Author: Debate_Guru

Celebrities are Positive Role Models

CON (6 arguments)


On Balance — All things considered

Celebrities — Any widely recognized figures that have appeared in the media, including politicians, terrorists, singers and athletes

Positive — Having a beneficial effect on children

Role Models — A person who should be imitated because of his or her moral standards


Burden: Judge, the proposition must prove this in order to win the debate. If they cannot adequately answer this simple question, then there is no possible way for them to prove their main idea of good celebrities, thus meaning that they should lose this debate.

1. The proposition must prove that the good a celebrity does outweighs the harm by a significant enough amount that it be deemed “positive”.

2. To name 19 celebrities who haven’t taken drugs or committed some time of immoral crime and would be famous enough for most of the kids in our country to know them. We’ve listed 18 incredibly famous celebrities already who’ve committed immoral and not-role-model-like behavior.

However, as we’ve already stated, it’s amazingly hard to counter drug abuse and making our children not want to succeed in school. This is a weight thing. These two serious, arguments, are worth more put together than all of the PRO’s. For these reasons, we should win this debate. Thank you.


Rebuttal To: Celebrities fess up to their bad actions

Assertion: The problems that celebrities have are all self-inflicted, so the problems are the celebrities fault in the first place. And celebrities don’t make “little” mistakes. They’re huge! And even if the celebrities admit that they were wrong, then we’re teaching kids that they can do anything as long as they say Sorry after committing their felony. But that’s not how it is in the real world.


Rebuttal To: Celebrities have perseverance and make their own money

Assertion: No…many are heirs and already start rich (EV) Paris Hilton

1. Children look to celebrities as friends, and are influenced by them in everyday life.

Celebrities have a strong influence over teens: 57% percent of the 13-18 age group say their purchases are influenced by celebrities, or endorsements by celebrities, compared with 21% of overall consumers. During teens’ growth process, they often rely on celebrities and images in popular culture to act as connectors to social acceptance, but also to help them define their own identity. Children are looking to celebrities to imitate them, but not in a friendly way. Kids feel the need to fit in at school or in life, and so, will copy both the good and bad traits of their favorite celebrities. As we will prove, the bad outweighs the good by far.


E-Poll Market Research; July 27, 2006 - Teens and adults, age 13 to 49 sample size=1500 Children age 6 to 12 sample size=500

2. TV shows cause children to act out in classrooms while mimicking what they see on the shows they watch.

In a survey of almost 800 education staff in Britain, 66% said that Big Brother was the program that caused most poor behavior among pupils, closely followed by Little Britain at 61% and Eastenders at 43%. Staff says these programs led to general rudeness, such as answering back, mimicking, using retorts and TV catchphrases (mentioned by 88%), and swearing or using inappropriate language (mentioned by 82%). Aggressive behavior was mentioned by 74% of those surveyed, and sexually inappropriate behavior was mentioned by 43%. Obviously, mimicking catchphrases is just one example of how children are explicitly affected by the media and celebrities.


A February 2009 survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

3. Teens use performance-enhancing drugs to emulate their professional athlete role models.

Greg Schwab, Principal at Mountlake Terrace High School (Mountlake Terrace, WA) and former University of Oregon offensive tackle football player, stated the following in his June 18, 2002 testimony for the hearing "Steroid Use in Professional Baseball and Anti-Doping Issues in Amateur Sports" before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Foreign Commerce, and Tourism:

"For many male high school athletes, pro athletes are major influences. They are the role models. They choose the jersey numbers of their favorite professional players. They emulate their training regimens. They emulate their style of play. And they are influenced by their drug use. When a professional athlete admits to using steroids, the message young athletes hear is not always the one that is intended. Young athletes often believe that steroid use by their role models gives them permission to use. That it is simply part of what one must do to become an elite athlete."

Gary Wadler, MD, Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Prohibited List and Methods Sub-Committee, in his written statement for the Mar. 17, 2005 hearing on "Major League Baseball and the Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs" before the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, wrote: "Baseball, our national pastime, for better or for worse is a role model sport and likely contributes to the alarming abuse of anabolic steroids by teenagers. Just reflect on the enormous increase in sales of androstenedione (andro), the year after Mark McGuire broke Roger Maris' long standing home run record.

Jim Scherr, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of the US Olympic Committee (USOC), in his written testimony for the Feb. 27, 2008 hearing on "Drugs in Sports: Compromising the Health of Athletes and Undermining the Integrity of Competition" before US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, wrote:

"People, particularly young people, are educated as much by observing what happens in their world as what is presented in the classroom. And when it is disclosed that certain athlete role models have used banned substances to improve their performance, it sends a terrible message on many levels.

...Both children and adults are exposed to a constant barrage of advertising, news stories regarding how celebrities have used certain drugs to retain or renew their youth, and suggestions that certain exotic 'natural substances,' readily available in health food stores, offer a panacea for health, fitness and well-being. Such information often masks reports of the tragic consequences that can lead to depression, suicides, and the development of other fatal conditions, all of which appear to have resulted from the use of certain of these substances."

4. Media portrayal of celebrities gives children false expectations of life and success

Elizabeth Farrar, a teacher surveyed by the ATL, said too many pupils believed academic success was "unnecessary" because they thought they would be able to make their fame and fortune easily on a reality TV show. "They believe that they are much more likely to achieve financial well-being through becoming a celebrity than through progression to higher education and a contributing career." For another teacher quizzed in the survey, the media focuses too much on celebrities' negative behavior, encouraging underage drinking and anti-social behavior.

Julie Gilligan, a middle school teacher, states, "I have seen and heard negative emulation of celebrity footballer/pop star language and behavior on the playground and in school…including disturbingly age-inappropriate 'acts' by young girls in school talent shows."


2009 ATL survey of teachers

5. Celebrities break down the barriers in place against drugs

Out of 8558 female celebrities, 90.5% of them had consistently smoked for one year or more during their lives.

Former cocaine addict and super model Kate Moss's drug abusing boyfriend Pete Doherty, lead-singer of indie bands BabyShambles and The Libertines has been found with illegal drugs over 20 times. Constantly being found taking illegal substances, and constantly being let go, has led to the mockery and humiliation of the justice system in my eyes, as it clearly appears to be sending the message that celebrities are above the law.

A USA Weekend survey also revealed that nearly 2/3 of teens want to get a piercing or tattoo just because their favorite celebrity has one. Almost half say that their own peers drink or smoke cigarettes because a celebrity role model does.

Sources:,, USA Weekday survey

6. Celebrities, overall, are negative influences

Britney Spears, the 25-year-old pop singer and mother of two young sons recently filed for divorce from Kevin Federline, her husband of two years. She then followed with highly publicized nights out with party girls Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, including photographic evidence of Spears wearing no underpants, which raised questions about her fitness as a parent.

Mel Gibson gave an anti-Semitic tirade to police in Malibu, California, during his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.

Michael Jackson was accused of molestation. Barry Bonds, once the heroes of millions of kids across the nation, frequently lied about taking steroids. Roger Clemens, a famous baseball pitcher, took steroids and is now undergoing trial for lying under oath and is probably going to get a life sentence to prison. Lindsay Lohan has been in and out of drug rehab. Tiger Woods had multiple affairs and lied to his wife. ‘Lil Wayne, a famous rapper, writes songs about drugs. Do we really want our children to grow up and be like these people? No.


Magazine article published in Children & Young People Now. Also, in a Psychology Today study found in 2007, 79 out of 100 children said that their parent was not a role model…celebrities took their place. Ages 16-20. This is horrible and immoral!