Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have publicly showed concern for the obesity epidemic currently taking place in America, yet both went ahead and became the face for 2 of the largest soda brands out there, Pepsi and Diet Coke. What impact does this have on our children, if any? Do celebrities have a responsibility to not convey mixed messages as it concerns children’s health?
Makarechi at HuffPost Entertainment wrote,
“Beyonce Knowles Carter was a big part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move fitness campaign, a decision that would later be called into question when the singer signed a complex, $50 million promotional deal with Pepsi.”
Beyoncé recognized the need to discuss the public health crisis and lent her skills first hand to the cause, however, she forged a significant partnership with Pepsi—One of the largest contributors to childhood obesity.
While Taylor Swift supports the Cancer Society and numerous cancer-related charities, she partnered with Diet Coke back in 2013 becoming their brand ambassador.
We question whether you would want to lend your name, image, and reputation to any product linked to any increased risk of cancer.
The Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called her out in an open letter stating, “To the extent that your endorsement encourages them to begin drinking Diet Coke, or to drink more, your endorsement is likely increasing your fans’ risk of cancer. Even if the increase in risk is small, we question whether you would want to lend your name, image, and reputation to any product linked to any increased risk of cancer.”
The CSPI suggests aspartame causes tumors and cancer in animals and they warn humans of the potential health risks associated with ingesting the chemical. The consequences of aspartame remain controversial but the side affects on human health continue to unveil themselves and more complex studies on the subject are evolving.
Holding incredible sway over millions of fans, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé have decided to use their influence to promote both healthy activity and cancer awareness, yet partner with two of the biggest contributors to childhood obesity. Are we to assume that these celebrities have allowed hefty sums of money to sway their opinion on health?
An article titled, Taylor Swift: You are Sweet Enough, suggests, “The average American child sees some 30,000 ads a year for these unhealthy items.” It is nearly impossible for the average American child to stay healthy these days. In order to do so they have to get really good at turning things down. Turning down products with their favorite singers on the front of the label. Turning down fast food restaurants that lurk on every corner with enticing playgrounds built into them. Turning down happy meals with their favorite toys in them from their favorite movies. Some may compare the behavior of these enormous soda companies to the cigarette companies, except this time it’s not illegal for children to buy. Do we ever draw a line? If so, when are we going to draw that line?
Laurie David puts it bluntly, “Innocent kids whose bodies and minds are still developing pitted against the highest paid ad executives and creative minds in the business funded by billion dollar companies whose main goal is to double sales.”
Lets face it, we should take accountability for this twisted system that pays out celebrities to promote negative lifestyle choices. Do you believe celebrities have a responsibility to use their public figure status to set an example for children? Or is the consumer at fault for the celebrity-advertising system?