I can't say that I'm a huge fan of celebrity culture. Strange as it may seem, in my book people should have done something of note in order to gain fame. And for that matter, fame these days is a very different kettle of fish to the fame of yesteryear - do we really need to know every minute aspect of these people's lives? I suppose it's a result of the instant media world we live in. It's also far too easy for those we admire to become idols. Whatever they might have achieved, no human deserves that kind of adulation and worship. But anyway, as I say I'm not a big celeb fan. Great sportspeople that have excelled in their chosen field? Yep, I'm on board with them being recognised. Film stars and musicians who have genuinely made an artistic impact on the world? All good. My current problem with celebrities lies in their unrivalled capacity to let you down.
I should probably stop writing in the abstract about now and get more specific. Please welcome Ms. Kelly Rowland and Ms. Beyonce Knowles to the debate; two thirds of the super-girl-group Destiny's Child and now solo stars in their own right. During the early 00s I was a huge DC fan, to some extent I still am. They made great pop/R'n'B music and nothing can change that. But that wasn't the only reason that I appreciated the group back then. Their attitude was that of empowered women with integrity. They made it clear that you could be sexy without having sex; that dressing and acting in a classy manner was far more attractive than walking around with half your clothes falling off. They recognised God's hand in their lives and even sang about 'not compromising their Christianity'. Which is why it saddens and even angers me to see their wildly different image and attitudes today.
These days both Rowland and Knowles seem to have no qualms about stripping off in their videos in a far from classy manner. Many of their songs are laden with sexual innuendo and a desire beyond all else, to please their man. I don't want to be judgemental. It's not my place. But it is so dispiriting to see these changes in the women that I looked up to as a teenager.
I'd be interested to know the thoughts of the other Destiny's Child member, Michelle Williams. When the group went their separate ways she went into gospel music and so I hope that she still holds the same values as she did back then. Sadly in the UK there is very little word of the gospel music industry so I'm not sure what she's up to these days.
I suppose it just goes to show that all humans fail. We are all far from perfect and whilst to some extent it is good to have role models, we should beware looking up to those we only know through magazines, TV and CDs. Our role models should be people around us in our day to day lives and of course, ultimately our role model should be Jesus Christ. He'll never let us down.