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Hollywood vs the middle class

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Illustration by Kennedy Swift | Staff Illustrator

Celebrities today like to think they stand for something and are unique in their own way, but most follow the same routine and are cut from the same cloth as any other person. They seem to think that just because they are entertainers and have a large following they are more important than middle class workers. In fact, the majority of celebrities simply cannot relate to the middle class and therefore should not be revered as “heroes” of our society.

Kanye West has referred to himself as a ‘God’, and Gwenyth Paltrow stated she has a more difficult life than a mother who works a nine-to-five job. Despite being worth nearly a whopping $60 million and the average middle-class family only earning $68K, Paltrow takes for granted the luxury of not having to worry about providing for her children like middle-class families might. If Paltrow’s life ever becomes difficult, she has every ability to scale back on the amount of work she does. A middle-class family does not.

Additionally, entertainers continue to engage in unoriginal spectacles like twerking at the VMA’s or making tone-deaf political statements like Meryl Streep’s at the Golden Globes. Streep took the time to criticize President Donald Trump and compare Hollywood to “the most vilified segments in American society.”

It is understandable for high-profile individuals to want to use their voices for something more than just singing and acting. However, celebrities often issue statements, not out of the kindness of their hearts or of genuine care for the issue, but because of pressure from their audiences. Selena Gomez, for example, was highly ridiculed because she had not Tweeted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement even though she likely has little opinion on the group and her voice would hardly matter on the issue if she has no strong feelings toward it.

This raises questions regarding many celebrity actions, such as donating money or hosting fundraisers. Of course, they have more money than they know what to do with and should certainly spend it on philanthropy that they genuinely care about, but these kinds of celebrities who only contribute when it’s considered acceptable should not be championed or idolized by the middle class.

People like Colin Kaepernick or Miley Cyrus continuously use their voice, money, and fame to bring light to problems that matter to them, even when they’re not in line with popular opinion. More celebrities should strive to be like them and follow in their footsteps, not because they have to, but because they genuinely believe in something.

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