The Celebrity Trap: Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Pop Stars

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Celebrity Names You’re Definitely Spelling Wrong

Jef Holm One F is enough, thanks. Courteney Cox I’ll have a cougar with a side of E. Avril Lavigne Man-ga-niello (Bonus: sounds like Man-gi-nello). Kristin Cavallari A lot of alliteration with this one. Arnold Schwarzenegger Remember Busy Philipps? Ryan sees her L, then raises her one. Barbra Streisand Don’t forget the E, though it’s pronounced just like Lord. Nicolas Cage Double the X, double the fun. Amanda Seyfried Qu-ven-zhane (Bonus: sounds like Kwa-van-je-nay). Will Ferrell Two Rs, two Ls, two Es. Not to be confused with Colin Farrell.

Justin Bieber is now better known for antics like making obscene gestures at one photographer and threatening to beat the expletive out of another, than he is for his professed Christian faith. And before giving birth to two children out of wedlock, Jessica Simpson was celebrated on her reality television series for saving herself for marriage. While it’s presumptuous to speculate on any of these folks’ relationship with God, it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that their stories illustrate the difficulty of reconciling celebrity status with Christian virtue. This is especially true in the world of pop music, and even more true when we’re talking about people who became celebrities when they weren’t even old enough to legally sign a contract. Someone who understands this all too well is Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley’s dad. Five years ago, he believed his family’s Christian faith would protect them from the temptations of celebrity. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. And so in 2011, he told GQ magazine that he deeply regrets the decision to let his daughter became a child celebrity. He says that the decision “destroyed [his] family,” and if he could, he’d “take it back in a second.” Well sadly, he can’t. But his honesty can serve as a warning to other Christian parents whose children dream of being celebrities. You may think you’re the exception and that somehow being a celebrity will “glorify” God. Don’t fool yourself. It could hardly be otherwise. What Jesus said about the dangers of wealth is just as true about celebrity in our postmodern age, and for most of the same reasons: It distorts our sense of self, both in relationship to others and to God.