This past week, Oscar-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon caused quite the stir after she called out reality stars and sex tapes during her acceptance speech at the 2011 MTV Movie awards. Going against the currently popular ‘bad girl trend’, the star explained:
“I get it, girls, that it’s cool to be a bad girl. But it is possible to make it in Hollywood without doing a reality show. When I came up in this business, if you made a sex tape, you were embarrassed and you hid it under your bed. And if you took naked pictures of yourself on your cell phone, you hide your face people! Hide your face!”
Reese, mother of two young children, makes a great point. Nowadays, a sex tape can be a bigger break in Hollywood than the release of a musical single or an appearance in a feature film. (See Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton for prime examples). And while I respect the fact that these women have been savvy enough to brand themselves following their humiliating experiences, this does not teach our generation anything about self-respect or hard work.
Let’s face it, as 20-somethings, now is the time in our lives when we are forging our way in the world. Along the way we are experimenting, we’re having fun, and we’re making mistakes. We’re trying to learn from those mistakes so that we will grow into the successful women that we idolize (like Reese Witherspoon) who embody the definition of class. The problem is that we’re living in an unforgiving time. The internet doesn’t care if embarrassing pictures of us are posted or if our reputation is slandered. And neither will our future bosses. It’s important to remember that while we experiment and come into our own, we should keep positive role models like Reese in mind while we do so. We need to take an active role in protecting our reputations by refusing to compromise our integrity and self-value just to live up to the ‘bad-girl’ hype.
At the same time, we can’t take ourselves too seriously. Sometimes, you just need to let loose. Personally, I plan to live it up this summer (obviously completing this summer bucket-list) but I am going to keep in mind that someone is always watching. So, next time you decide to toe that bad-girl line, keep Reese’s advice in mind and HIDE YOUR FACE…in a nutshell.