SEATTLE — It is no secret that America’s collective societal psyche is obsessed with celebrities and celebrity culture. This can be seen with our fascination with television stations like TMZ and tabloid magazines. We are constantly obsessing over questions like “Who wore it better?” and “Who is the new ‘It’ couple?” as well as the endless coverage of what is going on in these people’s lives.
While society is caring about the latest gossip tweets, there are thousands of men, women and children dying from poverty, hunger and war. What if celebrities took public stances against these issues? Recently, there have been examples of celebrities taking action, such as Angelina Jolie becoming a peace ambassador for the UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), constantly donating money to help build schools and adopting children from poor nations.
But what if there were more celebrities taking action? What if instead of focusing on the latest sex scandal, we focused on the good these celebrities can do?
For example, Shakira has opened eight schools in Colombia, lobbied Latin American leaders to support early childhood education, and served needy children in disadvantaged communities. Yet, there is barely any coverage on these amazing deeds.
If more celebrities were to get involved with charity to end the terrible occurrences in our global society and this became more prevalent in media, it would likely be talked about just as much as the latest gossip.
Another example is Josh Duhamel who organized a two-mile race, “Youth Run 4 Haiti,” and collected more than $72,000 for the American Red Cross. Yet, if one Google searches his name, the first pages are all regarding his twitter, IMDb and news on his son learning the alphabet.
Positive exposure of philanthropic deeds through the media can spread awareness for many issues and can inspire many more individuals to become actively involved with the problems. Celebrities can help shape the nature of our society’s attitudes towards charity and can help facilitate a new philanthropic spirit for the future.
– Alysha Biemolt