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Celebrity Influence

             "People say that I"m a bad influence, I say the world's already f*cked, I"m just adding to it! They say I"m suicidal, teenagers newest idol, common do as I do, go ahead get mad and DO IT"(Eminem). This is just one of the many controversial lines that Eminem has rapped since his debut in 1997. This song entitled Bad Influence is mocking the media and the claim that his lyrics and image can change the way the youth of America acts, thinks, and lives. The claim made by gay rights activists, women's rights activists, and the parents of America is that children are heavily influenced by the music and real lives of these celebrities, so much so that they are willing to commit violent crimes and vicious acts simply because they are trying to emulate these celebrities. At the same time, celebrities such as Eminem are counter-attacking this argument with claims that celebrities can not alone influence a child to that extent and that these types of incidences only occur when parents are out of touch and distant from their children. However, whether celebrities would like to admit it or not, in this new age popular culture they have more influential power than they even realize. The only people who do fully realize this power are the firms and corporations that use these celebrities in commercials and advertisements in an attempt to be associated with the images these celebrities have created for themselves. Both the parents and the celebrities have the argument confused and both are arguing from opposite sides of the spectrum while the truth lies in the middle. With the help of psychological theories in Toward a Psychology of Being by Abraham Maslow, The Erik Erikson Reader written by Erik Erikson and edited by Robert Coles, and a Newsweek article by Johnnie L. Roberts, it becomes clear that celebrities have an enormous beneficial impact on the youth of America by helping their self-esteem while helping every adolescent fulfill the needs which he or she needs to survive and mature to the next stage of their lives.

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