We all have intentions of obtaining an impactful career we’re passionate about.
Most celebrities don’t choose their profession for the money and fame. Like workers with ordinary jobs, they decide to pursue their occupation because of the effect it has on others, the excitement they experience or the talent that is natural for them. The large platform, fans and fortune are just added benefits.
It’s often difficult for us to realize celebrities are human and are affected by negative opinions because fans often place them on a pedestal. We praise them for their talents and create their profit, but we also scrutinize them and demand a valid explanation when they make mistakes.
It’s uncommon for people to consider the thick skin celebrities must develop to protect themselves from disheartening opinions.
We are blind to the tight rope they must walk everyday to not lose fans. Their career can end with one wrong step. Celebrities become frustrated because the fear of losing fans constantly hinders them from expressing their authentic selves thoroughly.
When a celebrity becomes bold and reveals a true part of themselves, they are scolded by their team for jeopardizing their career. The media tries to attempt character assassination by painting them as an impulsive, deceptive or unstable people. News outlets immediately persuade parents the celebrity is a bad influence on the youth, even though celebrities never asked to be their role models. This can cause celebrities to become depressed and rely on drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. Some even cope by being publicly rebellious to prove no one can dictate their actions and determine their values.
Disney Channel alumnae like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez are some of the many celebrities who have been butchered publicly for being their true selves.
In 2008, Cyrus received backlash after posing topless for Vanity Fair. The following year, Cyrus was criticized for dancing on a stripper pole while performing her hit single “Party in the USA” at the Teen Choice Awards. In 2013, the singer and actress released a controversial music video to her song “We Can’t Stop" that included cultural appropriation. She later performed with singer Robin Thicke in a provocative manner at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Since 2011, Gomez was judged brutally by the media and fans for her toxic relationship with Canadian singer Justin Bieber. In 2014, the singer and actress decided to enter rehab for mental health issues after her mother’s publicized miscarriage and Gomez’ struggle with lupus, although the media blamed Bieber as the reason for her rehabilitation.
Critics targeted Gomez for her V Magazine shoot, calling her a child prostitute in 2015. Earlier this year, Gomez temporarily disabled her Instagram comments after being slammed for posting about the necessity of common-sense gun laws after attending a March for Our Lives protest. Some fans were angry at Gomez because she didn’t use her platform to support Black Lives Matter.
Celebrities don’t deserve to live under a microscope, but it comes with their job. However, their personal life should be separated from their public persona. The media and fans need to realize celebrities are not invincible. Opinions are valued whether they should be or not, and words hurt. Everyone makes mistakes and is criticized for their beliefs, but we tend to be more respectful when we address a disagreement with non-famous people.
Next time you’re quick to judge a celebrity who does something controversial, reflect on the errors you’ve made in life.
Jasmine Edmonson is a 20-year-old mass communication sophomore from Denham Springs, Louisiana.