This one, since all eyes were on her, was one of using her platform as a chance to speak to and reach out to youths around the nation about a very serious problem. That of homeless youths.
Many are calling this a publicity stunt.
Well, they aren't wrong. It is a publicity stunt. One to draw attention to a very real problem and trying to help make it better using the platform she's been given to speak with. The award acceptance was a podium where kids and young adults around the world were watching. This was a moment where she could reach beyond even her fans. It was a moment where fans of all music performers and more were paying attention that allowed a reach far wider so that even people who aren't fans of hers would see and listen.
I wish more publicity stunts were as well thought out and researched as this was. It showed genuine forethought and research attached to present the actual statistics. This wasn't some media fueled "forgive me for last year." This came across and was delivered beautifully as a "now that I have your attention and you're listening, here is a very real problem we need to work on."
It showed respect to how it was handled. She took the time to hear his story and talk to him. She didn't pick some random homeless person off the street and drag them to the show last minute. She took someone to the show that she had taken the time to get to know and hear their plight. She showed respect and allowed them to have their dignity while sharing a very special night that person may not have had otherwise. She didn't use this as a set piece prop. This was respectful and moving. Those that want to berate her for it, well, I'm not sure what they were expecting would be the proper way. She did this in the most humane and human way possible that both reached out to the problem and did so with dignity while also allowing an undertone of surprise. This surprise was well-warranted as it shows directly that we are all human. What you see on the outside doesn't tell you the story of who they are or what they've been through. It relates back to perception of how people see the world. Most of all, she did this with showing him respect and treating him like a person. This is a historic VMA moment, and it's one that I hope is remembered for decades.
Honestly, between this year and last year. I almost want to call her outright a mad genius. She's saying this is only the start, and I look forward to seeing where she takes this from here in trying to cause real change.
In other celeb related news, it seems more are drawing attention to the societal ills that awareness needs to be on to try and help fix.
Help out my friend @TKMcKamy & bring awareness to human trafficking by donating to this film! http://t.co/RzzQPOULnh
— Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) August 25, 2014
Human trafficking is another very real concern among youths around the world. Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars has long been an advocate in the fight against it, and it's nice to see one of her co-stars, Lucy Hale, helping join the fight in the ways she can help draw attention to it too.
This independent film she highlighted this morning looks like it could be highly interesting with the message it carries and their goal. It's one I look forward to seeing, and for the time being may be the closest we get to a NYX feature film as well.
NYX you may remember is the Marvel comic miniseries that dove into these topics back in 2003-2004. While it featured the first comic appearance of X-23, it also was a quite emotional and disturbing read because of the topics it entailed about suicide, homelessness, school violence, human trafficking, prostitution, and more.
It's amazing to see so many of the youths of Hollywood using their platforms to help make a difference with the reach they have. It'd be even nicer to see the big studios helping to join the fight. These young women are leading the charge for change, and the big studio support with the larger intellectual properties could very well make a big difference too. These young women are bringing awareness to very real topics, and maybe it's time the big studios joined to do so too. The music and movie industry makes billions each year, and while to them it'd only be a drop in the bucket, their help could change lives and generate positive momentum to begin to make lasting and historic change.
Independent features and fandoms can do a lot for these causes, but alongside those, imagine what a large intellectual property like one from Marvel, or Sony, or Fox could do to help raise awareness and provide ways to help those that need it most. They could show they stand with their heroes that are on the screen and want to help make change that could save lives.