by Sabrina Gonzalez
“People that judge me or like, say that I’m crazy, they don’t know half the stuff that their kids are doing.”
Miley Cyrus makes a valid point, people judge celebrities who get plastic surgery, wear outfits made out of meat, twerk on Robin Thicke, and pull other crazy stunts for publicity, but we forget that these are the people who have the most influence on today’s youth.
The impact celebrities have on the lives of teens really presents itself in the style of kids. By now we are all familiar with the “space buns” hairstyle that Miley Cyrus displayed at the Video Music Awards. Many girls imitated the hairstyle for their student ID cards taken the day after the VMAs, including Kennedy senior Francesca Monfort. But it was not limited to Kennedy students; girls from Northridge Academy and Granada Hills Charter have posted pictures sporting the space buns as well. From the Snooky “poof” to Katy Perry’s nail art, teens continue to model these celeb fashion trends.
Celebrities also tend to create this image of a fun and fast lifestyle that many teens attempt to pursue. Jennifer Hinerman, one of Kennedy’s physiology teachers, is familiar with students wanting to live like these stars. She recalls a student referring to The Jersey Shore’s Snooky, famous for her partying, as her hero. These famous people glamorize the party lifestyle so teenagers seek that life without seeing the reality of how dangerous and unhealthy it can be. Musicians write songs all the time about how fun that party-life is and how being young means you should be out in clubs and having fun.
So why are these kids so determined to be like the today’s stars? With social networking being as popular as it is, it’s not surprising that teenagers are influenced greatly by these celebrities. They feel a sense of connection because they have constant updates on the lives of superstars at their fingertips. Amanda Bynes is someone who lets her fans in on her personal life through Twitter, whether she’s talking about her crush on fellow stars or her latest surgery. This gives something for teens to relate to, which is why they attempt to mirror a celebrity’s lifestyle.
Kids at this age are very impressionable, especially since social acceptance is crucial for them in their teen years. Stars do not realize that they have so much power when it comes to teenagers. Maybe if they understood the affect they had on kids they would try to set a better example.