When I was a kid, I had idols. The majority of them were pop stars. Groups like Spandau Ballet and Go West adorned my walls. If any of them had done anything to cause controversy, I would have been devastated.
This is exactly what happened to my daughter this evening.
I don’t really know much about the type of people that tweens and teens look up to in this day and age. Ross and I raise our eyes and tut at the type of music that Grace likes. All the things that our parents used to do to us no doubt. But what I do know is that YouTubers have joined the pop stars of today in being idolised.
Grace has desperately wanted a Logan Paul hoodie for over a year. I have assured her that, when she received her Christmas and Birthday money then she can make a calculated decision on what to spend her money on. I know his merchandise can be a lot of money so I wanted her to understand the value of what she was spending her pennies on.
A few days ago, we sat down and looked through Amazon so that she could decide what to spend her vouchers on. She saw a Logan Paul hoodie. It had a slogan which said ‘Don’t worry, it’s a Logan thing’. It was a decent price and was a Prime delivery which we are signed up to. So, she bought it.
This afternoon, during a few precious moments of time whilst Rex was actually sleeping (!), I noticed the ‘Five Things You Shouldn’t Have Missed’ blog post from Vuelio. One of the stories was YouTube’s response to Logan Paul and the controversial video he shared. I wasn’t aware so I went over and had a look.
I was really shocked by what I found and, as a result, became concerned about Grace wearing an item of his merchandise.
Grace walked in the front door from school around 15 minutes later and the first thing she asked was whether her hoodie had arrived. Cue a discussion about what I had found and how she might feel about the situation.
She didn’t understand the problem to start with and, because I didn’t know enough about him, I asked one of my blogger Facebook groups how they felt about Logan Paul and Grace’s conundrum. A whole load more information came to light and, as a result, I was even more concerned.
After the initial discussion – where Grace realised that I would be really disappointed in her if she wore this hoodie – she went upstairs to do her homework and I could hear her crying her eyes out. It is very rare to hear this from her. She has even taken on the chin the fact that we have not allowed her to be on social media despite the fact that all her friends are.
Since then, we have had a number of conversations with Grace – mainly with her crying. We discovered that one of the main reasons for her upset was that she had made plans with one of her friends to wear their hoodies and take photos together as well as wear them to the next out of uniform day.
She has now come round to the idea and understands our reasoning.
What makes me really angry is that these people are in a position to influence attitudes and behaviours in the most impressionable demographic. He is enjoying a blessed level of financial freedom. This is down to a core group of viewers being impressionable young children who struggle when faced with the decision of whether or not to wear their idols merchandise when they have set an extremely bad example. They have a responsibility, especially when they have a much younger audience. Yes, he has apologised but I wonder how much of that is genuine and how much of it is because he wants to save his career – and ridiculous income. You can’t tell me that a 22 year old doesn’t that what he did was wrong. Of course he does.
Grace is a sensible, conscientious child who is making excuses for him. She wants to believe that he is a good person and her gut instinct is to defend him. That speaks volumes about how much influence these people have. He needs to have more respect for the good fortune brought on by being in the right place, at the right time.
Thankfully, we managed to solve the issue with Grace. We found something else for her to spend her money on. An Erika Costell Goat hoodie. From what I can see, the worst she has done in my opinion is post loads of duck-face photos! Let’s hope she doesn’t turn out to be another disappointing role model.