Who Said Artists are your Child’s Role Model?
The news has recently been filled with reactions to a mum sharing a video of her daughter’s dancing. The girl was clad in skimpy clothing not appropriate at her age (or perhaps for any age), the music she was dancing to and the dance moves she was displaying were really not age appropriate at all. However Mum was sharing these videos and pictures proudly with the #cute tag.
A day later I came across an article which was an open letter to Nigerian artists. The article was referring to the recent outbursts and social media disses that have been going on between specific artists. The message of the article was to caution the artists to think about their image and their brand.
This is not new, news about artists misbehaving – sometimes frankly these actions go on to help them sell more CD’s and increase their image as a “Bad boy” or “real out of Ojuelegba homie” or whatever their image goals might be.
The article went ahead to note that these artists are role models to children and therefore artists should keep this in mind as they portray themselves in public.
This is where I thought wait hold up! Unless an artist has told you specifically that he or she sees themselves as a role model for children I am not sure anyone is allowed to give them this responsibility.
Let us remember that the artists are trying to sell records and music to a world that has been conditioned for certain types of lyrics and videos. I recall watching a show on TV where a famous artist known for all sorts of over the top actions and suggestive dance moves said “her audience is not children and she is not the parent of the children being allowed to watch her videos or listen to her music”. I appreciated her honesty and that was the day I got stricter on how much influence I allow certain artists to have on my children.
Parents the job of parenting is yours and yours alone. If your child thinks that it is cool to swear because an artist swears, please it is not the artist fault it is yours. If your child gets encouraged to wear skimpy clothes and dance in suggestive ways, it is not the artists fault it is your fault. The artist is not the one at the birthday parties playing obviously “adult” songs and cheering the gyrating primary school aged child on the dance floor. If your child thinks it is okay to have many baby mamas, it is not the artists fault. Perhaps no one took the time to explain this is not right?
So please let us separate the artists job from that position as role model that you give to them with respect to raising your child. There are some positive stories that we can pull out from the lives of the artists if we really wanted to like perseverance, great voices etc. However do not give them a role in parenting that they did not ask for.
So the next time little Ola is dancing in a lewd way at a party or at home…don’t cheer rather ask her to stop dancing like that. When you book a DJ for a party please ask him to get a songlist that is child friendly.
In other parts of the world there are clean versions of songs available..perhaps it is time for local artists to try this? I have taken matters into my hands and request a “PG rated DJ” and create a party song list for my children so that I do not have to cringe when it plays. I encourage you to create one as well.
We can only change the system when we demand different as a group, then it is easier to make a change.