Don't Judge Me...

I'm actually going to do this. I've been pushing this thought around in my head, trying to figure out if I should write it. It's a complicated idea, and I know it can be received incorrectly but... part of me keeps screaming that it needs to be said. I know I'll probably get my head chopped off and buried in the woods somewhere... I won't be deemed worthy enough to be given a proper burial, but I blogged about Twilight and DARNITALL I'm blogging about this!

I'm going to say this right out - if you're one of those insane fans that flips out at the mention of your heroes name in a negative light (i.e. Michael Phelps is a pot head, Edward Cullens SUCKS, etc.) then please, REFRAIN FROM COMMENTING ON THIS, because I really don't care what you have to say. It probably sounds extremely close minded for me to say that, but I'm going to put a bit of effort into this. It is not a blog to sing Phelps' praises, but he will be mentioned... if you won't take the time to read it and reply to the topic at hand, and instead want to drop explitives and insult me and the people who read my blog, then I won't give your comment the time. I will delete it, you will be dropped from my facebook, and that will be it. No response. No message. No warning. THIS is your warning. If you want to be one of the many people that further convince me that you can't fix stupid, then I don't want you on my page.

(I wrote all of that, in the hopes that it would idiot proof my blog. My mom just sent me a piece of flair that said "Make it idiot proof, and they'll make a better idiot.")

That is NOT to say that you can't debate the topic at hand. If you disagree with me, feel free to say so. I'm all about debating. I'm all about discussing. But I am not all about being called "effing crazy," and if that's how you want to start your debate, it won't be accepted well. Are we agreed?

Everyone who answered that question with a "NO," kindly click the home tab, or any other tab that will navigate you away from this note. Everyone who answered "YES," I want you to close your eyes and think of something for me. Imagine you have children - if you already have children, picturing them would be easy - and then think of someone you'd like them to model their lives after... celebrity wise. I think we'd all pick Jesus, if given the chance... haha. He's possibly the only exception to this discussion.

Have you thought of someone?? OK... chances are, you've chosen someone in the limelight that's painted positively... like, say, Michael Phelps.

I picked Donnie Wahlberg. No, not because I love him - though that's indirectly part of it - but because Howard Stern was already taken.

SAY. WHAT? Howard Stern? The SAME Howard Stern? THAT... Howard Stern?

Yes... that Howard Stern... and yes, THAT Donnie Wahlberg. Up until a few days ago, I probably wouldn't have picked him... but then I read this blog about Howard Stern, and why he was the best person to pick to be a role model, and I tell you what the guy had a POINT. A REALLY good one, too!

Think about it... how real are the people we'd normally pick? How innocent were Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Michael Phelps, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Lindsay Lohan, any of them, before the world got a hold of them? And how much did they change?

Britney's pretty obvious... it's painted everywhere. She was a sweet young girl, and now it's a fight everyday to keep her face out of the papers and away from the negative comments.

Michael's probably the least obvious... some would argue that he's still innocent, but I don't think he was innocent to begin with. Give the boy a few gold medals and he's nabbed himself a pretty DUI and a nice pic of him smoking pot to go with it - AND BEFORE YOU SAY "but Lauren, it was a one time deal!" Do some research, he's done pot before - and now people are upset with him... really upset with him. But who's fault is that? It's kind of ours... I know I know, I'm kind of pointing fingers, and none of us forced that joint into his mouth, but think about it. If Michael Phelps didn't have a pool, then he'd be just another stupid 23 year old kid. I'm 20... I know how stupid we are. But, like the other article pointed out, someone put him in the water and he shot around a few times, and someone realized they had something there. He wins a few medals, and he's America's golden boy... then he screws up, falls down, and people get upset. It happens, it's the design of the human. We pick role models, and they let us down because we hype them and paint them as gods. No matter how little their offense is, they're gods, so they can do NO wrong, and when they do, it's heart breaking. One of the most depressing things in our lives is when things aren't quite what they seem...

