When you walk through a grocery store and you are waiting in line to pay, most likely there will be stacks of magazines on either your left- or right-hand side; Magazines that draw your attention with large photos of celebrities usually with a caption that hints at some sort of drama or scandal. I remember last week seeing Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss from the new Hunger Games movie, on the cover and the caption was about which guy she was secretly dating from the Hunger Games film. I also saw a nice cover with Princess Kate and it was all about how natural she is with her new roles, but then right on the side it was a column full of pictures and captions on the fashion and gossip at the Oscars.
Many of these headlines revolve around stars of our culture whether they are rappers, hip-hop artists or movie and reality TV show stars; their latest breakup, who cheated on who, who went to jail for smoking an illegal substance or someone is back in rehab, for the fourth time.
Time after time these sorts of captions flood the magazine stands. However, every once and a while a new face will appear on the front, and their story will revolve around their genuine marriage, their latest success or simply how good of a person they are.
Who are these people? Country stars.
Country stars like Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift or country bands like Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band or The Band Perry.
It seems like in our culture today country stars are rising as the top influences among the population, especially for teenagers.
Teenagers can look up to young women like Taylor Swift who stays true to her playful girly fashion full of modest summer dresses and cowgirls boots (unlike Nicki Minaj who looks like every other female singer trying to look ‘unique’).
Or Carrie Underwood who has managed to come from a small country town and work her way up to becoming one of the biggest names in country while keeping her morals as well as learning how to make a marriage last (unlike celebrities like Kim Kardashian).
Guys can look up to men like Brad Paisley or Tim McGraw instead of guys like the Jersey Shore cast who care too much about their gym, tan and laundry time.
I am not saying that all non-country stars are bad (and not all country stars are good), but a bulk of them have made it almost impossible for others to stand out as the good guys.
Take for example Kanye West, who rudely interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the Video Music Awards in order to voice his opinion that she should not have won best female music video. Kanye made it clear that he thought Beyonce should have won for her Single Ladies video. However, later that night Beyonce, out of the kindness of her heart (she is one of the few good ones), gave up her airtime for her acceptance speech in order to allow Swift to finish her speech.
Yet, when people look back on that moment they don’t always remember the kindness Beyonce showed, only the rude character of Kanye.
Then there are people like non-country star Angelina Jolie who gives back her time and money to her community and the world by working with the UN and travels all over the world promoting world peace. Did you know that?
Country stars are being overlooked for how much good they are doing and the type of people they are with the way they live their lives. Our generation needs more headlines about the good people and less drama and gossip.
Our generation needs to look up more to country stars and start viewing their lives as an inspiration.
Graphic art by Hannah Charlton
Williamson is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.