Hollywood heartthrobs capture love of Americans, elevated to role models

By Rachel Golias

No matter what celebrities do or say, it seems people always love them.

The days celebrities would visit the Mall of America while I was working were always the worst because you had to deal with all of the crushes. Teens and “tweens” line up at 5 a.m. to try to get a wrist band allowing them to get an autograph when the star finally shows up at 3 p.m. The lucky few then proceed to parade around the mall, gloating about their wrist bands and shopping for outfits to match.

Those who were not so lucky mope through the mall looking as if their best friend just died. The adventurous ones hunt the halls looking for someone wearing sunglasses, surrounded by body guards who just might be their true love. Once the appointed hour arrives, thousands fill the Rotunda gathering space to get a glimpse of their celebrity. The high-pitched sound of girls’ professions of love fill the air, deafening any who walk by.

Whether it is the cast from “Twilight,” Justin Bieber, Vanessa Hudgens or Zac Efron, the scene is the same. Celebrities have the ability to blindly capture the love of the average person. One scene that distinctly sticks out in my memory from this summer is a 10-year-old girl coming into my store almost in tears because both her and her mother had the “biggest crush” on Efron and she just had to meet him, but did not get a wrist band.

The mall is not the only place this happens, though, and females of all ages are coming down with crushes.

Recently, a video of 3-year-old “Cody” went viral and has received nearly 15 million hits on YouTube. “Cody” is shown crying inconsolably because she loves Bieber, she wants to marry him, listening to his songs makes her sad and she wants him to be a part of her family. The crying finally stops when the phone rings and she says, “I bet that’s Justin Bieber.”

During the video, Cody’s mother made a good point when she said, “When you’re three you’re not supposed to cry over boys.”

I am not really surprised Cody felt that way though. Almost every movie and song that comes out, especially on the Disney Channel, is about children or youth falling in love. When a girl is surrounded by this mentality, she can lose sight of what true love is and instead fall in love with a seemingly perfect television character. Unfortunately, she ends up contrasting her real relationships to Disney’s prince charming who she knows little about.

Not only are these girls giving their hearts away to a fake image, they are also looking to these celebrities as role models. In the past few years, Miley Cyrus has captured the position of a role model for girls. Conservative audiences have even allowed their girls to dress and act like Cyrus. Although she has made some dark, immodest music videos, some continue to consider her to be a role model for girls.

There needs to be a shift in the way Americans view pop stars and who they look to as role models. Young girls believe they have to look like Selena Gomez, or act like Cyrus, to ever to be noticed. By filling their heads with unrealistic love for the Jonas brothers, girls never learn what true love and relationships are supposed to look like.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.