Take the Twilight books for example. How many people have read them? Because I have... and let me tell you, it was a disappointing experience. I personally love books... LOVE them. I had lunch with my Aunt a few days ago, and she told me she had the second Bolyn book, and I about peed myself with excitement. Books are amazing, and I'll read just about everyone I can get my hands on. So when Twilight rolled around, and the world went CRAZY for it, I was excited, and immediately went to read it... and I did... I remember closing the first book and just staring at it, expecting it to come to life and jump up.

"Just kidding!" I expected it to say. "Here's the REAL Twilight!"

"Oh, you and your jokes, literature!" I would say, waggling my finger in his face. And I would read the book he handed me, and I would love it.

But that never happened. The book remained a book and quite frankly, pardon my french, a piece of crap. I just stared at it... here I am with the "best book ever" in my hands, and I hated it. "This can't be it... it must get better," I kept saying. So, I read the next one. "No... no it MUST get better." I read the next one... and the next one... and it never gets better.

I had expected an epic literary romance between vampires, werewolves, and humans. I expected a tale of forbidden love, adventure, and fantastic lore. Instead, I had read a series chalk full of incest, abuse, teen pregnancy, and grammar mistakes. Oh man, the grammar mistakes were enough to make me want to rip my eyes out... It's one thing to write fanfiction with grammar mistakes... e-mails, messages, wall posts, blogs... but a PUBLISHED PIECE OF LITERATURE? It's ridiculous.

Rolemodels and celebrities get treated the same way... everyone says it's one thing, and you're excited. OOOO! Someone perfect! Someone golden! Someone that will never mess up! And then they do... and you realize, not only is this person not a god, but they're flawed as well... and it's depressing. We feel let down.

Unless... unless for some reason, we pick role models we wouldn't pick. When I read the blog about Howard Stern - and I advise everyone to read it, I'll supply the link at the end - I commented on it. I was sooo surprised that I agreed with everything that was said, and surprised to realize that I should have known it all along.

The comment that I left ended with this phrase:

"It took this blog to make me realize that all the role models I have that have never let me down, are the ones I NEVER should have picked in the first place."

Basically that means, I have a few role models that are a little more unconventional. Most the people I stick in that role model slot, I just wait for them to fail. I did it with Michael, and lookie there, he did.

But - interestingly enough - Mr. Wahlberg has yet to do that.

First, let's look at why he shouldn't be a role model: He's definitely rough around the edges. He's from Boston, so the explitives drop a little more freely and one would like. He's a free spirit, a tad on the wild side, and he's not perfect.

*GASP* Say that last part again???? Here's why he's a good choice for a role model:

He's not perfect.... and he isn't trying to be. Donnie Wahlberg always has been Donnie Wahlberg... at least while I've been alive. There was a moment in time before my conception where he was a little good kid, but he snapped out of that pretty quickly. He's never really shocked the world, because he's been a bad boy from day one. That was his reputation. He wasn't a polished little puppet, he was himself. He had fun. He was himself. He was REAL.

Unlike Michael Phelps, Donnie Wahlberg got into trouble... and no one thought he wouldn't. He wasn't a golden boy when he was 23, he was a 23 year old when he was 23. No surprises there. In fact, people's expectations for him were SO low, he ended up getting arrested and being sentenced for something he never even did... interesting.

So... reason #1. He isn't fake. He's real. He's a human being, and no one expects him to be more, because he doesn't lie to the public. Take him or leave him, that's who he is.

Reason #2. He surprises.

Let's go back to Michael Phelps for a moment... I've been attacked a bit the past few days because I stated that I would like Michael to recieve proper consequences for his actions. That's all. This is one response that drives me crazy:

"He's under a lot of pressure. He's super popular, and he probably doesn't know how to handle it. He's under so much pressure, he's going to mess up. You don't know what it's like to deal with his amount of stress."

