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Posts Tagged ‘image’

        Yes, Britney Spears is talented…but, after the roller coaster year she has had and the struggle to pull her life together…i guess I expected a bit more of her.  She is beautiful, she is talented and she has the drive to become anything she wants to be.  That is why i was disappointed by her appearance on Good Morning America this morning for her 27th birthday celebration.  I know that all of this media attention is merely publicity for her upcoming tour and album release; but, I was hoping for something a little more.  After all, she has revamped her body, her legal standing, and she has regained some control of her well-being over the troubling last year.

        She is twenty seven years old…and she “recreated” her past image.  I really thought that she would re-invent her image by pulling it together instead of trying to hyper-sex her image.  Who of us wouldn’t have responded positively to a more grown up version of the Britney Spears entertainer?   Come on…for heaven’s sake…she has the pipes; she doesn’t need to strip down to expose herself by wearing outfits that leave little to the imagination.  (For the record, i have the same problem with other talented people like Beyonce who recently introduced her audience to her alter ego, Sasha Fierce).  There are audiences who will eat this stuff up; but do they care about the entertainer as a person outside of what is given them on the stage?  The performer doesn’t have to live with the audience; they only have to live with themselves when they leave the spotlight.   Is the public adulation enough for you?  Does the fame help you to live a fuller, happier life when not performing?

        It’s bad enough that the music/television business pushes the hyper-sexed robots that sell shows/concerts to the public…but, why in the world do the celebrities exploit their own images?  They already have the industry contacts, they have the skill set, they have supportive fans…why do they feel the need to sell their images this way?

        I really take issue with Britney’s performance on Good Morning America; as her very young sons and mother were in the audience.  Is this necessary to expose your young children to the visual of their mother strutting around on stage in the barest essentials, singing about things like serial womanizing? 

         Where is the inside soul of Britney?  Is she gone?  Sometimes when you look at her eyes in photographs …you see such emptiness, vulnerability and sadness.  Does she think that this version of her talent is ALL that she has to offer us?   I can’t help but think back to the young girl who was beginning her career; the girl who had such a genuine look in her eyes and talked about positive traditional values…she has been missing for a long time.  Britney genuinely seemed more like a happier person at that time, more then she does today.  Today she has children, she has more material things, she has more money and fame than she did back then.  So what’s missing? 

        I figured when Britney exploded back into the public eye, professionally, we would see a more mature version of her; one that combined who Britney was before she turned into such a hot commodity; and, the person who battled her way through the fire this past year.  I know she has it in her to be using her talent in a way that is in alignment with her formerly acknowledged Christian values.  Maybe Britney needs reminded that she is a young woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister and an aunt…someone who has a responsibility to represent herself as a positive influence to those around her.

          Remember Britney when you talked about keeping yourself pure?  Obviously you have had children and adult relationships…but, in that maturing process it appears as if anything goes in public now.  How do you want your children to conduct themselves in the next 7-10 years?   Are we going to see your children performing as Chippendale-like dancers before an audience of screaming female fans; stripping down to G strings, when they are in their teens?  Will you be ok with that?  Because that is the example you are putting before the eyes of our young sisters-brothers, and sons-daughters. 

         And Britney, you are making it appear irresistible…you are rich, you are famous, you are beautiful and, you have the career that many would be thrilled to have.   If only you would channel your career into something that is more acceptable in the way of traditional family values; in a world that is craving positive, musical role models.  I don’t think that you realize the impact that you have on your young fans. 

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       I remember back when i was in high school, back in the 80’s, we had a class on social issues.  In that class we discussed high profile situations in our society; which underscored how desensitized our society was becoming to people in pain and misery.

       There was a case of a woman who was stabbed over and over again in New York.  She was screaming and people heard it and yet they did nothing.  Later, when the police were investigating…people stated that they heard it; but, they did not want to “get involved”. 

         I remember thinking, during that discussion, that that was crazy; an isolated incident.  Not so, as i have grown up and matured, I find that people really are becoming desensitized to other people’s pain and misery.  It is crazy but think about it…how many movies have put murder and torture out there for entertainment value…such as those horror flicks or slasher movies?  It is not only sad…but, it is immoral.   Those things desensitize our fellow human beings to the value of life.

         How many television shows continue to shoot, rape, rob, torture and victimize others and draw in millions of viewers each and every day?  How do we expect people to have compassion towards one another?  We need to reconnect to those around us; this is something that affects us all.  Children are growing up today who have great difficulty seeing past their own wants and needs.  Adults who are willing to commit violence to get what they want…no matter who they hurt or kill.  Parents who kill children, children who kill parents, siblings, neighbors or friends.  It is as if they do not know how to “feel” appropriately towards anyone outside of themselves.

