If I had millions of followers on Twitter, I’d be mighty careful what I said. Or would I? I guess if I had millions of social media followers I would be a celebrity…and these days it seems that celebrity status entitles you to behave badly online without fear of tarnishing your image.
The other day, as I was reading about Kanye West’s most recent Twitter rant involving his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose, I came to the conclusion that some of today’s biggest celebrities have simply set the bar so low that when their image takes a hit and goes viral, they don’t have that far to fall. West is an unfortunate example of a growing pool of popular culture icons who demonstrate that money simply can’t buy class.
This latest celebrity feud was definitely a classic example of what not to be when you grow up. I was appalled by the content of West’s Twitter rant against his ex-girlfriend, and equally appalled by her online and very public response. I felt like I was passing the scene of a roadside accident, not wanting to look but so fascinated I was unable to turn away. Reading about these two former lovers and their surrounding cast of characters was a really sad commentary on the state of pop culture in America.
Kanye West has 18.3 million followers. A few days ago, one of his posts included “So many musicians touch my life and made me who I am…I want to make something great to honor my idols.” If any of West’s younger followers idolize him in turn, I can only hope that they don’t emulate his communication style and his disrespect for others. He seems to forget that he was in a relationship for a while with the same woman he was publicly degrading. It occurred to me that his mocking her for being a stripper was a bit ironic, considering whom West eventually married.
West is married to Kim Kardashian, who rocketed to fame after…yes…it’s true…a sex tape. From West’s public comments, it would appear he believes he has traded up some how.
When I look at the pop culture circus that surrounds him, it’s possible that he is right. When you look at the degradation of values in our culture and the continued demise of the nuclear family, it helps put things in perspective. The Kardashian family has overtaken the Real Housewives of Everywhere, out-survived the Survivors, and made their millions showing America the “reality” of their dazzling celebrity lives. This includes 72-day marriages (remember the glitter-covered ponies?) and an inner circle where everyone’s name begins with a “K,” jet-setting children and gender-changing parents alike.
As the West/Kardashian clans continue to overtake the airways and the Internet, all of America’s eyes are on these moguls. While some may laud them for their entrepreneurial skills, I shudder to think of the lasting impact that West and Kardashian will have on our future generations.
The sad reality is that in many of our communities, poverty and crime remain abundant. Kids in today’s society will always need idols to inspire them. As long as tomorrow’s stars don’t follow in Kanye and Kim’s footsteps, we may be left with some hope of Keeping things Klassy.
Photo by rkramer62
Licensed attorney, former federal agent and social justice filmmaker. I work in Corporate America but my heart is in the streets. I am passionate about social reform and eliminating poverty, and I also love fashion, firearms and Jack Russell Terriers. I believe that education and empowerment lead to cultural change.