September 28, 2007

R-E-S-P-E-C-T....what does it really mean?

OK, once again, no poem tonight. Tonight I'm blogging about respect. This is a two-fold thing. Part of it has to do with celebrities and part to do with just regular people.

Am I the only one who's noticed lately the slew of celebrities getting arrested and/or just plain attention for doing the stupidest, most idiotic things? Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Britney and all her problems, and now, even Keifer Sutherland has been arrested for a DUI! I used to think he was one of the celebrities you could look to as a role model but no more.

See, here's my thinking: A celebrity should be more than a face in a movie. They should be role models, someone to look up to, to want to be like. Not necessarily the whole famous, tons of money thing, but to be like them in terms of personality and good deeds. They just aren't that anymore.

There are about 5 people that are celebrities that I can think of right now that I admire and respect. Yes, I said respect. I have no respect for most celebrities today; I may like their acting/singing/writing etc, but I don't respect them because they just don't seem worthy. Let me tell you the people I do respect and why:

1. Melissa Etheridge: Yes, because she's a lesbian, and no, not because she's a lesbian. Let's be honest here; most people today feel the need to conform, to hide who they are, what they are, for fear that people won't like them, won't buy their movies/music/books, hire them, etc. Melissa doesn't do that. She also doesn't feel the need to crow from the rooftops about who/what she is. She simply is. Period. She's a happily married lesbian, with a beautiful wife and children, all of whom she loves, and she simply is. She's honest about it, but doesn't need to shove it down your throat. When she had breast cancer, she was honest and open, and showed the world just how tough she really was. I admire someone like that. Someone who can be who she is, without feeling shame, anger, or the need to be in your face all the time. She has a "Take me or leave me" attitude; either you like her for who she is, or you don't, and she doesn't much care either way. She's as human as anyone else, so I'm sure when someone makes disparaging remarks about her or her wife, it hurts her. But that doesn't make her run out and proclaim she's not who she is, or that she's being treated differently because of who she is. She simply moves on with her life and doesn't let it get her down.

2. Queen Latifah: This woman is another like Melissa Etheridge; she is who she is and you either accept her or you don't. She's a full figured woman, but you don't see reports of her starving herself, binging, or being on the newest crazy diet. She has accepted that she is larger, and made it work for her. This is the biggest part of it for me. I have had 2 children, and my body shows it. I am out of shape and overweight, but seeing someone like Queen Latifah helps me feel better about myself. It reminds me that we are all beautiful. She also doesn't get herself into trouble all the time. You look at some of these other celebs, and they're out drinking, and drugging, sleeping with whoever or whatever. She doesn't do that. Her love life is discreet, if she drinks or does drugs, it's behind closed doors. She sets a good example publicly. This is the kind of woman I want to be like.

3. Camryn Manheim: Same thing as Queen Latifah. She's a bigger woman who's comfortable with herself. You don't see her dieting, drinking, carousing, or generally making an ass out of herself. Again, she makes me feel better about myself.

4. Reba: A beautiful, wholesome country girl who can write, act, sing, run a business, raise a family all at the same time. What the hell isn't to admire there? She's multitalented, responsible, again, no drinking, drugs, dieting, no offensive comments coming out of her mouth, no fueding with anyone. She's one of those celebs that you just feel like if you met her on the street, she'd end up being your best friend. I think Melissa, Queen, and Camryn would be similar, but with Reba it's just something that you can't help but feel.

5. Stephen King: Aside from his incredible imagination and talent, he's just another down-to-earth person who doesn't seem to have let the fame and money go to his head. He has a wife, children, a life outside his public persona. He's humble, and real.

See, these are the kind of people we need more of. People who are real, who are humble, who don't let fame, fortune, and attention go to their heads. Nicole, Britney, Lindsey and the like have all let it go to their heads. Not to mention that they feel the need to live up to this ridiculously idealized image of what they should be. I don't want to see some size 2 bimbo as the ideal woman and what I should aspire to be. I want to aspire to be like the women on my list: happy with who I am, no matter what my size, lifestyle, orientation, money situation, etc. I want to be able to be comfortable with myself, and not constantly wishing I was smaller, taller, richer, more famous, whatever.

On to the next aspect of the whole respect issue...My employer has merged with another company, and is upgrading the computer and phone systems. Not a bad thing alone. But, I see bad things coming down the road with the power of a semi. I see my entire location being shut down by Dec. 1st., give or take a day or two. But no one in a position to know, and trust me they do know, will tell us anything. Now, while I understand that they may be concerned about us walking out on them, my problem is this: I have 2 kids to support. I have a mortgage, bills, food, etc. to take care of. If you're going to put me out of a job, couldn't you at least respect me enough to give me a heads up so I can prepare for that? Of course, if you call them on it, they'll claim they couldn't say anything, that they were told by the higher ups not to. Grow some balls, would ya? When you know people have families, responsibilities, bills, you should have the damn decency to show them the courtesy of a little advance warning.

People don't give or earn respect anymore. You used to be taught that you should respect someone until they give you a reason not to. These days, it seems that it would be more appropriate to say give respect only to those who earn it.

OK. I'm done with my rant for tonight. :)

No comments: