Who wants to be a role model? Not Rihanna

I’m baaaaack!! I hope you’ve all had a great summer. I’m taking Bars and Chords in a slightly different direction this school year but before I get into all of that, I had to write about the interview with Rihanna and Oprah on Sunday. Simply put, I can’t help but notice that…

No one wants to be a role model!

On Sunday, Rihanna blatantly told Oprah that she doesn’t like the title of “Role Model.” Ever since then, a thought has been running through my mind…how can you have 11 number 1 hits, and not want to be a role model?!   In other words, I doubt she made it to the top without having someone she aspired to be like, so why wouldn’t she want others to follow her now? Still…now that I’ve had a bit of time to reflect, I’m starting to believe that most celebrities (especially music artists) would probably have given the same response.

To society, a role model isn’t just someone who tries his or her best. As RiRi pointed out in her interview, a role model tends to be synonymous with everyone’s idea of “perfection.” Whether you admit it or not, all of us expect perfection–for artists to fit into our mold of the A-List lifestyle. And when someone fails to meet expectations, record sales plummet, sponsors walk away, and your favorite artist is left to crawl to the top again.

Still, I can’t help but think about the words of Jessie J: NOBODY’S PERFECT. Technology allows our generation to gain a microscopic view into the lives of our favorite artists, which means that we can easily (and I mean EASILY) expose their flaws. What’s even more creepy is that we’ve listened to an artist’s entire album before the sound engineer finishes his final touches, an artist’s death becomes a trending topic while he’s still alive, a domestic violence case pulls two lovers apart before they even have time to blink…

So who do aspiring musicians look to in an industry where everyone makes mistakes (surprise surprise), and no one wants to be a role model? I don’t have the “perfect” answer for you, but I do know this: for aspiring artists, don’t focus on being a Good Girl (or boy) Gone Bad…start by creating your own dreams and goals instead of looking to live someone else’s. Also understand that fame is not the ultimate goal. In fact, it is often a by-product of hard work (and luck, or bad luck). Your talents, creativity and passion for music should drive you through obstacles.

So, I leave you with a bit of an oxymoron…

RiRi can’t be a role model, but she is, whether she likes it or not. It’s up to her to do her best to project a REAL image of herself, and up to us to stop asking for perfection.

Disagree or agree? I would love to hear your thoughts/comments below or on the FB page!

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