Harry Styles has been the center of my attention since his 2010 audition for X Factor UK. Even in light of recent criticism toward Harry because of “Don’t Worry Darling,” which I loved by the way, and his alleged relationship with director Olivia Wilde, I will always be a Harry girl at heart.
While I’m particularly sensitive to Harry slander, I don’t particularly like any celebrity slander. I truly believe cancel culture can be a necessary evil for those in the limelight who genuinely don’t deserve to be there, but we need to be more careful about the unruly criticism we dish out to public figures.
I don’t believe that famous people shouldn't take responsibility for their social or political impacts. But at the end of the day, society continues to put them on an unnecessary, superhuman pedestal. Achieving celebrity status doesn’t magically cure someone of human error.
We are so quick to form these opinions based off of unrealistic standards we would typically never have of people in our daily lives.
The 60th birthday party actress Sydney Sweeney recently threw for her mom exemplifies this perfectly. After Sweeney made a seemingly harmless post about the party, social media users ran to her comment section to judge her for associating with people seen in “blue lives matter” t-shirts and MAGA-inspired hats.
Who are we to judge a celebrity for their family members they have no control over? I’m sure most of us have “that one family member.” But either way, we wouldn’t yell at our friends for attending their family reunion with right-wing relatives — at least I hope we are more open-minded than that.
Recent cheating scandals with Try Guys’ Ned Fulmer and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine continue to highlight our unnecessarily obsessive nature when it comes to knowing personal information about celebrities. While I don’t endorse either of their actions and think much of the criticism that they’re receiving is valid, it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t personally know them or their lives.
I don’t personally know the Kardashians either. They are a family that, no matter how we feel about their possibly undeserving position in the world or their family drama, receives an insane amount of hate. It’s not to say that their family drama isn’t out of the ordinary. It probably is in comparison with many of our lives. But it is to say that it’s none of our business.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have very real children who have most likely been incredibly affected by their divorce. But, we sit on social media and scroll through Kanye’s posts, mocking the way he’s dealt with it publicly.
We tend to mock Khloe Kardashian too, for going back to Tristan Thompson again and again. But would we make a different decision? Khloe isn’t void of bad judgment just because she has money and fame.
Our favorite actors and singers and internet stars and all the rest are human. Even if their lives aren’t as hard as ours and they enjoy luxuries we can’t imagine, it doesn’t make them any less deserving of basic decency.
If my daily practices and speech were up for critique from a global audience, I’d be running to live under a rock. I make mistakes every hour of every day. Whether it’s saying the wrong thing in class, unintentionally hurting someone’s feelings or just being ill-knowledgeable about an important topic, I mess up daily.
Everyone does. It is simply a facet of our human nature — even for the ones we think are superhuman. We should still treat them with kindness.
Elizabeth Valadez (she/her) is a sophomore studying English and political science.