Public figures held to double standard Monday, December 13, 2010 By Marisa Raeder
When your friend’s uncle decides to abuse his wife, it is possible to keep the news a secret, or, at most, it may spread throughout the community but fade away after a month or two. But when Chris Brown beat Rihanna, the news spread throughout the whole country and even some other parts of the world. Your friend’s uncle enjoys some privacy for his personal issues, while Brown was hugely ridiculed for his neglect to live up to his role model standard even though the two men committed the same act. It is not correct to hold public figures’ lives to a double standard. Famous people’s private issues should not be put into mainstream news in an attempt to expose or embarrass them, or to get them lowered from their positions of honor or respect. The only exception to this rule is when the person’s private matters take place while they are at work or involve colleagues. Many people that argue that famous people’s private matters should be made public involve people that have brought their private matters into the workplace. It is not appropriate for people of an authority position to be making their workspace an uncomfortable place for other workers, but it is appropriate to have a private life as long as it stays private. What is private can be kept completely separate from professional work when it does not happen at work. Private morality has nothing to do with someone’s ability to carry out his or her job professionally. Some people who have eccentric private lives can perform occupational tasks much better and more efficiently than people with spotless private histories. Many people achieve fame by striving to be the best in their particular field of work. For example, a young basketball player works hard to improve so that his future occupation can involve what he loves most—playing basketball. He does not necessarily practice basketball because he dreams of becoming a pressured role model and a popular subject of gossip. He just wants to do what he loves. People who are thrust into or choose to be in the public eye deserve the same rights as anyone else. The best role models are ones presented as human—representative of the average American—not perfectionists. If famous people’s lives are constantly being pried into, they will be more likely to hide personal truths. It is better for the public to know that people in authority have made mistakes, but that they can recover from them privately while they carry out their jobs professionally. Everybody is equal and everyone makes mistakes. It is ridiculous to think that a person’s authority or celebrity status should cause his or her personal history to be immaculate. We all have parts of our lives that are better kept private to avoid unnecessary attention and drama. Public figures should not be held to a higher standard than everyone else. All people have a right to a private life, whether in the public eye or not. Privacy is part of a person’s basic freedom and everyone should be allowed to practice that right.