February 18, 2020

If we hold other famous or celebrity human beings that are equally capable of committing crimes or doing unethical things to a higher standard than people who are not famous or celebrities, then the lines of justice begin to blur, and what is right and wrong for all human beings becomes muddy.

Kobe Bryant’s recent death has made it apparent that our culture, and especially college-age young adults, idolizes other human beings to a terrifying degree. It is unhealthy to create such a hierarchy that deems other human beings more powerful than others. Ability, race, social status, finances, gender, sexual orientation and many other factors can play into who does and does not possess power or privilege; in turn this inherently oppresses other people.

Celebrity worship is a trend that has increased in popularity in the last two decades, so much so that celebrities are viewed more as gods rather than respected as other human beings. This affects both the celebrity and culture. A celebrity can no longer live a life that is not constantly being portrayed in the media, and fans who are obsessed with a certain mortal figure adds to the inequality.

When Kobe died, I think a lot of people my age were disturbed by his death. Many of my peers grew up watching Kobe play his entire basketball career playing for the Lakers. With his sudden passing, they realized that no one is immortal, everyone dies at some point, and no one, not even Kobe, can live forever. Even more troubling, though, is that no one stopped to think about the entirety of Kobe’s existence, and instead decided to perceive him as a very noble being. Few people remembered or acknowledged that, like many other human beings, Kobe made some appalling mistakes.

For example, everyone seems to have forgotten about the sexual assault case in Colorado because he was a talented male basketball player.

Another example of a celebrity that was glorified and idolized despite their troubling actions is Michael Jackson. It took years after his death for sexual assault survivors to feel like they could speak up, and even after that, some people refuse to believe the truth because they feel as though Michael Jackson could do no wrong.

If we hold other famous or celebrity human beings that are equally capable of committing crimes or doing unethical things to a higher standard than people who are not famous or celebrities, then the lines of justice begin to blur, and what is right and wrong for all human beings becomes muddy.

We need to hold ALL beings to the same standard, and quit idolizing famous people, for their own benefit, but also so it prevents certain people from obtaining too much power and control. Too much power and too much control leads to covering up sexual assaults and other horrific acts. Stop idolizing and begin appreciating.