The 168 Turnaround
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With young pop stars pulling in millions and struggling artists making very little at all, there’s a strong temptation to poke fun at those millionaire stars and starlets whose music seems consistently superficial and shallow. Hell, I’m sure I’ve made fun of a number of them right here on this very website.
Truth be told, our favourite pop stars usually make an easy target of themselves (a la Lindsay Lohan). Even if they don’t, though, us intelligent folk usually find something to poke fun at. And why not? Finding flaws in others helps us reconcile the flaws we find in ourselves.
But let’s be honest: Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, and the like are people just like us. Sure, they make mistakes, but every now and then they do something pretty damn outstanding … well, some of them, anyway.
Take 19-year-old actress and pop singer Selena Gomez, for example. The young starlet made the news this week when a thank you video from a 13-year-old fan made its way onto YouTube. As it turns out, the fan, Hana Hwang, suffers from progeria, a fatal genetic condition that causes children to age eight to ten times faster than normal. Somehow, without the paparazzi catching wind of it, Gomez visited Hana in the hospital. The funny thing is that nobody would have ever known about the visit had Hana not made and posted her video. You can view the video below:
While I’ve never been stricken with a serious and debilitating disease the way Hana has been, I do know what it’s like to meet a celebrity/musical hero whose music has impacted your life. Put simply, it’s something you remember for a very long time.
And, look, I know a hospital visit doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but considering the obstacles Gomez would have had to overcome to keep this visit out of the public eye (which would have made the event about her and not about Hana), this act of kindness goes a long way for me toward brightening the dark splotch that is celebrity culture. Far too often do we hear of how this or that celebrity has further cemented their position in the grand monument of douchbaggery by being caught in one act of debauchery or another.
To find out that some celebrities may be really good people is somehow reassuring. At a time when pop culture seems to be ensnared in a cycle of dark drama and self-destruction, a reassurance now and then helps to wash the bitter taste from our mouths.
Kindness—who’d have thought such a mundane concept could be so refreshing?
All we need to do now is patent it and get it on the market before someone beats us to the punch.
The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items. If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here. If you have a comment or question, please leave a response below. Thank you for reading.