Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | By: Tonya Keitt Kalule

Why Do We Allow the Media to Manipulate?

It amazes me how we hold others to standards that we are not even able to live up to, especially those people whose lives are in the spotlight. I know in many ways we are supporting the careers of many of these people but does it also give us the right to tear them down?
We are supporting their work, their gifts, and their talents. Yes we want to know more about them as people, but when we find out that they are flawed we treat them like they have the plague, and that is not fair at all. Hell we are all flawed, some of us more so than others. I guess the old adage still applies that misery loves company, even when it is someone that we don't really know. I think part of it is that these people's lives are always plastered in the media so we feel that we know them, but we don't, there is always more to them whether good or bad that is not in the media. There is often more to those that we are closest too than we know. I have friends that have passed on that I am still finding out things about.

We forget that they are still people with the same feelings, emotions, hang-ups, and flaws as all of us. They have families, bad days, disappointments, and tragedies in their lives just like the rest of us and they deal with these things just as we do. We have the tendency to see them as bigger than life and what we consider role models, but when we see their flaws we immediately want to dismiss them.
Remember as a kid when you could not imagine your first grade teacher going to the bathroom. I do. The thought of my beautiful teacher, that commanded respect and attention in the classroom, and always knew the right thing to do for us as students and small children, could possible be sitting on the toilet. Right, too much to imagine, huh. There was also a time in your life when you could not imagine your own mother and father having sex.
My point is that we put people on pedestals because of what they bring to our lives, and yes there are some build their own pedastal, but those people fall off their self-made pedestal faster than others.
Then we grow up and realize that that teacher is just a person with bodily functions like the rest of us, that experiences that same things that we do, and we let those fantasies go. Well it is time to let those fantasies go when it come to public figures.
It is great for your children to look up to some of these people, but merely as a figure that has made some accomplishments that they too want to make, or as a person that has realized their dream regardless of the many obstacles or not; but not as a god.

Most will tell you that there are no overnight successes. There was a great deal of hard work and anguish that went into realizing their dream long before we ever knew they existed. When you really look into the past experiences of our celebrities, many slept in cars, a friends couch, lived on roman noodles or soup, that is because they never gave up and that is what you want your children to learn, to never give up on your dreams.
It is time for us to back off and not allow the media to control us. We need to give the same respect to others that we would want to receive. It has to be hard enough to have your life plastered in the media for everyone to see and judge.


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