Jennette McCurdy Doesn’t Want to Be a “Role Model,” Says “None of You Know How I Live My Life”
Jennette McCurdy isn’t someone to emulate—so says the actress herself.
Eleven days after Nickelodeon canceled Sam & Cat, she ranted via reddit Thursday. “I am not a role model. I don’t claim to be, I don’t try to be, and I don’t want to be. There was a time when I tried to live up to the aggrandizing title, that pedestal of a thing. Maybe it wasn’t so much that I was trying to live up to it,” she wrote. “Perhaps I thought I could and I thought I was supposed to, so I gave it my best shot.”
McCurdy, who was reportedly at odds with the network and co-star Ariana Grande before the show was axed, said she can “admit” it now. “Back in my adolescence, I was more amiable, bubbly, and on lightly humid days, maybe even flouncy,” the 22-year-old vented. “I was role model material and then some.”
The former iCarly star says she has grown up “a bit” since those days.
“I might not be any wiser,” she admitted, “but I like to think I’m more honest.”
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“With the growing I’ve done, I realize that to attempt to live up to the idea of being a role model is to set myself up for foregone failure. Sure, I’ve made some mistakes, but even if I hadn’t, people would have found invisible ones. This world is one seemingly most keen on judgment and negativity, despite all the hearts and smiley emoticons,” McCurdy said. “To remove myself from the role model battle, the falsified standard set by the bubblegum industry, is – in my eyes – to remove myself from the counterintuitive battle of attempting to be something perfect while being glaringly aware of my imperfections.”
McCurdy still loves her “teddy bears” and has a “soft spot” for her American Girl dolls. “I still love a cute dress, a good pop song, and a vanilla-scented candle,” the Long Beach, Calif., native explained. “But these things don’t define me or determine that I am any kind of a role model. What defines a person as a role model is the way they live their life. And no offense, but none of you know how I live my life.”
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The TV star, who’s appeared in episodes of Nickelodeon’s Victorious, Zoey 101 and True Jackson, VP, acknowledged that her essay might ruffle some feathers. “Now before you start thinking I’m some sort of derelict that leads a life of crime, let me clarify. I am proud of the way I live my life. I am proud of my choices. I am proud that no one can call me fake or say I don’t stand up for myself. I am proud that my friends and family would say that I’m a good person,” McCurdy wrote. “But in order to be thought of as a real, true role model, I believe you have to know a person and their actions, inside and out.”
“Calling a celebrity a role model is like calling a stranger a role model. The knowledge you have of a celebrity is no more than a caricature drawn by media tastemakers specializing in selling you an image you’re dying to buy. It’s good to have heroes, but you have to look for them in the right places,” she wrote. “They say don’t look for true love in a bar, well I say, don’t look for role models on screens.”
“For those of you who do consider me a role model, I hope you don’t read this and cringe. I appreciate you. I appreciate you so much! I appreciate that you believe in me, support me, and in some way, hope to live your life like me,” the “Generation Love” singer wrote in her conclusion. “But please, I encourage you to find role models in the people around you, the people in your everyday life, the people that are your friends and family,” McCurdy pleaded. “I encourage you to base your idea of a role model off of someone you know well enough to see purely, not in the light, cameras, and actions of Hollywood.”
McCurdy, who briefly dated NBA player Andre Drummond last fall, has adopted a more mature persona in recent months. In fact, just two days ago, the actress posted a photo of herself going braless and wearing underwear on Instagram. She captioned it, “#nofilter #datass #fapfapfap #eww #boysaregross.”
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