        Today, i am brought to a deeper sadness than I have felt in a long time regarding our nation and the lack of compassion that our citizens show towards one another. 

         A young man in Florida committed suicide online while others watched and egged him on.  He posted a suicide note…he live-streamed his suicide online; while people WATCHED and did nothing to HELP him.  Not only that, they allegedly ridiculed him and said things like…that isn’t enough medication to kill you!  What amazes me, is that this went on for hours and hours before someone had the good sense to contact the authorities to try to get help for him.   It was too late; he was already dead!

         There are reports that this person may have attempted to kill himself in the past.  So what; so what if it was a false alarm…who and what does it hurt to contact the authorities and have it checked out?  If that person was faking it…he would have been sent somewhere for a psychological exam to find out why he would do such a thing.  Maybe, just maybe he would still be alive today if someone had made an attempt to help him; when he FIRST stated his intention to kill himself.   

         Unfortunately, the young man was not faking the suicide attempt…he was actually crying out for help.  There were many people who had an opportunity to get involved, save a life, make a difference…and yet…they did not.  How can a human being watch another person suffer in front of their very eyes and pile more emotional damage upon that person?  Even if they thought it was a prank, even if they thought the person was not serious, even if they thought it was a waste of time…they failed to react with compassion.  How much more of an effort would it have taken to pick up the phone…or contact the online service that provided the streaming video and asked for someone to follow up on the person’s well-being?  Someone finally did contact help…but…it was much too late for saving his life; but, at least they made an attempt.

           I sure would not want my mind filled with the image of that young man lying on his bed with his back to the camera; filled with despair and depression…curled up in defeat…knowing that he died as I watched and took no action to save his life.  Every life has value and should be preserved.  My heart aches for him, for his family and for his friends…and yes, even for those who watched him die.  They will have to live with the knowledge of what they saw, what they said and did; and, did not do to help a fellow human being in distress.

           Many people in our society are affected by mental illness, or by depression.  It is not a crime…however, it is a crime to fail to get someone help when they need it.  I don’t know if any of those who participated in this suicide by watching it will be held legally responsible or not…but, I do think that they had a moral obligation to get involved in a way that would have attempted to provide some emergency help for this individual.  Depression is a serious matter and so is a suicide attempt.   Please help to educate others on suicide prevention!  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/suicide-prevention/ or on what happens to a suicide victim’s loved ones after the suicide:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6311509

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       Sarah Palin will be making an appearance tonight on Saturday Night Live.  This is a show to watch as the talented Tina Fey has been impersonating her on the show for a few weeks.  I think they will have worked out a wonderful skit. It will be interesting to see Sarah’s sense of humor shine through; with all of this campaigning…things have been a bit tough on her image.  Will it help Sarah’s image or will it further the impression that Tina Fey has been putting out there for the masses to mock?  Rest assured the appearance will be plastered all over the political programs on Sunday morning and on the news programs…no matter which way things go on SNL.

       In the beginning of the Presidential candidate’s campaigns…people talked about the Oprah factor…the last few weeks it has been about the impact of Tina Fey’s charaterization of Sarah Palin.  Will this chapter of the campaign trail positively or negatively impact the outcome of the election?  Time will tell…i plan to stay up and watch. How about you?

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        There is a new biography coming out, called:  Here’s the story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice.  It is being released for sale tomorrow.  Over the years, it appears that Maureen McCormick, the actress who played Marcia Brady on the Brady Bunch television show in the 70’s lost her identity to the character that she played on that show.

         Having grown up during those Brady Bunch years…i know that Maureen was a television icon during that time because of the character that she played.  She was a trend setter.   Many young girls wanted to be Marcia.  The Brady Bunch was a huge part of the culture in the 70’s…even though the show was only on for about five years; it influenced a whole generation of young people and their families.

        As we now know, many childhood actors have gone on to have troubled lives because of the unique set of circumstances growing up with such an unhealthy balance of power, between the lifestyle of a child actor and normal growing up circumstances.  When a child actor makes the kind of money they do, has all kinds of adults jumping to their whims, has masses of people hanging on their every word and action…the balance of power in raising a child from youth to adulthood can get warped a bit in the entertainment business.  Many of the actors/actresses don’t listen to positive advice or instruction…they surround themselves with yes people and hangers on.  Too often we hear of young people in the industry who get into legal trouble or trouble with drugs/alcohol addictions because they don’t have an authority figure to keep them from making such mistakes.  Their relationships enter into difficulties because they don’t know if they are being liked for who they are or for who they play on television.

