May 19, 2024

Jenna Ortega Is Not Responsible for Percy Hynes White

Many of us have grown up with Ortega; we’ve seen her graduate from the Disney Channel to Netflix, and we’ve delighted in her weird-and-wonderful fashion sense and interview style. It’s no wonder that her fans “see her as somebody that they’ve grown up with and somebody that they have developed a long-term relationship with,” as Dr Valencia points out.

“In that sense, they see her as a friend that they should be concerned about or someone they should ask how she’s doing – the way that they would do that with a friend. ”

There’s also an expectation that Ortega should take a stance on the allegations, due to the values her fans believe she has. She’s long been a vocal proponent for a variety of social justice issues, memorably wearing an “I do care and you should too” jacket to the Radio Disney Music Awards back in 2018 in response to Melania Trump wearing a coat that read, “I Really Don’t Care. Do U? » while visiting immigrant kids at a border detention centre on the Texas-Mexico border.

As admirable as celebrity advocacy can be, it provokes a divided response from the public. Dr Valencia splits the camps into the “conservative stance,” which prefers celebrities to “stay out of politics,” and the “progressive” stance, in which celebrities are expected to be “transparent and clear with their political stances… Are they a feminist? Are they anti-racist? ” Or in the current situation, do they support alleged victims of sexual assault?

The challenge with this dualistic thinking, according to Dr Valencia, is that «It doesn’t allow much space for people to make errors or to have grown and changed after making a mistake.

“There’s this good/bad binary that comes out of this. And the reality is that most of us live in a much more complicated world. But because of the way that we think about celebrities, we think they almost have to be close to perfect. ”

At their core, parasocial relationships with celebrities reaffirm how we construct our own values and identities. “There’s a feeling that if I can hold a stranger accountable for their perceived bad actions, maybe I can do that in my own life,” notes Dr Valencia.

“What we try to do is expect celebrities to be doing what we either expect ourselves to do or what we expect our best selves to do. So it’s this idea that, if we’re celebrating you, we want you to be the best of ourselves in some way. ”

Here’s the thing though, if we want to see our values represented in the world, we can move towards this without validation from our favourite celebrities – especially at a time when the facts of the matter remain unclear. Instead of pushing Ortega for a premature response to unsubstantiated allegations, we can show up for people in our own lives; we can sign petitions; we can demand better support for victims.

It’s a phenomenal feeling when a celebrities values are aligned with your own, but our activism – and our rage – shouldn’t depend on it.

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