We all grew up with posters on our bedroom walls. Be it a pop star, a big screen icon or the latest television heartthrob (Dean Cain - aka Superman - thanks for asking) and if we weren’t crushing on a celebrity, we were imitating them. The way they spoke, what they wore, how they styled their hair…
Most of us outgrow this behaviour in our teenage years (the Grazia walls may say otherwise) and scores of teens today still have their own icons, replacing bedroom wall posters for mobile phone screen savers.
Rihanna and Lady Gaga are undeniably today's idols - and fair enough. They’re talented musicians who have unique and covetable styles, their lifestyles are aspirational and they have tons of fans following their every move.
Which is why their recent actions involving the use of drugs is somewhat troubling. Lady Gaga recently took to the stage in Amsterdam and mid-way through her set, sparked up a joint. After taking a few puffs, the meat-dress wearing songstress flicked it into the audience. Gaga is no stranger to controversy, of course, and while smoking Marijuana is legal in Holland, it is not in many other countries where a large proportion of her fans are based.
Meanwhile, Rihanna is set to storm the charts with her new single Diamonds. The artwork shows the singer's tattooed hand filling a cigarette paper with sparkling jewels that's reminiscent of rolling a spliff. It's been suggested that the scattered gems also have connotations with cocaine use. Whatever it is she is or isn’t making (we’ve never smoked diamonds ourselves), there's no doubt that using the jewels in place of drugs does glamorise a practise which is both dangerous and illegal.
It’s fair to say neither Ri-Ri or Gaga are the shy and retiring types. Maybe they’re making a statement, maybe its tongue in cheek or perhaps just a bit playful? Either way, they're not stupid and perhaps should take a moment to think about those young fans who want to imitate their favourite idol. Will their behaviour have a negative influence? One thing's for sure: you don’t need gimics when you're chock-full of talent.