We live in a world where image is everything. Where something as simple as wearing the wrong type of panties with a particular dress can have you blasted all over the internet as the #FashionFail of the day. In this image conscious world our celebrities (and in some cases pseudo celebrities) serve as a guide for some, if not most people, on how to dress, wear their hair, live their lives, etc. We’ve come to hold these otherwise normal people to a higher standard than most and often expect them to be the “gold standard” by which things are done. When Beyonce announced her pregnancy last year at the MTV VMA’s in an instant women everywhere saw her as an example of doing things the “right way” and increased the height on her nearly holy pedestal. Now I won’t get into the whole “right way, wrong way” debate, however I will say that Beyonce, and celebrity women like her have become somewhat of a dying breed.
There used to be a time when female celebrities carried themselves publicly like well, women. They carried themselves with a regal air that was hard to define; they were passionate without being loud, heard without really having to make a sound and their very presence in a room commanded respect. These celebrity women were and are the Lena Horne, Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bassett and Diahann Carroll’s of the world. They knew that the spotlight was on them at all times, so when they were done shimmying across a stage or filming a steamy love scene, they made sure that their public personas held to the same standards their work did, tasteful and respectful. Are they perfect, of course not, we’ve all got a few skeletons in our closets, but you never saw any of these women caught up in any violent, degrading or inappropriate situations in the media. Lena Horne would have never participated in anything close to a Basketball Wives show or movie and as divalicious as I’m sure Ms. Carroll is, just the thought of her being involved in some kind of sex scandal would’ve had her clutching pearls, why, because they were ladies.
Today, we have more women willing to act the fool in the public eye as opposed to carrying themselves with humility and grace. The cursing, the fist fights, the public drunkenness and “leaked” nude photos are all just a normal day in the celeb neighborhood and very few female stars heavy in the spotlight deviate from this “norm.” The celebrity idols of today are the Evelyn Lozada, Amber Rose and Rihanna’s of the world and not one of these women carry themselves with even a quarter of the class that the women who came before them have. They air their dirty laundry for the world to see and who they are on stage or on screen has become who they are in real life, and that’s not a good thing.
Some of today’s female celebrities or “celebrities” need to understand the difference between being heard and just being loud. Between being strong and not taking any crap and just being plain old ignorant. They need to remember that there is nothing sexy, graceful, respectful or ladylike about a woman who runs the streets acting like she was dragged up and not raised. They need to remember that it’s not just the spotlight and the producers with big checks who have their eyes on them, but little girls and fellow women who are looking to them as a guide.
Perhaps their role models need to be the Keri Washington, Zoe Saldana, Nia Long and Paula Patton’s of the world. Women who carry themselves with esteem and are known in the media for their talent and not their “talents.” Maybe if we paid more attention to women like this instead of supporting the foolishness it would become cool to be classy again. Cool to regal, strong, respectful and graceful….a lady.