Britney Spears: Role Model Or Irresponsible?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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The music industry has a tremendous effect on the social and cultural lifestyles of school-age children. Most Elementary and Junior high age children are buying CD's in record numbers and look up to a lot of singers that they see on MTV and hear on the radio. Since most young girls, ages seven to thirteen, look up to the young popular female singers, they think it's okay to emulate what they see singers doing in the growing entertainment world today. In an attempt to imitate pop stars like Britney Spears, I've seen girls dressing too provocative for their age, wearing too much make-up, and trying to act " sexy"� for the boys. I feel that these girls are growing up too soon and are missing out on the fun things that kids their age should be doing. When an entertainer is catapulted to stardom at an early age, I feel that they have a responsibility of being a good, positive role model to their listening and viewing audience.

When you become famous, you have a tremendous responsibility of setting a good example to your fans, especially the younger ones. The singer and their promoters need to realize that how they portray themselves affects the actions of our young ones, and should try to keep the songs, dress, and videos appropriate for their young audiences.

Today when you ask young girls who their favorite female singer is, chances are they will say Britney Spears. Upon hearing that name, some of you might say: "Oh, you mean that sweet innocent southern girl?"�, while most of you might say: " Oh, you mean that female singer who is trying to grow up too fast?"� A lot of parents have questioned whether Britney Spears is a good role model to her audience, which is mostly young girls and teens. With an audience too young to even drive, Spears broadcasts lyrics that come under fire as perhaps too suggestive, submissive, and mature in content for little ears to hear. Teen dream songs have fantasized about romance since the 1950's, but this thin dance metaphor breaks down when Spears delivers it jiggling, concealed by not much more than a tiny tank top and six or more inches of middrift. From what it looks like, she is trying to grab the attention of men and what I think she doesn't realize is that millions of little girls across the nation are looking up to her thinking that it's okay to dress and act this way when in essence, it really isn't.

Most seven, eight, and nine-year-olds see Britney and her videos on the Disney Channel and on Nickelodeon, while the ten to thirteen-year-olds see her on MTV. The young girls see her performing videos and concerts in tight-fitting, over-revealing outfits, and they see her showing up at awards shows wearing next to nothing! Flames were fanned on Spears' flame of controversy this past summer when she made a rather flouncy performance at The Kid's Choice Awards Show on Nickelodeon. Officials at Nickelodeon Studios, who sponsored the event, and parents everywhere where angry when a braless Spears seemed to have "smuggled raisins"� under her shirt before a live and televised audience of thousands of teens and young children. According to www.newsnet5.com, Spears tried defending herself saying, ""¦the weather was a bit, um, nippy that night."� But the real question is : Are Spears' dance routines appropriate for her young target audience? I think not. Also a recent issue of People Magazine had a picture of Britney on the cover and posed the question: "Too Sexy, Too Soon?"� According to a poll conducted on www.AWZ.com, 68% of teens answered yes to that question.

Upon researching this paper, I found many provocative pictures of Britney that send a rather negative influence on younger girls today. The most shocking picture I found was when she posed on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine wearing nothing but a bra and booty shorts! According to Teen People Magazine, Britney says, ""¦that's not really my personality. It was a like a little gitrl playing dress-up, you know what I mean?"� Yes Britney, we know what you mean especially when we see these little girls on the Maury Show dressing in next to nothing saying how they look up to you, right? These little girls aren't playing dress-up. Thanks to Ms. Spears, this is how they look everyday! While Britney Spears continues to be a negative influence on younger girls, there is better talent and better role models in the female singer world. One of them is Grammy Award winning Christina Aguilera. I think girls should look up to her because she sends a positive message about having a good self-image in most of her songs. Once in a rare while will you see her dressing provocatively but overall she is a great person with a great voice for younger girls to look up to. Christina Aguilera is definitely aware of her responsibility as a good role model for younger girls! When you are famous, you have a tremendous responsibility to set a good example to all of your fans. I feel that performers should be aware of the appropriateness of their lyrics, the way they dress, the content of their videos, and how they pose for their pictures. I also feel that in order to win a Grammy Award like Christina Aguilera did, you need to be a good role model to everyone and strong talent is also needed. As for Britney Spears, although she did get nominated for a Grammy, I feel that the real reason she didn't get it was because she lacks strong talent and she is not a good role model to everyone. I think that if more singers evaluate the appropriateness of what their doing and tried to be a better role model like Christina Aguilera, parents and young children would be much happier!!!