Unless you spent yesterday living under a rock, you know about Hollywood’s most recent it-was-only-a-matter-of-time arrest: Justin Beiber.
Well, I’m not going to get into it.
What I’m going to say is, “Why you gotta hate like that?”
Ok, wait! Hear me out.
Before you go and think I’m a diehard Belieber. I’m not. To be clear: I AM NOT DEFENDING JUSTIN BEIBER OR HIS ACTIONS. I, too, think that Justin’s out-of-control behaviour over the last few months has been attention-seeking and definitely not a good example for anyone who might be impressionable enough to look up to him.
What I’m asking you is, why does it make it ok for all of us to call him “a little shit” or “a douche-bag”? Or worse yet, to say “Man, I’ve always hated this kid!” – these are actually comments I read on my Facebook newsfeed this morning.
Back in August I felt the exact same way. I was trying to catch up on all the babies and marriages on my feed (Not!) and I couldn’t dodge the trash talk of people calling Miley “a slut” and judging the way she physically looked. Again, I don’t condone Miley’s actions. Yes, I did lose respect for her for objectifying and degrading herself with her thrusting and choice of clothing. But is it ok to teach our kids, “it’s ok to bully people, put down their body image and call them names if they act like that.” Where do we draw the line? In my humble opinion, it’s never ok to perpetuate this hate and bullying.
So why do we get so passionate about these mistakes? Why does it stir something so deep inside of us even 30 year old men on my friends list find it necessary to rant their opinion on an open forum? I guess the more important question is, why don’t we get so fired up about the positive things that actors, artists and politicians do with the power of their celebrity? It’s us, the humans powering social media, who have made #FreeBeiber and #WeWillAlwaysSupportYouJustin two of the three trends on Twitter this morning. Personally, I’d like to see #mattdamoneconomist trending, or #haydenpanettierecharitysuccess.
Making comments of disgust is not going to cure this media disease. Does anyone really think creating more hate and judgement is going to stop this? No. Of course it’s not. It’s actually doing the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. Dr. MLK told us, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” So, let’s stop feeding the monster. This really is in our hands.
So, Imma let Justin do Justin, Miley do Miley and even Ms. Lohan do Lohan. That’s their battle. I’m going to blow up my newsfeed with celebrities who use their status for philanthropy like the Jolie-Pitts or Sir Elton. I’m going to put my attention on the humour and modesty of celebs like Jennifers, Lawrence and Aniston. I’m going to shout about celebrities that are getting attention from their merits and talent…
As my favourite rapper said, “Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other.”