Y’all know I get a little PASSIONATE ABOUT SOME THINGS, and today, what has my feathers all ruffled is seeing how the public treat celebrities.
Yes, I wrote about it in Speak Love.
Yes, I wrote about it when Miley made a scene at the VMAs.
And I’m going to keep writing about it until our culture decides that it isn’t fair for us to bully celebrities.
Because this matters to me. It matters to me how we talk to people we know AND people we don’t. We create every program possible to stop bullies and make it front page news when students are bullied [and rightly so], yet we act like how we talk about and to celebrities doesn’t matter.
See the video below, one of many from the Jimmy Kimmel Show. [Warning- this is def rated PG13, but the language is bleeped out.]
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I know- it is supposed to be funny. And no, I’m not overly sensitive to it because Lady Antebellum is on there and they are my people. I get that this is a little humorous, but could you do that? Could you be on the celebrity side? Could you read, on national television, a nasty tweet someone had said about you? I don’t think I could.
Here’s what is true:
Celebrities see your words.
These Jimmy Kimmel clips are proof of that. But I hear it here in Nashville too. Amber Lehman, one of my BFFs who is a stylist to many celebrities in Nashville, has story after story of stars being affected by the words of people they don’t know. Even recently, Amber dressed an older female country star, one you would think would never notice an ill word said. And yet, as she stood their teary before Amber, she shared of how the comments people type about her on twitter make it hard to look in the mirror and be happy with herself.
That is so rude of us, the public, to speak into her insecurities and cause hurt like that. Shame on us. My friend Beth says, “It’s really arrogant of us to determine someone is famous enough that we no longer have to treat them like a person.”
They are not that different from us.
“Who cares how celebrities feel? They are rich and have everything they want. No way does my facebook status or twitter comment matter.” WRONG WRONG WRONG. That same line of thinking would also say that because a student is popular or successful or well-liked they they deserve to be bullied. You’d never say that to a teenager. The same is true for adults. Celebrities are just humans who are doing their job to entertain us. And they have issues and hurts and responsibilities that we will never understand.
LeCrae tweeted this the other day and I think he’s exactly right.
Their people may be seeing your words, too.
A few weeks ago, two friends from a different city shared a link on facebook to a show about women in Nashville and said some fairly derogatory things. It infuriated me because I know and love some of the women on that show. I wanted to pick up my phone, call those women in other cities, and remind them that they aren’t being rude about strangers, they are talking about MY FRIENDS. With the way this world wide web works, you never know when person A is going to share something with person B and suddenly it’s gone six degrees straight to Kevin Bacon… or his sister. You don’t want to hurt the celebrity with your words [I hope], but you also don’t want to hurt their people.
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My guess? My guess is that my readers aren’t slamming celebrities online. That’s not your personality or your MO, as far as I know you. But I wonder if you, like me, have opportunities to stand up for and defend celebrities when we see other people being unkind. Or even more simply- can we just be the different voice? Can we be the ones who speak genuine truth and life into the lives of these people?
It’s just time we recognize that all people, no matter their status or job, deserve to be treated well and spoken to with kindness. I guess I just wish more people would consider whether they are speaking life or death and ask themselves how God would have them use their words to impact the lives of others- famous or not.
I don’t exactly know how we fix it. I just know it’s awful and celebrity or not, people deserve to be treated better than this.
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Your thoughts are welcome here… have you seen this behavior online as well? How do you think we should be handling it? Do you think it matters? Would love for us to talk about this.