Fame is a powerful thing, and celebrities can use their power for very different purposes. Sometimes, understandably but regrettably, fame and fortune can go to a person’s head, and they self-destruct and perhaps cause pain to other people along the way.
However, some celebrities manage to maintain focus and perspective, and they leverage their fame for good causes. Let’s look at some of the stars who use their power for good.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Some celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith create their own platform from which to tackle important but taboo topics. Alongside her mom and daughter, who work as co-hosts, Pinkett Smith made the show Red Table Talk to be a forum where three generations of Black women give their perspective on subjects of the day.
Such shows help people understand things like mental health, the impact of racism, LGBT rights, and other vital topics that may be difficult to discuss. People may be unwilling to listen to partake in difficult conversations with friends and family, but they may be more willing to hear it from a celebrity.
Hearing the perspective from historically underrepresented communities in media is vital to restore balanced coverage and understand major topics in today’s social discourse. Along the same lines, it’s also important to hear the perspectives of people from different age groups.
George Clooney didn’t get famous until he was well into adulthood, which may partially explain why he is so well-adjusted to his celeb status. Years ago, it was reported that Clooney used all the proceeds from an advertising campaign to pay for a satellite in space to track atrocities committed by the government of Sudan.
Satellite tracking has helped NGOs document what’s going on in the country. Unfortunately, whether world governments act to put an end to these atrocities is another story.
Legendary Nashville singer, songwriter and musician Dolly Parton is a lot more than a stage entertainer, as great at that as she is. In 1995, Parton founded the Imagination Library, which mailed free books to children between the ages of 1-5.
Today, the charity operates in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. Imagination Library distributes over a million books a year, and a couple of years ago gifted its 100th million book.
Parton claims she was motivated to help children learn to read because her father was too busy working to support the family to attend school. Intended to help the children in the county where she grew up, the Nashville legend’s charity has thankfully taken the world by storm.
Many people are quick to portray celebrities as vacuous attention-seeking divas consumed entirely by a superficial worldview. It’s easy for ordinary people to denounce the privileges of fame. Likewise, it’s probably very easy for fame to go to your head when you’re making millions of dollars and adoring fans surround you constantly.
That’s why it’s so nice to see famous people like Jada Pinkett Smith, George Clooney and Dolly Parton using their celebrity status to make the world a better place.