CELEBRITY OBSESSION - GOOD FOR DAUGHTERS?
Here’s a given. This week, every woman’s magazine on our news stands will feature Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes on their cover following news of their separation.
So how many of us will be tempted to open our purse and sneak one into our shopping basket?
Lives of celebrities fascinate us. We can’t help a gloating sense of self-satisfaction when something like the TomKat phenomenon collapses and we can say to our friends, “Well, as if that was ever going to last. What with Tom’s scientology stuff, and Katie having a poster of him in her bedroom as a teenager and that crazy stuff he did jumping on Oprah’s couch. That marriage was doomed from the start.”
The Tom and Katie show is a business. It’s a business for magazines, celebrity shows, the film and TV industry, the fashion industry. Suri is rumoured to have a wardrobe worth millions and we devour every photo of her wearing toddler stilettos and designer outfits. On one level we hate Tom and Katie, but on another level we desire the wealth and trappings of their lifestyle. Some of us copy Katie’s hairstyle or gorgeous outfits because, let’s face it, she always looks great.
How do we encourage our daughters and even ourselves to be more interested in the great female achievers in others walks of life? Why aren’t we consumed by Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi, Australian doctor Fiona Woods who pioneered spray on skin for burns victims, Catherine Hamlin dedicating her life to repairing fistulas in Ethiopian women, Elizabeth Blackburn creating breakthrough research that may affect cancerous cells?
Is it because they’re not sexy in the Hollywood definition of the word? Do you have to have make-up artists and wardrobe consultants to be admired in the 21st century? Let’s be brave this week. Let’s spend the money we could have used purchasing the TomKat story on a donation to a charity led by an altruistic, selfless woman. And let’s sit down with our daughters and tell them the attributes of women who could be great role models for them as they grow up.