Be a Good Example for Young to Follow

By Esmer Alonzo

Kids these days look up to the wrong people. People are more and more alike these days and that kids forget to express their individuality. Artists like P. Diddy, who used “homophobic and racial slurs during an outburst at an Atlanta night club,” according to Slate.com, is an example of how some artists are difficult to admire. Diddy got mad because some guy wasn’t drinking his Ciroc brand of liquor while at a BET after party; although, he later does apologize on Twitter for his ignorant remarks.

This goes to show that some artists aren’t the best of role models. Diddy has also had some run-ins with the law. In 1994 he was linked to a shooting involving the talented rapper, Tupac Shakur. He was also arrested in 1999 for having a gun in his car involving a shooting.

I think that rappers like T.I. and Lil Wayne also are very good rappers but their actions aren’t the best. T.I. has been arrested several times for gun possession and drugs and Lil Wayne has been arrested for weapon charges, drug possession, and felony gun possession. Young boys look up to these men. These celebrities understand how much they influence kids and teens. They’re teaching kids what they’re not supposed to know at a young age.

Mostly everyone looks up to a celebrity and wants to look like them or be similar. I hear many little girls talking about how they love Nicki Minaj and how she is so pretty and little boys look up to Wiz Khalifa. Nowadays many people judge your past. So if you have done something wrong, people will find out and possibly use it against you. Young children see your past, especially if you’re a celebrity because the news is everywhere.

Children and teens don’t really make the best decisions nowadays. I feel like kids are in such a rush to grow up that they forget to find out who they really are at a young age. Being around bad influences encourages children to do more wrong than right.

Society doesn’t make this any easier either. You’re taught to be a certain way, look, dress, act, and talk. If you don’t look like or do what the people on TV do then you’re viewed as uncool or you are different. The media has such a huge impact on how young people act.

The world needs better role models for kids. As the years pass by the world changes, it also changes the expectations for people. It seems like ever since Nicki Minaj has been getting more and more popular that almost every girl wants to be a Barbie. Even before Nicki there were influences to do things or be like someone, but not as big as this, what I call, the ‘Barbie movement.’ Nicki Minaj is best known for her amazing fast rapping talent, weird contoured faces, and sexual appeal. She raps about ‘lesbian tendencies,’ men, money, and sex. She has been deemed as the “Black Barbie.” Now she can say that she is a real Barbie, literally. Mattel designed a very detailed Nicki Minaj Barbie doll which is going to be up for auction. The doll is starting at a whopping $1,000.

Minaj’s appearance isn’t all bad though. In her interview with “Vogue” Magazine she said, “[I’m planning] an enormous foundation to nurture girls. The Nicki Minaj girl is a fun, artsy girl who can become a fierce force to be reckoned with on Wall Street! They hang on my every word, so I tell them, go to school, be ambitious. The worst position is to be financially dependent on the man.” She does tell girls to be more than just eye candy. I just wish her lyrics would show this smart side of her.

Boys are the same way. They look up to rappers and talk more inappropriately because of the songs that they listen to.

The rapper, Wiz Khalifa, raps about money, drugs, and women. Boys are exposed to this music and see nothing wrong with the lyrics. It’s just a song or a rap. It’s so much more though. It’s sending a bad message. It is saying that you can be famous and respected if you put someone else down. You can smoke, drink, party just to seem cool or to fit in. I think these raps influence young people to make bad decisions. Rappers nowadays don’t have the best lyrics for kids to listen to. Kids shouldn’t be exposed to these inappropriate songs but yet they still are.

Many rapper “idols” aren’t as positive these days though. They talk about degradation of people, especially women. Many rappers put women down and talk about promiscuity and how you can just dog someone. It’s upsetting because I have listened to some of the rap music and it just irritates me because of all the violence and drugs correlated with it.

When I was younger, I didn’t know half the inappropriate things that young kids know now. I wasn’t really exposed to anything that I wasn’t “supposed” to know. I didn’t know what sex or drugs were. I watched cartoons and colored. Now, kids know about marijuana, alcohol and sex. They watch so many inappropriate things. This younger generation is so far ahead that it’s frightening of the things that could happen to them. If kids have older siblings that they use as a role model, then they could take after them and get into stuff that their siblings do.

No one is perfect, but a role model should be someone that you look up to; someone that can teach you something valuable and morally correct. My role model was and still is Mariah Carey. Mariah Carey isn’t promiscuous like some artists today. I have never read anything bad about her and her reputation is clean. She’s older now, married and has a baby. Her songs speak positive messages to me. She is an inspiration and my idol.

I’m not putting down any artist, but I feel like kids need to be smarter about the people they look up to and that these upcoming artists need to be more aware of how their actions affect young fans. People look up to you whether you know it or not. Little kids, especially, are so ready to grow up. They want to do what they see others doing. Kids should stay little and their parents should be more protective of what they expose their kids to. Although, it is hard because you see bad influences everyday, whether it be at school, outside, the store, on TV, or on the internet.

I have seen so many little kids talk back to their parents. Boys wear the baggy clothes, the long tees, and the girls are wearing more revealing clothes and make up at a very young age. I saw my little sister putting on eye shadow and lip gloss. She’s only 8 years old. One day, a little boy was talking back to his mom and was cussing at her. He had no respect. He wanted something and couldn’t get it so he threw a fit. Little girls looking at magazines saying they want to be like the girls in the pictures. Eating less and less because of how society views people. They’re just trying to fit in.