I saw a news story the other day about some parents that were petitioning to have an ice cream stand banned from the public park they frequented with their children. Their reason, apparently, is that ice cream isn’t healthy and can lead to childhood obesity. No argument here. The glaring problem to me is that, to these parents, the practical solution to mitigating such risks for their children involves navigating legal channels to have this ice cream entrepreneur banished from the park, as opposed to—oh, I don’t know—telling their child, “NO”. Personally, if my child were to ask for ice cream at the park and I didn’t feel he/she needed an ice cream, I would just say, “no”. That’s it. Sure, there might be a little pleading that occurs, maybe some bargaining, Number Three might even shed a few tears. They’ll get over it. I swear. There is no need for legal action to replace basic parenting. It’s like demanding that toys be banned from Target because your child asked you for Legos.
Let me give some advice: PARENT YOUR CHILDREN, PEOPLE! Your precious angel is going to survive hearing the word, “no” from time to time. Say it with me: “I’m the parent. My child is not the boss of me. I am the boss of him/her. I am the adult.”It is the same thing with celebrities. My daughter used to be a HUGE Hannah Montana fan. She sang all of her songs, had a costume, wore her clothing line and never missed the show or her movies. Then parents started making a buzz and a stink about Miley Cyrus, the actress that played Hannah Montana. They didn’t approve of her being photographed in public wearing provocative clothing. Photos of her partying were leaked. Parents were indignant and seemed to think Disney should have her flogged because, to them, she was not being a positive role model to Hannah Montana fans. I mean, it begs the question, why the fuck are you letting your 5-11 year old read Perez Hilton and Star magazine? Put some parental controls on your computer. As long as Hannah Montana isn’t posting panties pics on the web and smoking Salvia in her secret closet, parents should not be concerned with the antics of Miley Cyrus off camera—at least, not as a relevant issue to their young daughters. Parent your own children! It is not the responsibility of celebrities to teach your child values. It is yours. If Selena Gomez wants to make a sex tape and snort coke, that’s her prerogative. I won’t get my parent panties in a bunch as long as character, Alex Russo, doesn’t start snorting adderall and prostituting to fund her wizard school tuition. At the end of the day, it’s all pretty easy. Don’t look to celebrities to be role models for your children. You’re the parent! Your goal should be that they look to you as their role model. If your child tells you that she wants to make a sex tape so she can be like Paris Hilton and you need someone to blame, look in the mirror. If you are concerned that a certain character, celebrity or athlete could negatively influence your child, it is your job, as the parent, to eliminate or, at least, mitigate the influence. Step up to the plate. I may think Vanessa Hudgens is a total dumbass for having nude cell phone pictures leaked to the public on more than one occasion but Vanessa Hudgens didn’t squeeze any of these kids out of the vagina she loves to photograph. Her personal life can only be a relevant influence on my children if I am asleep at the wheel.
Celebrities and athletes are not obligated to you or your children. If you have deferred to Miley Cyrus, Michael Vick or Rhianna and Chris Brown to instill morals and values in your child, you, the parent, are the only person responsible when or if they emulate their value systems and behaviors. Celebrities are far better to be used as cautionary tales, not role models.