Celebrities are renown for their noble causes. Like honourable vigilantes, they bring to our attention the charities with which they are involved. Yet, how much of this veneer is upheld with swiftly flowing undercurrents of hypocrisy? Are celebrity role models hypocrites? Or in fact, are celebrities good role models?
This week, in an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Adam Levine pointed out that fellow judge on The Voice, Alicia Keys, uses makeup. The admission was made in relation to Keys’ declaration that she stopped wearing makeup in a bid to empower herself and other women.
In Lenny Letter she wrote: "My desire to listen to myself, to tear down the walls I built over all those years, to be full of purpose, and to be myself! The universe was listening to those things I'd promised myself, or maybe I was just finally listening to the universe, but however it goes, that's how this whole #nomakeup thing began. I hope to God it's a revolution. 'Cause I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing."
Her comment sparked a global movement of women who also abandoned their own makeup in search of this sense of entitled liberation.
Levine revealed, "She was putting on a little bit of make-up and I go, ‘Oh I thought Alicia doesn’t wear make-up.”
Keys’ response to Levine left little in a way of an explanation with her simply saying, "I do what the f*ck I want."
In another similar vein, Leonardo DiCaprio recently released a free online environmental film. The cause, though righteous, reeked with irony as it was filmed across a few continents with an incredibly costly budget. The documentary highlighted the impact of fossil fuels (whilst creating far more CO2 in this single production than what a few families would accumulate in a year).
Famously, DiCaprio used his Oscar acceptance speech as a platform to urge for reforms in climate change. Yet, with his private jets, yachts and luxury lifestyle, it is estimated that he potentially emits up to 418 tons of CO2 yearly, while the average American emits 19 tons a year.
Yet another celebrity landing herself in controversy last week was Emma Watson after the self-professed feminist posed virtually topless for the cover of Vanity Fair. Which brings us back to our original question: are celebrities good role models? This may be answered with another question: How much credence have we given to celebrity? Are they truly the mighty, or are they simply the same as us–humans: flawed in our own unique way? Being in the spotlight dictates responsibility–in both their professional and personal lives. The average person would never feel the weight of having to purport this nonstop perfection.
Perhaps, we have become too accustomed to celebrity worship; everything we read becomes too sensational or a must-have-trend-train which we need to jump on board.
Or maybe we could take accountability of our own opinions and thoughts. If we are, after all, desperately following a flawed idea of perfection from those who are the same as us (but under more pressure and scrutiny), it may be easier to emulate behaviour we can admire from those around us or from ourselves. We may discover less ulterior motives and no paparazzi waiting to point out when anyone makes a mistake.
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* Article originally featured in MerolaMag