It’s a normal Sunday morning, and you’re scrolling through your Instagram timeline. You see photos of your friends and family, cute dogs, maybe a couple memes. You never thought you would scroll to see a photo of your role model taking some mysterious pills, loading up a needle, or bragging about diet pills, right? It’s nothing new to people online that celebs get major clout from social media and the paparazzi. Candid photos of Kylie Jenner walking out of a restaurant or other famous people on vacation strolling near the beach make up a majority of what many see online of their favorite celebrities. However, sometimes the internet can bring bad habits of superstars into the public’s eye. Hundreds of thousands of young people see their role models doing drugs online, so how do they internalize that information? It’s no secret the press follows celebrities, and sometimes they can throw dirt on the reputations of the most famous stars. Halsey, a singer whose real name is Ashley Frangipane, was caught allegedly sniffing a suspicious substance on a yacht in Miami back on New Years Day. Her boyfriend Gerald Gillum, better known as G-Eazy, pretty much confirmed what was going on when questioned about it on the radio show The Breakfast Club: “It’s New Years Day, It’s Miami, you know what I’m saying? I’m on a yacht, what do you think I’m doing?” Some shrugged the photos off and made jokes, and some others slammed the candidness of the act by pointing out Halsey’s struggles with mental health and her drug use. There are countless stories of people in the public eye getting grilled for unhealthy habits; Kylie Jenner is often criticized for promoting waist trainers to her younger fans through Instagram pictures, Lindsay Lohan was allegedly pictured shooting up hours after being released from jail (because she failed two drug tests on probation, according to Complex), endless amounts of rappers and other figures are known to smoke weed, and even the queen bee Beyoncé caught some gossip for being on sketchy fad diets. One in four teenagers reported that they are more influenced by celebrities than people they know personally, according to The Telegraph. Teenagers and young adults, especially those in middle school, are impressionable and aren’t known for making the best of choices. Seeing a role model promoting unhealthy habits like smoking, dieting to the extreme, or driving recklessly just to name a few can definitely can spark some monkey-see-monkey-do habits. Everyone has bad habits, and everyone makes bad choices at one point or another. Celebrities are not excluded from that statement, and so it’s pretty likely anyone on the Internet can expect to see some questionable actions being posted online. With that being said, it’s important to note that just because someone famous is doing it doesn’t mean you should be partaking in it too. People who use social media to follow their role models should take what they see with a grain of salt and keep in mind that seeing a famous person do it doesn’t justify what is being done.
Story by Katie Heffernan