By Anna Tabet |
We’ve all heard it before. “Keeping ____ in my thoughts and prayers”. It’s a kind sentiment that lets people that are suffering know that someone is thinking about them. That thought, however, usually only lasts for as long as people are typing up that tweet or Instagram comment before the commenter returns back to their normal life, free from the other person’s sorrow.
Although I know virtually everyone has made this sort of comment on someone’s post, I feel the most aggravated by celebrities who curate these comments to boost their image instead of utilizing their influence to potentially lessen people’s suffering.
Scrolling through Twitter, my feed is flooded by news of natural disasters, shootings and countless other disastrous acts. Celebrities give these occurrences their attention for less than a second and are showered with likes and supportive comments from their fans who view their attention to these events as equal to taking action.
Words can only go so far and when celebrities have millions of dollars to spare. But allocating a portion of their budget to put true backing behind sentimental words can impact communities much more than their viral tweet declaring their “thoughts and prayers”.
Don’t get me wrong— there are many celebrities who have created foundations and continuously donated to various charities. For example, Matthew McConaughey and his wife created the Just Keep Livin Foundation where they have continually supported thousands of inner-city high school students in order to provide them with skills to develop a more sustainable future. And of course, I can’t speak on charitable celebrities without bringing up Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey has three charity foundations, all for differing but equally deserving causes. She also gave everyone in the audience of her show a car once, so this article is definitely not aimed at her.
I don’t think that Oprah should be the baseline for charitable celebrities; however, many celebrities can learn from her and others like her who feel as though their wealth and status can benefit much more than just themselves.
Now I’m not naïve. I know that Kylie Jenner isn’t going to be casually scrolling through The Bundle just to randomly find this article and be persuaded to donate thousands of dollars to a disaster-relief fund. Therefore, I make a plea to the viewers and consumers. Don’t put excessive value on celebrities’ words when they clearly have the means to enact real change but instead choose to opt for lack-luster sentimental declarations. Admire celebrities that recognize their influence and choose to create or support foundations that fund causes they’re passionate about.
So the next time you’re scrolling through social media and see a celebrity sending their “thoughts and prayers” towards someone, consider where their motives really lie. And Kylie, if you’re reading this, maybe think about spending less of your money on liquid foundation and more on charitable ones.