Parents are becoming more concerned about whom their children call “role models”. In October and November, influential celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Lil’ Wayne have disregarded their malicious behavior.
When teens look up to someone, they will often emulate their appearance as well as their actions. They will change their hair color, learn how to skateboard and even experiment with drugs.
Parents are worried that their teens are experimenting with drugs due to celebrities posting viral videos of them using certain drugs.
Last year, when a video of Disney star Miley Cyrus was leaked of her reportedly smoking “salvia,” parents were livid, not only about the alleged drug use, but also about how she responded and handled the situation.
Cyrus’ actions were careless, and she even joked about it on Saturday Night Live, saying, “Sorry I’m not perfect.”
This year, for her 19th birthday, in another video that went viral, she cracked jokes about her smoking weed, saying, “You know you’re a stoner when friends make you a Bob Marley cake. You know you smoke way too much fuckin’ weed.”
But who is really at fault in these situations? Should we sit and blame young celebrities, like Cyrus, who were thrown into the spotlight without living out their teenage years? Or are parents to blame for teen behavior?
Grammy award-winning rapper Lil’ Wayne, who has reportedly been rumored to misuse prescription drugs, says the parents are to blame, not celebrities.
“I can’t blame the kids; I blame you adults,” Wayne said in a video he called “PSA” , which was published on YouTube.
“It’s ok for a kid to look at somebody and want to be just like them; it’s only right, it’s only human nature. But for an adult to fabricate something for some dumb reasons, it messes up our youth and it messes up the future. I don’t want to be known as the innovator of sizzurp,” he continued.
Sizzurp, or the “Purple Drank,” is a cough syrup concoction that contains promethazine (an antihistamine antiemetic) and codeine (a prescription opioid). It’s usually made with Sprite, 7Up, or some other fruity soda or fruity juice like Kool-Aid.
Although Lil’ Wayne claims he did not make this popular, many teens have followed his action of drinking the concoction. It was even referred to in the movie “No Strings Attached,” making the drug a part of pop culture. Wayne claims he did it, however, for his own health.
Other celebrities, such as Rihanna, also agree that celebrities aren’t “trying” to be role models. Sometimes it is just a task that is placed upon them and society gets upset when they don’t live up to the expectation.
“See, people – especially white people – they want me to be a role model just because of the life I lead,” she told the UK edition of Vogue magazine. “The things I say in my songs, they expect it of me and being a role model became more of my job than I wanted it to be. But no, I just want to make music and that’s it.”
Celebrities are human. Teenagers are also human and go through changes in life to learn what is wrong and right for them. However when it comes to drug use, there needs to be a mediator to step in to make sure a kid isn’t losing his or her life. So parents, are you allowing television or music to raise your teens?
– Sharmon Jarmon, Staff Writer