Young Hollywood, Rudderless Again

Rihanna is 20, and Chris Brown is only 19 — just barely adults. It seems their lover’s quarrel went badly when self-control was thrown out the window — and left by the roadside along with the passenger. Once again, Young Hollywood’s real life lacking the entertainment industry’s suggested PG (parental guidance) rating.   We’ve heard […]

Last Updated: February 19, 2009 @ 8:45 AM

Rihanna is 20, and Chris Brown is only 19 — just barely adults. It seems their lover’s quarrel went badly when self-control was thrown out the window — and left by the roadside along with the passenger. Once again, Young Hollywood’s real life lacking the entertainment industry’s suggested PG (parental guidance) rating.

 

We’ve heard quite a lot about young celebs losing their way, making bad decisions and not thinking before acting (pun intended). Paris, Britney, Lindsay, lately Miley… And just look at Michel Phelps now. What’s notable about Brown and Rihanna’s altercation is abovel all their age. I wonder, before the fisticuffs went down, did the young couple have recourse to someone helpful, including their own moral compass? Do either of them have family nearby to redirect them at each misstep? What happened to that old subconscious saying — “My mother will kill me if I hit a girl” – the guilt trip we parents instill in our children precisely to avoid these unacceptable behaviors?

Brown’s recent statement about the incident is right on cue with my previous message about parental guidance: “Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones, and I am committed, with God’s help, to emerging a better person.” Suddenly, the providers of morals and values are conveniently invoked in a single sentence.

 

As for Rihanna, she’s probably utterly confused about what to do in this highly visible mess she is in. Is it abuse or domestic violence? Does she press charges against a very young and famous Brown? What will this mean for both of their careers? As a battered woman, Rihanna could come out of this a hero for taking a stand against men who beat up women. For Brown, on the other hand, whose career was in high gear and cruising at the top of the success highway, the consequences are harsh indeed: loss of endorsements, cancellation of appearances, and his music being pulled from store shelves.

 

So what is the lesson here? Self restraint and anger management come to mind, but also having family provide consistent moral guidance needed at this young age is an important factor missing from young A-lister’s diurnal lives. Too much too soon without limitations provided by solid standards of conduct can lead to auto-destruction. These two youngsters probably never imagined how quickly all they’ve worked for could vanish.

Moms, dads … you’d better stick around. Your kids need you.

Suzette Valle was recognized by Time Warner Cable as one of San Diego's Best Moms. She is the author of "101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up" (Walter FosterJr. Fall 2015), a reference book for kids. She has appeared on the "Dr. Phil" show discussing the effects of reality shows on families. Her posts have been featured on Fox,YahooMovies.com, and Movies.MSN.com. A mother of two, she lives in San Diego with her husband. She blogs about parenting and Hollywood's influence on children's daily lives and family values at www.MamarazziKnowsBest.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SuzetteValle.