The television show, American Idol, is seen by an estimated 30 million viewers every week. While our society is fixated upon every note of every song performed by the contestants and every ounce of banter uttered by the judges, I, personally, am left to ask: “Are these individuals worthy of being seen as Idols?”
The definition of an idol is: “...someone who is adored blindly and obsessively.” While I, like the millions of other American Idol viewers, thoroughly enjoy watching the show and the talent expressed by most of the singers, vying for the title of Idol, I must take into consideration that these persons were normal, everyday citizens, prior to their auditions for the show, not Idols in any manner; they were common residents of this nation, just like you and me.
While on the topic of Idols, I see a worrisome trend forming. In a 2006 poll conducted by McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, some 41% of U.S. citizens could name at least one American Idol judge, but only 28% of these same citizens could name more than one of the five fundamental freedoms, granted by the U.S. Constitution. Now, there’s “Idolization” pointed in the wrong direction, as I see it.
By the mere definition of the term Idol, where should our society place its focus? Should our Idols be singers, often from privileged backgrounds, who are arguably in search of the American dream? While I am certainly not opposed to anyone who is able to better themselves, I happen to think our idolization could be better spent elsewhere.
So, who do I see as an Idol? In my view, the best example of Idols who fit the original definition of the term are our police forces, our firefighters, and furthermore, our military, because more times than not, these groups protect and serve with little to no recognition, limited pay, and lessened benefits. Yet, the diligently serve for the betterment of our society, assuring our safeties and qualities of life. While it is widely known that many American Idol contestants are adored blindly and obsessively by their fans, I think the sacrifices of the brave men and women who assure of freedoms, both on the home front and abroad, should be more idolized than anyone who can belt a tune for the cameras. In my opinion, these selfless individuals are true American Idols.
© 2007 – Jill Eisnaugle. All rights reserved.
Jill Eisnaugle has authored the poetry books, Coastal Whispers and Under Amber Skies. She resides in Texas City, Texas with her family and pets.