This I Believe

Ann - houston, Texas
Entered on November 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

My dad has often said then he hopes he is reincarnated as me or my sister, just so he can be as spoiled as us, but he is not alone in this thought. Numerous parents probably look at their children and think about the opportunities that lie ahead for them. In today’s society I am constantly frustrated by the youth who take those opportunities and ruin them by making mistakes in the public eye. I believe that because we are such a sensationalist society, the only role models youth have are those whose morals have been depleted throughout their time in the public eye.

Another DUI, another one checked into rehab, another trip to jail: and these people have barely turned 21. When I was much younger my celebrity knowledge consisted of Bugs Bunny and Full House, whereas now, the kids I babysit for watch shows like Hannah Montana, where the girl parades around in a bleach blonde wig with episodes solely consisting of her efforts of trying to get a boyfriend. I am a little baffled when I go to the mall and see stores where girls come out with makeovers that have made them into clones of Hannah Montana, wearing a long blonde wig, tight purple pants, and glittery eye shadow. Quite frankly I have friends who, at eighteen, have made less ground with boys than Hannah Montana, yet these 10 year old girls somehow are relating to her.

Set aside from the young preteens, are the vulnerable teenagers who are constantly looking for the “in” thing. With celebrity blogs and then entertainment news available everywhere, it is no wonder that some of today’s youth is getting in trouble. I can honestly say that I knew every single dance move to Britney Spear’s “Oops, I Did it Again”, but it makes me sad to think of what this role model I used to adore has become. And to add to that list of former celebrity role models is Lindsay Lohan. My family and I used to watch The Parent Trap almost every week, mainly because my sister and Lindsay Lohan had the same hair color, but also because it was a good, wholesome family movie. While other celebrities’ fame is somewhat questionable, it was clear that Lindsey Lohan possessed some talent, which makes it even sadder to see her on the cover of a magazine with the headline, “Caught with Coke, AGAIN!”

While there are the Mandy Moores and Ann Hathaways in today’s society, there are certainly not enough. The good-girl bad-girl ratio is frightfully off kilter, and as a teenager I am left wondering if this is a trend. As I babysit a four year old who skillfully changes into her princess dress, she stops singing her Snow White hymn and instead changes to a popular Avril Lavigne song. As she sings a conglomeration of words she clearly made up, I am asking myself if this Disney Princess wannabe has any idea that the singer of the song she is chanting has been photographed more with her middle fingers up towards her photographer than performing with her microphone on the stage. And those two fingers are the reasons I believe we have a reason to worry about societies’ affect on our youth.