Lively up da public image

2010-06-05 10:03

We have come to a

stage in our history where artists must take cognisance of the impact of their

actions and how they are perceived by the public.

Our society is partly built on perception and the values (or lack

thereof) associated with our brand by those around us.

We do not judge public figures or celebrities on the basis of the

images they create but rather from our own interpretations of those images.

Often, I have heard public figures lament the whole role model

thing, arguing that they are just trying to live their lives. But, whether you

like it or not, if there are people who look up to you, for whatever reason, you

are an example.

And, therefore, you should look beyond your narrow world and

recognise that your actions and words – whether good or bad – will have an

impact on other people.

Russell Simmons, in his book Do You!, details “12

laws to ­access the power in you to achieve happiness and success”. Law eight is

the ­science of success: plant the good seeds. To me, this says that our lives

are about always planting the good seeds, in all spheres of life. A musician who

creates beautiful music but is abusive to himself and to others is not

contributing to our positive ­evolution.

This artist has to figure out the right image to project and also

work on being a better ­human being.

We all make mistakes, but we should recognise that our ­actions and

words will influence others.

I have watched public personalities on Twitter and Facebook speak

without thought and then react with anger and surprise when they are caught out.

But that is the nature of the beast and it goes beyond South

Africa. US musician John Mayer recently put his foot in it in an interview with

Playboy magazine when he said his penis was a white supremacist and that he had

a “n*gger pass”.

The uproar on Twitter was deafening. He has since toned down his

­activity there and apologised.

Chris Brown continues to be berated online for beating Rihanna.

His rants about not getting enough airplay on TV and radio make it

worse.

As we live our lives more openly, we need to become more conscious

of what we do and say. This should be more so with celebrities.


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