Let me just make my excuses before I begin here, because yes.. I wanted to be a pop star when I was little OK! I will admit it now and explain myself later. And yes OK when I say little I mean probably up until I was 24.. does that count as little?! Hey in Okinawa I am practically an adolescent at 24 so I claim relativity in this case and feel I can safely move on to my concerns. translate -general whinge.
I will also say I expect anyone reading this may already have a fair insight into this sweeping epidemic, and probably know someone of are indeed an individual who is personally affected? I speak of course of the “I want to be famous” bug that has infected our culture like a killer virus. Everywhere we turn children of increasingly younger ages are painting their faces and mimicking their idols on the internet in the hope of achieving stardom.
That isn’t the only way either, with the endless barrage of reality TV shows focusing on some of the mostly absolutely desperate fame seekers in their given countries the example shown to our youth is a hilarious but terrifying travesty. Social media platforms such as twitter, Facebook and Youtube also allow for the creation of huge followings based on nothing more than their ability to look great in a bikini and a ton of war paint that would make Predators’ Arnie look like freshly bathed baby.
Every single half way to pretty girl who can hold a tune is picking up a guitar and soullessly strumming out identical tunes, in an identical voice, with identical hair and in an identical format. Our young men and boys are doing the same too.. chilling carbon copies and each one more willing to sell their soul than the next. Competing in cyberspace for likes and comments, subs and followers. Pictures of heavily edited selfies and plates of foods that these clones spent 20 minutes decorating congest the pages of our web, leading me to wonder if they even remember what warm food tastes like anymore.
And hey, if not even a sniff of talent or personality is available they can join a show like ‘The only way is Essex, audition for Xfactor or BGT, then last but by no means least.. sleep with a footballer. Oh wait! I thought I reached the bottom of the barrel but missed something hiding under the sludge… ahh yes Big Brother of course… the one and only.
So where did this all start? How have our sweet darling children gone from wanting to be astronauts and nurses to wanting to find self worth in the adoration of faceless thousands for something that essentially has no meaning? Maybe I can make sense of it by using my own example? I myself grew up listening to and loving music and dance, and being a huge Michael Jackson fan I would watch him glide across the stage and sparkle like a star under my adoring gaze. His performances and the sheer entertainment he delivered was undoubtedly a huge inspiration, so what little boy or girl, or adult for that matter wouldn’t want to be loved that way? Well yes maybe not everyone, but I was not alone.. obviously!
I found out luckily I did have a talent for dance and studied performing arts then moved onto amateur dramatics in my 20’s, but then life took over, insecurities and self doubt crept in and throw in a good portion of laziness for good measure and I was out of the game. In my defence I like to think those from my generation had a more purest approach to their pursuits in regards to fame, but it was around this time we saw the birth of reality television and the horror show REALLY began.
I feel like I may have had a lucky escape sometimes, but still question my own previous expectations to try and relate to the modern youth. More likely a frantic attempt to remove myself subjectively from any comparisons but whatever. So thinking back, I didn’t think a lot of myself at all, and yes I suppose I wanted to be loved, I wanted to feel beautiful, I wanted to feel… special. My home life had tough moments like most of us of course, and where there may have been an affirmation gap the thought goes that the applause of a crowd could go some way to filling it? This is a gross simplification I know and the psychological dissection could go on for 1000 pages i kid you not, but what we see today?! I am not sure in all honesty could be explained by stories like mine.
It’s like trying to understand why a heroin addict would abuse to the point of tragic overdose when they came from a loving and nurturing home. This present day ambition for attention is some kind of warped and disjointed version of mine, one that was driving through the desert, ran out of fuel, got lost in the vast expanse looking for help and came out the other side starved of food and water, with only the whisper of a memory about where they were heading in the first place.
And Facebook?! I perceive it as a tasteless tabloid newspaper illustrating every inch of our lives. Triggering in people a scary ability to perform like circus monkeys, to throw away all self respect, identity, any sense of privacy, and enabling the worst parts of human nature to spill out all over the news feeds of what now seems to be every nations of our already crippled planet.
I have no smart solutions I won’t lie to you, and it may seem like I am being somewhat resistive or antisocial, but I worry for my children s future. I wish they looked up to people because of their unquestionable positive impact on humanity, and not for the fact that they changed their hair colour six times in their last music video. I know I must do my best to offset the compelling and persuasive media and teach my children as much about the true meaning of life that I can, and trust me I will. But it is a hard battle to fight, and if I am not checking myself CONSTANTLY the current can be known to sweep me from my soap box in an instant and leave me stranded…. pouring over an article on some flipping Kardashian. Sigh…. so yeah, the pull is strong and we MUST fight tooth and nail darn it! Wish me luck!