Controversial Comment

By Heather Legg

On Allergymoms.com this week, there is a post that is sure to spark conversation. The poster, Gina, even states the fact that she debated to post it because of the negativity of the information. Apparently, one of the American Idol contestants has a peanut allergy and on another site, it was suggested that the other contestants could or might use this against her.

I am with Gina; it’s just not right to insinuate that the others may sabotage her with this information. It is one thing to publicize information regarding her allergy, another to try to use it against her. As one commenter on allergymoms.com states, “it’s a low blow to the other contestants.”

Another point I’d like to make, is that the contestant didn’t offer up this information, it was given to the gossip writer from a teacher. It’s one thing if a celebrity wants to use her status to help a cause, whether it’s an allergy or an eating disorder or any other thing people may be going through. However, when the information is provided without the consent of the celebrity, it becomes invasive, and possibly even dangerous.

Gina questioned whether to write on this topic, so did I. But like her, I feel it’s already out there, whether it should or shouldn’t be, so it’s a good opportunity to open up discussion. You can talk with your children about this, and open up some dialogue.
Ask them some things like
• Do you ever feel bullied about your allergy?
• Would you rather people knew or didn’t know about your allergy?
• Do you think it’s fair that someone besides the American Idol contestant gave away personal information?
• How do you think this contestant feels?
• How do you think the other contestants feel (relate to classmates)?
• How does it make you feel knowing a “celebrity” has to deal with some of the things you do? Better? Worse? Why?

We often see things in the glorified celebrity world that we wonder about being our business at all. But once it’s out there, it’s out there and we can use these things as teaching moments with our children. We can help teach empathy, decision making skills, responsibility, empowerment. But we also do need to teach a little respect of privacy.

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