Are There Any Family Friendly Celebrities?
Since Justin Bieber became the latest child celebrity to hit the headlines for a very adult accusation, parents are once again struggling to explain the situation. How can this squeaky clean 17-year old heart-throb with strong Christian roots be accused of being a baby daddy to 20-year old Mariah Yeater? Young girls with bedrooms plastered with Bieber posters are suddenly asking their parents what are paternity tests. Whether or not Bieber is the father of this 4-month old baby is irrelevant. The damage was done when the allegation was made.
Although the scandal and the players are new, the feeling of betrayal is the same as when Miley Cyrus danced on a stripper pole, when Britney Spears went off the rails, when Pee-Wee Herman was accused of molestation, and when River Phoenix died of an overdose.The fairytale of child superstars rarely has a happy ending. The only question is, how we can best brace our children for when the image of their idols tarnishes.
It would be easiest to shield our children from the media altogether, to keep them from developing these crushes on celebrities with strong scandal tendencies, but children can't live in a bubble. Realizing that stars are people distinct from the characters they play on TV is an important lesson to learn, people who can be spoiled, conceited and mean in a way never shown on TV or in the movies. The more you reinforce the stars are real people message, the less interesting and surprising any scandal might be, and that might be the best way to prepare your children from learning about ugly adult truths before they're ready.
There is no way of ensuring that a star is family friendly, or will be family friendly forever. Teaching your children that famous people are profoundly human is your best way to prepare them for potential scandal.