Fergie, Paris should not be aspirations

Nate Sharir

On August 31, 2006, former vice president Al Gore spoke at the MTV Video Music Awards to declare the urgency of global warming; referring to the young audience as the generation that will save the world. However, on the very same night, our generation chose the Black Eyes Peas’ “My Humps” as the Hip Hop Video of the year. If we are indeed the future that will save the earth, then we better get our acts together and stop looking up to people like certain artists in the music industry as well as people without any redeeming characteristics, such as the notoriously unrefined Paris Hilton.

Fortunately, however, a few students agree that young people are not choosing the right role models. “They have role models that are not good people,” said freshman nursing major Elizabeth Chute. Freshman math major Samantha Katagagiri agrees. “They idolize people who aren’t accomplished.”

Thanks to the media’s catering to items that sell, rap artists like Jay-Z and Eminem are given airtime to preach drugs and violence and artists such as The Pussycat Dolls and Fergie are able to advocate promiscuity and lust through their most recent songs. And these artists and songs are dominating the airwaves and radio stations. This allows the young people of America to have plenty of access to this dribble and often sing the lyrics and imitate the artists’ dance moves. This is just sad.

But, perhaps the greatest shame is that Paris Hilton and her antics are everywhere. She is seen in repeated episodes of The Simple Life on E!, and her latest single “Nothing in This World” recently debuted on VH-1’s music video countdown. Plus with her appearances in movies, Hilton is now being exposed to a wider audience.

To my surprise, however, there are some people who admire Paris Hilton for her efforts to go the distance. “You can look at Paris Hilton as being spoiled,” said junior marketing major Elizabeth Casatelli. “People can look up to her because she is expanding her horizons.”

Nevertheless, I can’t ignore the fact that a majority of young people approve of rappers and socialites and consider them to be quality role models. If the youth of today are indeed the generation that will improve America, they better start looking up to the right people. “Albert Schweitzer, Paul McCartney, and Bono are good role models,” said junior political science major Daniel Podvesker. Junior physical therapy major Pasqual Iannucci also poignantly adds that “parents and relatives are good role models.”

And that is the truth. Parents need to teach their children what is important in life. If children grow up to think that drugs, sex, and violence are worthwhile activities, then they will be spending the rest of their lives behind a jail door. It might also be a good idea to just get out more as well. “Socializing with others and being who you are will shape someone’s individuality in the long run,” advises Interactive Digital Design major John-Austin Catero.

Indeed, life is all about individuality. After all, if you want to be someone, it is best to just be yourself and your own role model.