           I am looking forward to reading Maureen’s memoir; as i have heard bits and pieces over the years about her struggles after the Brady Bunch years.  I can’t imagine that it was an ideal way to grow up.  However, Maureen McCormick is now 52 years old.  I hope that by reading the story…that it instills in others some kind of wisdom in helping others not to repeat the mistakes that so many have made in similar journeys.

           Often times in these types of memoirs…much of the time and attention is focussed on the misdeeds, as opposed to the lessons learned; i hope that is not the case in this book.  It would be nice to have some success stories in the media on overcoming the odds of loosing yourself to your television character’s image.   In any case, there is a whole generation of people who will be interested in finding out how things progressed for the actress who gave so much enjoyment through her nemesis. 

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       Sad news today for many baby boomers who will have strong memories of Bozo…the world’s most famous clown…Larry Harmon…one of the original marketing geniuses behind the image and licensing of the Bozo character has died.  I don’t have strong memories of Larry Harmon himself much as the portrayer of Bozo…although I certainly have seen him a bit over the years. 

        What is remarkable to me is that his development and contribution to the image and promotion of the character has brought a lot of joy over the years to many families.  I remember our own local Dick Richards, for WZZM TV 13, as our Bozo; from 1968 to 1999.   Everyone wanted to get their name drawn so that they could win prizes from the bucket bonanza! Thank you Dick Richards for giving of yourself so completely to your viewers.

          Dick Richards was always entertaining and certainly a big part of our children’s development in the western Michigan area. Children’s television programing never had it so good as when people were begging for tickets just to be in the audience for the taping of the Bozo show.   It was all due to the vision that Larry Harmon had to how Bozo should be marketed around the country. 

       I wish to pass along my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Harmon and our thanks for all that he has given to the many children, whos,  hearts were lifted up by their time spent enjoying Bozo on television, making us laugh with his antics over the years.  Rest in peace, Mr. Harmon!

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       For the last few months…the party girls of the celebrity world have been toning it down.  When everything was so very out of control on the scandal sheets, regarding  Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and other’s; the papers started focussing on those with the good girl, role model image. 

         It seemed that they couldn’t wait to build them up; and, slyly they WONDERED IF MILEY CYRUS, and others like her, wouldn’t also soon be on the same path to self destruction.  Their headlines screamed a false concern about the future of those in the limelight; would they too end up on drugs/alcohol/addicted to sex, and the partying lifestyle?  Please, it is just a ploy to sell newspapers!

       Then last year, when Jaime Lynn Spears announced her pre-marital pregnancy…it was almost with glee, that they had another poster girl to shine the light on.  Now that Jaime Lynn has pulled back out of the glare of the press…Miley Cyrus has been moved to the front of the line for the tick tock of the self- destruction time bomb that the tabloid rags have been trying to promote.

       Last week, there were some photos put online that show Miley in her underwear.  She has apologized for those “inappropriate photos”.  Then today, there were some pictures taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, for the equally famous magazine Vanity Fair, which Miley says, she thought were going to be “artistic” shots.  Even if they would have been purely “artistic” shots….why should a 15 year old be allowed to put it out there for public viewing?  Bad decision…someone should have put an end to the idea before it became reality.  Teens don’t always want to hear advice about what is right and wrong…but, still someone should have pointed out that this was a really, really, bad idea!

         Hello, where were her advisors, the ones from her family or from her show, to guide and protect a barely 15 year old girl from making such a mistake?  Was there no contract that gave her creative control over which pictures would be used; thereby, saving her from what she has allegedly described as “embarassment” over these latest pictures?  I have only seen one…and that picture shows her wrapped in a sheet with a bare back.  If a regular person took this kind of “artistic” shots…because of her age…it could be considered objectionable or suspicious by law enforcement.

        Who in their right mind would promote a 15 year old girl in such photos for a magazine?  What kind of message is that sending?  I mean come on…”artistic” is one thing…but, this is not an adult woman.  I think that there are some adults involved here who could have used better judgement. 

       I know that Miley Cyrus has been upfront about her faith guiding her footsteps. These types of decisions will not only hurt her professionally, but, it can also damage her testimony as a Christian.   No, she is not perfect…none of us are.  We expect her to make mistakes as she grows up just like the rest of us have; however, eyes are watching her.

        However, because she is NOT an adult…it would be wise if her management would make sure that she is better protected from those in the industry who would take advantage of her fame. If her advisors put their stamp of approval on this project…then maybe they need replacing.    After all, they allegedly allowed her to be put in this position by making an error in judgement regarding these photos.

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