First of all... I'm thinking having everyone notice you is a small price to pay to have millions of dollars. Second of all, I'm a college student, finances are tight, and I'm not super popular. I know people who are struggling with far worse, that have been through far worse... and I know people that are going through so much that they would WILLINGLY give up their privacy to have the kind of problems Michael has... so I kind of do understand.

But let's forget all of that...

Here we have this young kid from Baltimore. He's been popular since roughly the age of 19. 15, if you wanna kick and scream and scratch my eyes out for getting the age wrong ;P. He grew up having to deal with getting picked on... as a kid he was funny looking, but extremely talented when he hit the water. He had to deal with fame from roughly about the age of 19. He made history, and is now super popular. Everyone knows his name, everyone knows his face, everyone loves him... and he has fat girl syndrome. He apparently has stupid girl syndrome, too, but I won't get into that.

If you want to blame his screw ups on the pressure and hard knock life he's had to deal with, then consider this:

You've got a young boy from the wrong side of the tracks in Boston. He grew up in the theater, and at 15, he was thrust into fame. His entire life, the only expectation anyone had for him was failure. He had fame and money like he never could have imagined, and he was a young kid, forced into a label. The expectation of failure that was on him was so harsh, he was arrested for something he didn't do. ARRESTED FOR SOMETHING HE DIDN'T DO. As he grew up, the expectation for failure gets steadily more apparent. He switches careers, quickly gaining fame in his new choice. He finds happiness and loses it, and constantly deals with hate and cat calls of failure. And yet... nothing negative in the news, save for the trumped up charge. Now, if anyone's ever had a reason to screw up and scream "PRESSURE!" It'd be him. But he hasn't done it yet... interesting.

Reason #3. He appreciates his fans.

This probably doesn't mean anything to most others, but as an aspiring actress, I love to hear how much Donnie cares about his fans. He gives more attention to them than any celeb I know. He meets with them when he's sick, and almost every blog he writes, he states how impressed he is, how BLESSED he is, to have such amazing fans. He let's them... well, I suppose I should say US lol... know he hears us. Let's us know he notices... and I have to say, it makes me excited to be a fan... if that makes sense.

It's nice to see someone with as much fame as he's got, past and present, still care about the people who essentially got him there (I mean, honestly, without fans, no one can be famous).

There are numerous other reasons, but those are the most prevalent ones. Surprising, isn't it? Wait till you read the one about Howard Stern - I found myself respecting the guy on some level... crazy, huh?

I guess, if you're going to take one thing away from this blog, let it be this: Don't judge a book by it's cover, and don't count someone out just because they aren't what you want them to be. You may be surprised if you take the time to pay attention.

I for one would kill to have my child grow up and be real, respectful, and strong, rather than some flashy fake freak that's destined for disappointment. (NO, PHELPSIES, I did NOT just call Phelps a flashy fake freak. Chill.)

So... that's it... just wanted to get that out there. :) Hey, at least I don't want a child like Sylar, right? XD And I AM curious as to what you think. Do you agree? Disagree? Wanna state who your role model is? Go right ahead! :D Just watch the explitives ;)

And, as promised, the Howard Stern blog. I don't think there is any bad language in it, but I could be wrong... I skimmed it again just to be sure, but may have missed some. If there is some in there, I apologize.
TV 101


P.S. I feel this needs to be said. I don't hate Michael Phelps... I have a huge colage of him on my wall... I just don't like what he does with his free time. I still recognize his swimming talent... and recognize that he did something amazing that's never been done before... BUT - to everyone who's response to me is, "Let the swimming do the talking," consider this. He can swim as fast as he wants, it will never change who he is. I can't swim worth crap, but it doesn't mean I'm a horrible person. Likewise, no matter how fast or how well Michael swims, it won't make what he did any less wrong.

If you're going to use that to defend Michael, then no one can complain about TO, Plaxico Burress, Jim Carrey, Zach Braff, or any one else... Being an amazing swimmer does not mean he's not an idiot. It just means he's an amazing swimmer, who's an idiot.

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