What do the following celebrities have in common?
Actress Taylor Momsen
Model and Actress Amber Rose
Former boxing heavyweight champion Larry Holmes
Former NBA star (and nauseating-to-watch golfer) Charles Barkley
In so many words they have all, at one time or another, said, “I don’t want to be a role model.” Allow us to cry a thousand tears for each of you.
Celebrities who say this or anything akin to it forget the laws of economics. For there to be dollars landing in their bank accounts, there must be a perceived value for their product, and thousands of customers willing to part with their money. If there is no demand for their products, there are no riches. If the public refuses to pay to listen to music, watch a sporting event, or pay to see a movie, the cause and effect relationship kicks in: No tickey, no laundry.
What we’re really talking about is that being a good role model is difficult because if you are, then you are not allowed to succumb full bore to your natural instincts. Your use of sex, alcohol, drugs, and other wild behavior must be governed by – tough word, I know – propriety. Guess what (this is something I tell my children when they don’t want to do something): The best part is you don’t have to like it.
If you’re in the public eye, however, moderating your animal desires is only accomplishing the minimum. A decent life demands that you actually do good, not just avoid doing bad. One thing you can do is hold in high esteem the free country that allowed you to achieve where you are (I’m speaking of The United States of America, in case you’re not clear on this). One great way to do this is stand during our National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.
In addition to backup San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Denver Broncos Linebacker Brandon Marshall, Seattle Reign Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, we can now add Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed to the ever-growing list of ingrates, all inspired by Kaepersnickety:
“I decided to not stand [sic] for the Pledge of Allegiance today to stand in solidarity with the cause of injustice that Colin Kaepernick has shined a bright light upon. I am not anti-America, and in fact, it is because I love this country that I take this stand,” Nasheed said.
“I am doing so not because of past transgressions by America, but to call attention to current injustices here in this state and country,” Nasheed added. She went on to list the “current injustices”
Not all celebrities are bad, not all anonymous citizens are good. But if you’re in the public eye, stand for our flag and the goosebump-and-tear-producing song that often accompanies it. We know it’s hard being a positive role model, so you have two choices: Suck it up, or step out of the limelight.
Image: By Gallery 2 Images – Flickr: Charles Barkley ’08, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/