PERSPECTIVE: Pop culture role models fail society

Mckenzie Masters

“Justin Beiber has been arrested, can you ‘belieb’ it?”

“Beliebers,” die-hard Beiber fans around the world, suffered shock and awe as the story was slowly uncovered.

According to a recent article by The Associated Press, Beiber was charged with driving under the influence after driving nearly twice the speed limit without a valid license in Miami and was placed behind bars Jan. 23, 2014.

What happened? Is this not the same pop star known for being not only a role model to preteen girls all around the world but also a Christian?

But it’s not just Beiber’s slip-up that has me concerned.

It’s the whole idea of people finding their role models within popular culture.

According to an article published Nov. 5, 2012, by The Atlantic, “We have no role models in pop culture.”

“Wholesome” is not a word that comes to my mind when I take a look at most celebrities.

These are the men and women who saturate the media, and news outlets are addicted to their dramas.

Just when you think a celebrity is a solid person, all of sudden you find them nude on a wrecking ball in a music video.

This is the world we live in.

These are the people children watch and even look up to. But there may be hope.

In the Sept. 10, 2013, article, “Statistics Prove People Don’t Find Miley Cyrus Appealing, Aspirational or Trustworthy” published by the Huffington Post, “The Disney-darling-turned-twerking-diva Miley Cyrus that has become so controversial this past year is not doing so well in the polls. Miley Cyrus’ public image has changed even more dramatically than her appearance over the past three years.”

The article goes on to say that the “Celebrity DBI, an independent index that quantifies and qualifies consumer perceptions of 3,082 celebrities measured Miley’s impact when it comes to seven attributes.”

Miley used to rank in the top 3 percent in several attributes but now ranks in the bottom 1 percent.

The older demographic no longer considers Miley a positive role model for youth.

Miley was named one of the worst celebrity role models by more than 2,400 parents in June 2013.

So there’s hope. Maybe people will re-evaluate who their role models are.

Should we be looking up to those celebrities who are famous due to their erratic behavior, drug and alcohol abuse and lack of clothing at the awards shows?

But what can we as Christians do? I’m not sure boycotting pop culture would help – or even be probable.

At the 56th Annual Grammy Awards Jan. 26, 2014, a mass wedding composed of 33 homosexual and heterosexual couples took place as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their song, ‘Same Love.’

That night, Christian Gospel singer Natalie Grant left the awards show early.

“We left the Grammys early,” Grant wrote on her Facebook page. “I’ve many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I’ll say this: I’ve never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I’ve never been more sure of the path I’ve chosen.”

As Christians, our hope is found in Jesus, not in our many celebrities that grace magazines’ headlines.

We can choose to judge or love. But it is not our job to condemn, but to stand up for what we believe in and hold firm to that belief.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus, for it is the power of God who brings salvation to ALL who believe.” (Romans 1:16)

Mckenzie Masters is a senior public relations major and Editor-in-Chief of the Cardinal and Cream.


About Mckenzie Masters 15 Articles
Mckenzie Masters is editor in chief of the Cardinal & Cream and intern for in.Mode, a marketing firm in Louisville, Ky. She will graduate in May 2014 with a degree in Public Relations. Masters enjoys baking, reading a good book and her sorority, Chi Omega.