Opinion: Many celebrities cross the line and go too far

Bethany Deal

America today seems to embrace just about anything celebrities throw our way. Some people enjoy Jewel’s quiet melodies and poetic words, while others love Marilyn Manson with his one contact lens and his strange clothing – or lack thereof. Each celebrity has his or her unique style. But what happens when a celebrity goes too far? Are we in an age where anything goes simply because everyone is unique? Doubtful. Some celebrities today just repeatedly go too far. But how far is too far? At a time when people are free to be who they want to be, there are still boundary lines that people should not attempt to cross.

Although he seems to be keeping a low profile at the moment, one of the celebrities who has gone too far in the past is Howard Stern. With his radio show, TV show and movies, he definitely takes entertainment to a new level. Most of his TV show consists of girls sitting around topless, feeling each other up, talking about the porn they’ve been in or standing naked so he can judge them. While his show is on cable, that does not necessarily mean he can be as disgusting as he wants to be, or do whatever he wants to do. There should be limits to what celebrities do to keep our interest.

Christina Aguilera is another one of those celebrities pushing the envelope too far these days. Has anyone seen on the cover of Rolling Stone this month? With only her hand and a guitar handle covering her, she certainly is making it known that she is back on the music scene. She had pretty much disappeared for a while, then reappeared on the VMAs with only the tiniest clothing covering her. Many think this “switch to skank” (which is emphasized in her new video “Dirrty” from her new CD “Stripped”) is more about selling albums than her freedom to wear what she likes, and find this disgusting change a bit too much.

She’s not the only one, however, who has stepped over the line of decency. Britney Spears, perhaps worse than Christina, no longer confines herself to good taste. While her song, “I’m a Slave 4 U” did cause a stir when it first aired, people got over that quickly enough. Two things that made the American public do a double take were her November 2001 cover photo on Rolling Stone and her performance in the Fourth of July Concert in New York. In this issue of Rolling Stone, a picture of her shows her pubic hair through the sheer outfit she is wearing. Too much, if you ask me.

If that’s not enough to set off a red flag, her concert in New York might be. While the other musicians at the tribute concert (Enrique Iglesias, Ray Charles) sang songs like, “Hero” and “What a Wonderful World,” Britney sang “Boyz,” complete with the “I Wanna Get Nasty” and “Touch Me” in the background. Some people found this so incredibly distasteful during such a respectful holiday that they turned off the TV in the middle of her song. There’s a saturation point of disgust, and Britney seems to have reached it (although many argue that she passed it a while ago).

While there is no distinct line about how far is too far, most celebrities are smart enough to use good judgment and not risk alienating fans just to intrigue others. There are just some things that just shouldn’t be done – a lesson a few celebrities need to learn!