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(First, excuse my lack of introduction, I signed in to comment on TypePad through my WordPress blog account, KarmaWaffle. My name is Alyssa Bronander, I am a graduating senior at Marist College studying PR, Communication Studies and Global Studies.) I would not go as far as to say there are no longer any role models, but celebrity, and therefore media coverage and audience attention, is more likely to fall on those whom lead entertaining lifestyles rather than admirable or fulfilling ones. Today's youth look to reality television, YouTube and social networking to learn about the world and it is in these outlets where the number of views outweighs the quality of content. I believe this shift is best exemplified in the recent controversy over Jersey Shore’s Snooki earning more for a short appearance at Rutgers University than Nobel-Prize winner Toni Morrison did for being the institution’s commencement speaker.
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2011 on The death of the role model at RepMan
I agree with all that you have said above in regards the ethics of targeted marketing to a young audience. D-O-double-G was an intentional pick to attract an African-American audience, as would be many a main stream rapper (especially those with a strong social media presence, Kayne West for example, although Snoop seems to be surprisingly less controversial). The hole in your comparison to the role models of earlier times lies in today’s society’s novel definitions of “fame” and “role model” and more importantly the broadening gap between the two. You mention your early admiration for athletes, celebrities, or influencers whom were famous for their skills or ideals. As seen in your cite of the Kardashian sisters, "fame" can now be defined as upholding an entertaining lifestyle (be it by sex tapes, unplanned pregnancies, or serial-dating professional athletes). As a young adult who has grown up as this paradigm has shifted, I have seen that “role model” is no longer synonymous with, “what I want to be when I grow up,” but rather, “what I’d like to be known for". Can we blame Snoop Dogg for racking in the cash for promoting a potentially dangerous product? His songs already purposely endorse illegal substances and irreverent behaviors. Ergo, it is not dangerous that these celebrities are endorsing dangerous products, but rather that they are use for endorsement at all. Even if Blast was replaced by V8, it is the Gin & Juice lifestyle thats being sold.
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2011 on The death of the role model at RepMan is now following The Typepad Team
Apr 19, 2011