It seems like everyone I know that grew up listening to Lost Prophets is chiming in on facebook etc on their disgust at the Ian Watkins story. When the reports first broke last year I literally brushed them off, because I could not begin to comprehend that there was even a remote possibility of it being true. Like most people I’m sure, I find it hard to really talk about what that animal has done [because let’s be clear, he is not a man, he is not a ‘human’, in fact an animal is too good for what he is] I don’t subscribe to the notion that paedophillia is a sickness. And maybe that is wrong of me….but I am wholly ignorant on the topic. It is not something I have any desire to research or to understand so therefore I have no ‘right’ to pass judgement. I can only go by my base reaction, one of a young woman who one day hopes to be a mother herself and I find the very concept of child abuse completely and utterly abhorent.
What was it abut Ian that made girls [mothers] do the most unimaginable act? People have been talking on punk/rock forums for YEARS about what he was ‘rumoured’ to be doing… so WHY did no one speak up, rather scream it till they were heard?….why did the Police not LISTEN and investigate? WHO is held accountable, because it can’t just be them. They will be locked up, living on our tax money for the rest of their lives, probably beaten [and worse] daily by fellow inmates, that is if he doesn’t kill himself in his cell in the meantime, avoiding all the suffering he deserves. [I can’t go into the idea of repentance here, I think the crime is too massive for me to even broach it]
BUT… this is NOT a blog on my thoughts on Ian or what flips someones switch in a way that causes them to abandon their moral code…Was it inflated ego, was it excessive drug taking?…I don’t know… I cannot make sense of it.
The thing I really wanted to address, to anyone who reads… is that we need to educate young girls so that they don’t think prostituting themselves to rockstars makes them cool or in any way validated. I don’t think we can eradicate it, it’s been going on since the 60’s for godsake….[that information is readily available if you want to read up on the history of ‘groupies’ etc] but certainly with social media and the way our generation is so overtly sexualised I sense a shift, things seem more dangerous now, more vicious. And if we can’t eradicate it totally, we must at least talk about it and inform each other.
The way in which certain girls [and guys- but I can only write from my female perspective] are obsessed with people in the entertainment industry, obsessed with who they are dating [like it’s any of their business] it’s just weird. And I have fallen for it too! Me and my girlfriends gossiping about Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart… thinking that he the person, ‘Robert’ must also embody the CHARACTER he played in Twilight. It’s crazy, we’re grown women for godsake, but the media fed it to us and we ate it up. Why are we believing what the media constructs and presents to us as intrinsic truth? Why do we place celebrity on a pedastool to the point where we would do anything to get near them?
My argument is that if girls felt better about themselves, if they truly knew themselves, then maybe they wouldn’t search for validation from celebrities. It comes down to self-esteem. Body image, confidence, feeling beautiful, feeling worthy [in the right way] whereby they are not searching for attention.
Let me be clear in my experience of being a young girl, being a teenager and now a young adult- Girls don’t look/search/crave attention [in the wrong places] when they feel secure about WHO they are.
Now I’m not claiming that the girls who got involved with Ian were just insecure. That is madness. What has happened is far too complex for it to have a clear-cut cause and effect-They are guilty of the worst crime of all, they are accountable, they will pay. BUT what I am questioning is that if it was just about the music for them, would it have got that far? Again, that’s overly simplified. And of course it’s never just about the music. Music makes you feel connected to an Artist and the story of their songs. You feel attached. They have moved you. They ‘understand’ you… but the link I’m trying to establish here is that if YOU in your own SKIN feel secure, feel loved, feel enough, then music is just this crazy beautiful thing that comes in and moves you and then you go on with your life.There would be no desire to impress or hunt down and get involved with the Artist. Yeh you can FANCY the rockstar- that’s normal, but know the limit. Know what’s appropriate. Because….. a monster like Ian doesn’t know what’s appropriate. He doesn’t abide by normal social rules. So young girls out there: you’ve got to protect yourself. And if you see your friend getting involved in something that doesn’t sound or feel right in your gut, if something is off, it’s because it is. We have to look out for eachother.
I was totally shocked to see post after post of people chatting utter crap on forums from years ago, but no one was actively doing anything. Just pure vapid gossip. How devastating if some of what he did could have been prevented.
I appreciate this blog is all over the bloody place. Frankly, I’m struggling to make sense. I’m not trying to come up with the answer, because there isn’t just one. And maybe there is no reason, maybe they are all just sick. But we all know that some fans can take things too far and some celebs let and encourage them. Ian himself was the dominant factor in these crimes, he manipulated young girls and abused his position of celebrity and the ‘social power’ that comes with it. If we didn’t worship celebrity so much then maybe they wouldn’t be able to abuse it, after all you can only play to an audience. And Ian has got what he ultimately always wanted- we are all talking about him. So how about something else, something hopeful comes from all this?
How about young girls receive the tools, information, support and role models they need to avoid and/or protect themselves from monsters like him.
I guess I’m just trying to break it down….I’d be interested to hear your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org