Are Celebrities And The Media To Blame For Sexualizing Guns?

I was thinking about what to write for my weekly personal blog entry, and it seems only fitting to comment on the tragedy that struck the town of Newtown Connecticut and Sandy Hook Elementary. As you turn on the news, go online, scroll through various news feeds and status updates you can’t escape the news stories.

I have been thinking about this issue, and not from a gun control point of view as I feel there are so many complications. It’s too easy to say “ban guns” but unfortunately it doesn’t just happen overnight like that.

My mind also focused on the shooter, a 20 year old boy, allegedly holding a grudge and possessing a type of mental illness. As was the Oregon Mall shooter, and the movie theater shooter in Colorado. Mental illness is such a complex issue and is not exactly one that is cured by banning guns, as there has been talk of people like this possibly using other types of weapons if firearms weren’t available.

But what about the way guns are represented in the media and entertainment? I find it rather alarming that in the wake of such tragedies, this year alone, there has to be some accountability on all fronts. Yes, the government should tighten the gun licensing laws. I also think the entertainment industry should re-think the way they portray guns in movies, TV shows, music videos, in commercials and print media.

My main issue is seeing major celebrities posing with guns in every day life, in photo shoots, or in concert making them a somewhat sexual and even phallic object. Make no bones about it people, no matter how you pose with a gun or what you are wearing while holding one, guns kill people. They are dangerous, they are not toys, and they are not fun.

It pisses me off even more that they are young women who are potentially considered “role models” to their fans, and think nothing of the fact that what they are doing is creating images, thoughts, and actions in the minds of their audience. Whether they like it or not, everything they do plays a crucial part in the influential minds of our youth. We are a celebrity-obsessed culture and this means there are bigger implications at play.

DISCLAIMER: I’m am by no means saying they are responsible for these perpetrators who go out and shoot helpless victims in schools, theaters and shopping malls. Everyone has a responsibility to make their own choices.

Does anyone else have a problem with this? It has become a scary world when we turn on the TV and hear about a shooting tragedy and shake our heads while tears roll down our face. But it is even more worrying when, in the next minute, we open a magazine or watch a youtube video where these celebrated individuals are posing with AK-47’s attached to a bra, posing with guns pointed at their mouths in a sexual/phallic way, smiling at the camera then something is very wrong. There is a disconnect between the two when in reality, if you read more into the messages these images are portraying, they are subtly advocating and encouraging it.

It should also be noted that there are plenty of other celebrities and media personalities who do not fall into this category.

But other than those, these images hold a new meaning to me and many others today, and let it be noted this should not be tolerated in the future. Parents and decision makers should be speaking out about this issue. Celebrities, magazines, studios, publicists, creative directors, production companies and influential entertainment industry people perhaps it is time you start re-thinking your strategy when it comes to marketing personalities.

That is my challenge to you. Use your influence wisely, utilize social media to benefit and inspire your audience, show that you care by making a difference with your fame.

Madonna-Gun2kim kardashian gun

madonna gun3   madonna gun1

hayden panattiereDannii Minogue gun

Battlestar Galactica girls gunsPamela_Anderson gun


lady-gaga-rolling-stone-gun-coverRIhanna Gun pose

Lindsay Lohan Terry Richardson Gun shoot

Elisha Cuthbert gunJustin BieberGun

vanessa hudgens gun

What do you think about these images and the widespread impact to young audiences? Do you think celebrities should be more accountable for what they put out there? These are just my personal thoughts, I hope they challenge you in some way. I hope we all cherish our families and loved ones as we mourn the loss of these little children and the teachers who were mercilessly gunned down.



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  1. I think it’s a cultural thing which media then exploits, not the other way around. Americans see guns as something positive, source of power, something they are entitled to have in order to protect themselves. If a celebrity waving a gun came out on front page in some European magazine, it would probably be frowned upon because guns are viewed as something negative, source of death, something only a person with bad intentions would need to posses (unless they are carried by police or military). Culture around us makes us interpret the same photo in a different way.

    I’m European and I see nothing sexy in the photos above. Associations I came up with watching photos above are mostly puzzlement as to why is there a gun in this picture and are we playing a “find an object that doesn’t belong here” game.

  2. Interesting to hear it from a European perspective, thank you!

  3. I would not blame celebrities…. It’s all about gun control not being strict, and running proper measures to ensure screenings are performed.

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