2 years ago
Goyo
in English · 10,984 Views
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Should Parents Be Allowed to Commercialize Their Kids?
“Guenter Euringer, whose dazzling smile has helped sell millions of boxes of chocolate, is now 42 and ready to talk about his secret life as an icon." In 1973, Guenter’s mother, who worked for an advertising agency, took her 10 year old son for a photo shoot in Munich. In a twist of fate, he became the face of one of the largest chocolate companies. While at first Guenter was proud to see his picture in the supermarket, he said that he quickly became fed up with the unwanted fame. While this is an interesting revelation (not to me but maybe it is because I don’t care about “celebrities” lol), I think the real interesting point of this BBC article is that it took Guenter 32 years to reveal himself! Doesn’t that seem strange? All this tells me is just how much Mr. Euringer avoided the fame bestowed upon him by a decision that he was not responsible for. This leads me to my point: should parents have the right to commercialize their children? As far as I know, there are strict child labor laws in the US. I know this because my cousins always joked that our parents would be in big trouble if we complained to the authorities. Truth be told, we were just complaining because we didn’t want to do some simple summer jobs. However, there are a lot of kids whose work basically in one way or another jeopardizes their “health, well-being or educational opportunities.” When an infant is made famous because of his parents’ decision to broadcast him on TV, do we not think that infant’s mental well being will be severely affected? I am of the strong belief that it does. Just look at the long list of child stars that have struggled in their adult lives due to emotional and/or psychological distress. There are, of course, some that have made it just fine, but there have also been a huge amount of cases where the child star has just lost it (Shia Lebeouf anyone?). Is it then correct, or even legal, for parents to do this to their children? Does this not constitute some sort of violation of the Child Labor laws in the US?
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I think there are cases where the fame can't be stopped from getting to them (re: Shia LeBeouf) and cases where the parents can (and must) take necessary precautions to help their child. I don't think we should be forbidding kids from fame, but I do think that boundaries need to be implemented. Unfortunately, fame at any age in recent times seems to cause emotional breaks that no one should be subject to.
@greggr I just wonder how forcing your kid (who in no way will be able to understand the consequences of fame) into the limelight is not violating the child labor laws... More than anything I would just like to understand how it gets around that law