The problem is that Tiger Woods, and many other sports and Hollywood stars, have become role models for millions of children around the world. The US exports images of them as uber wundergods, children sleep in rooms plastered with posters of their images on their walls, and yet, as we now see, behind the scenes, these celebrities are damaged goods. When "success" professionally=failure as a human being, there is something seriously wrong with our definition of success!
Not every celebrity goes out of their way to fill an unending void with sex, drugs and gambling, those Vegas moments of pure superficial nothingness. And not every blond chick in a sequined skin tight dress attending sponsored events from LA to Manhattan is an escort girl...but the problem is that the culture has become one in which fashion and fame (and frankly really bad taste in clothes and silicone implants) hit us day and night via television, advertising, internet, etc etc etc.
Since when is it normal to have three ways and have it be a topic of conversation for high school kids (Gossip Girl anyone?) Since when is it cool to cheat on your girlfriend, fiancée, wife, with gals who probably have little formal education, and if they didn't make it as a Dallas cheerleader, have gone to seek fame (and a way to pay the bills) with their young bodies as long as they remain young? It isn't cool, it's sad. Every waitress in LA and Vegas was hoping to become an actress someday. But the reality is, they simply won't. They might get that one magazine cover or day of paid work as a "hostess" at a car show, but most will go back to Kansas or Oregon where someone once told them they were pretty, or worse, will end up stripping on Sunset or in some dark club with a mouth or two to feed. If they are very lucky, they figure it out and marry a nice dentist.
Some turn to porn. Forget all the liberal talk about women choosing to become "empowered" via porn. I worked with teen moms for five years, some of whom ended up as strippers, in clubs owned by biker gangs on the West Coast. And those were the "lucky" ones. Some ended up sent to Guam (sent on a paid one way ticket) to strip (lying about their age at 16 and 17) for US military guys with no way to every earn enough to pay their way back to the mainland on wages alone. They ended up as teen moms as a way to get out of that life. But first they usually ended up on the street. And later they ended up with kids to feed, once again a temptation to turn to quick money, porn and other sad tales of a lack of empowerment for women. Now imagine this scenario in the developing world where the poverty is even worse and women turn towards prostitution to survive and risk their lives (and AIDS and physical abuse) to feed themselves and their children. Ask them who they want to be? The answer would be more than likely an American actress. Ask a street kid in Brazil who he wants to be when he grows up, more than likely its a sports star.
Who raised these women who sell themselves as objects? And who raised these men to think they can abuse and objectify women? We all did. The US is responsible for helping to create the culture of porn, stardom and "success" and exporting it around the world. The sad thing is not only that Tiger Woods and the various sad blonds have ruined their lives (or even worse made their names for the next generation of reality shows)...the problem is that there are tens of millions of children in poor parts of the world who are buying these images we are selling. These marketed "products" are not heroes and are definitely not role models. But we all need to wake up and turn off the tv and disconnect the internet distraction towards a superficial life and help kids get a real education, not just using their physical bodies, (sports stars, models, etc etc) but their minds to succeed.
Follow Vivian Norris de Montaigu on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vivigive