere in every kids life, how do you keep them protected? How long should we monitor everything they do? I’m happy to see the reins my sons have put on my grandsons. Yes, we are into the 3rd generation without girls. I’m kind of grateful for that.
Yes, the politics thing really has me nervous, too.
This is such a great post and one that is so timely for our younger generations. Generational studies prove that we are products of our culture in our formative years. I raised my daughters as a single mom with little help from my ex’s family. I had to rely on media of the 90s and early 2000s to entertain them. Despite those influences, they both grew into strong, independent, successful women–one is an aerospace engineer living in the SF Bay area and the other just graduated with her BS in Recreation Therapy and just earned her licence to practice.
You obviously did a stellar job! I’ll bet you’re super-proud. I would be.
I can’t stand watching “reality” tv. Mostly because it is so far from that, truly. lol One of my biggest gripes is that MTV really isn’t anymore. I miss the music, the videos. I have no use for fame, celebrity just because. I’m much more interested in the story of the heroic fireman, the veteran, the dedicated teacher, rather than someone who simply has a first and last name that starts with K. lol I have no idea what the Kardashians are about, but don’t really care to either. lol
Yes, it’s true. MTV music videos are goNE.
This is so important, I was thinking yesterday why aren’t we ok with helping or serving one person or maybe 2 at most. Why must we become famous or everyone has to know our name. When I first started blogging I didn’t want my picture to show cuz I felt I wanted women to know more about why of self accepting is so important then me. I say all this because even in the business or blogging world visibility is pushed on people…can we help or serve without all the fame…
Exactly. I agree.
All true Carol. I have 2 sons but if I had a daughter I’d be sure to work on this with her. Famous for being famous is not a goal I’d want my daughter to strive for.
No girls! Yes, sons are different.
That’s a tough one. It’s hard to try to teach our children the complete opposite of what the media puts in front of them. Why should they study hard and do well in school when young women get glorified for being promiscuous and dumb? I struggle with this concept, especially now that I have two little girls myself.
Thanks for being so honest about the dilemma.
Each individual has to decide how they want to handle the “invisible” status. But my reality says none of us are totally invisible. It’s really about choices. I know most people don’t like the family known as the K but the one thing i do admire them for is that in reality they work hard at what they do. This is probably not going to be a popular statement because they don’t have talent. But what they do have is a work hard tenacity and willingness to put themselves out there flaws and all.
I appreciate your willingness to put out a different point of view, Linda! It’s made me think.
A sexist as it sounds, I don’t think moms of boys have to deal with this desire to be a celebrity as much as moms of girls. We have always made a point of introducing people into our boys’ lives who were people they knew we looked up to. Friends, family, clergy members, etc. I think the fact that we (as a family) are so cynical by nature made our kids question everything they saw on TV or read in magazines. They looked at “over the top” people as just that. Raising our kids in a very affluent community made us try even more to show them what was real and what was not.
Oh, I agree.
Thanks for this post. It is difficult to raise a tween / teen daughter with all these “celebrities” making life look simply like a party. It is important to show that hard work is what pays off in the end, but hard to find those type of role models as easily.
Definitely a challenge raising girls in a reality show world. I’m glad tose days are over for me, I must say.
This is all true. Invisibility is power. I wouldn’t want my daughter to be famous just for the sake of being famous.
I agree with you. What is it about the Kardashians? We don’t even know who they are in India, yet every now and then our newspapers carry some inane photograph ( mainly concentrating on their derrieres) 0r story about them. Paris Hilton was another one who found such favour till she became passe.
I wonder who the next big name will be?
I have 2 daughters made of steel. Both accomplished things I never considered. But they were able to because they believed in themselves. They are well aware of pop culture, but are not driven by it at all. My older daughter found a way into USC with no help from us, and into the Marshall School of Business there the firs time. I am not bragging when I report that, I am just saying she knew who she was and what she could do. And she just did it. I adore her moxy…moxy doesn’t come from pop culture. When my younger daughter got to high school she came home and casually told me she was running for office. It is very telling that I assumed she would run for Vice President or secretary…..very telling. When I asked her for what office, she stared at me with total incredulity and said, “President of course.” She won every year except for one, and that loss taught her to work harder which she did and was elected Student body president of the largest school in Nevada. Where did my girls get this from? I would love to say it was me, but honestly they were borne with it and I nurtured it. My youngest daughter is now working at a very high end tile company in Manhatten, she loves the design work. Her employers are Orthodox Jews and she loves them. There is a bar in the showroom and her boss asked her if she wanted a drink (work was over) she declined. For some reason he asked her, “Why? Are you Mormon?” She said yes and then she told me, “Well we got that out of the way.” No worry if he would think she was odd…she is who she is. My older daughter is the same way…they are remarkable, invisible women. I wish so very much I could take credit for it, but I bumble and stumble through life, insecure and concerned if folks will think I am weird. They are who they are, like them don’t like them, but they are who they are.
I would hate to think of my grand daughters being famous for a terrible reason. I’d rather they center around a good role model and practice being invisible.
I have 4 young boys and 2 young girls. When someone asked me once how I could allow Justin Bieber to be a role model to my kids I write up a lengthy post. These celebs aren’t role models, they are people. Regardless of who any celeb is, it’s not their job to be a role model to my kids thats my job. So I’ve always raised my kids that way. I grew up idoilizing the Backstreet Boys but my role model was my mom. I took my life lessons from her, and hope my kids grow up the same.
With social media in domination, this is such a wonderful post to remind all of us & particularly the teens to make sure they don’t expose their private life in public as this also leads to abuse & bullying in some kind. I would love to teach my kids as well the worth of being invisible.
First off my girls will never be allowed to watch the “K” show. My girls are 10 and 12 and know that they have to go to college in order to make a great living. The shows they watch right now are tree masters and Disney channel. They don’t watch these reality shows. They know that they just don’t come into money by chance or by trying to get their own reality show. They know making good money and a living comes from having a good education. Nothing in life is ever just given to you, you have to earn it.
There is wisdom in invisibility. In the mighty smallness of being who God created us for our callings. Especially in this overly exposed social media culture…