Annette Funicello & Today’s Celebrities

Who are your kids’ role models?

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Comments (19)

(14) David Naas, April 26, 2013 4:59 PM

Walt Disney, Whirlgig

Notice how many of the modern Disney Channel child actors end up on the trash heap -- Lindsey Lohan and Miley Cyrus are but two of the mot recent. Yet, Disney is constantly touted as "wholesome" enertainment. I suppose it depends on your perspective...

Mike, April 26, 2015 4:38 PM


interesting that Disney (in my opinion) has not made a good movie since Ariel the mermaid. Coincidence?

(13) Bracha Gryner, April 25, 2013 7:21 PM

Do we already know this?

On the one hand, it's a forceful and heartfelt message. On the other hand, the bottom line seems to be that Orthodox Jewish parents have to rely on themselves and their Orthodox network in order to raise their kids in a wholesome (i.e., Orthodox) way.
Britney Spears and Dennis Rodman won't really be of much help.
I don't see the chidush in this...but I suppose it's good to have reminders from time to time.

(12) Shoshana - Jerusalem, April 24, 2013 8:20 PM

so sorry to hear this

May you be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may you never again have any sorrow.

(11) Anonymous, April 23, 2013 9:07 PM

Not Sure If I Agree

Lori is very well spoken and presents a good case. I fundamentally disagree that Annette Funicello and Brittaney Spears are any different from each other. When Annette left the Mickey Mouse club and did her tawdry bikini B-movies she was breaking free of the good girl mold that Disney had designed for her. Thirty years from now Brittany will be a grandma etc and people will reflect on how much better she was than the girls in the future etc. Things never change. People have mixed desires and everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. Celebs are human and sometimes do dumb things just like regular people. If you've ever watched the documentaries about Brittaney she prays before all her shows and shoots. She believes in G-d and tries her best to be kind to others. She may not be the best example of a celeb gone bad...

(10) Larry Birdkowitz, April 23, 2013 7:13 PM

How will you pin the bell on the cat?

Correct -- your children should not idolize tawdry people, even if they sing, act or play professional sports. They should not be exposed to every peccadillo of those people, and our culture should not imply that there is something cool, sexy and desirable about those peccadilloes.
Also, your children should read books (on Torah, preferably) instead of playing video games. Further, they should have a poster of Golda Meir on their wall instead of a floozy and boozy actress; a poster of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach instead of some athlete who, say, fathered 6 kids with 4 different women (none of them his wife).
Also, in my opinion, we should applaud Charles Barkley for pointing out that his job is to play basketball and not to be a personal role model for someone else's children.
Now, except for that last point, how are we going to achieve the other desiderata?? Also, RIP Annette; my first childhood crush (other than Golda Meir, of course).

(9) Fred, April 23, 2013 7:07 PM

No More Heros. Those Days Are Gone Forever

I lived through the days of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the other Hollywood stars who were real role models. Now all we have is trash. All standards have fallen. No more class or dignity. I enjoyed it while it lasted but never again. Even the department stores in the 50's had beautiful music playing in the background as people shopped, now you can only hear someone screaming and they call that music. Good luck younger generation, you will need it.

(8) Tim Upham, April 23, 2013 6:18 PM

The Tragedy of Multiple Sclerosis

What Annette Funicello should alert us to is the tragedy of multiple sclerosis. She had it for 25 years, and at the end of her life she was completely paralyzed and numb. She had no bodily functions, and had to be fed by a tube. Auto-immune diseases are cruel killers, and no body dies graciously from them.

Elaine, April 23, 2013 8:36 PM

Auto-immune diseases are certainly cruel

I recently lost my beautiful and loving eldest son to Lupus - the last 20 years he suffered untold pain and so many ailments that we lost count. But he kept fighting constantly and always with a smile and a concern for others. I pray to Hashem that they find a cure so that untold thousands can stop suffering

(7) Anonymous, April 23, 2013 2:37 PM

Good comments, Lori. But these are different times, and the rules of modesty have become lax. We, the parents need to demand better values in the entertainment & sports industries. Also, our teachers should be paid as celebrities are, and we will see more great role models for our children. Good, caring teachers are worth millions, and they can inspire and influence lives forever. Same goes for keeping kids in touch with great Rabbis, Rebbetzins & clergy in communities all over America.

kara, April 23, 2013 8:30 PM

I agree with your teacher statement. But you write that parents have to demand better values in the entertainment & sports industries. Most of their morals are not that bad, obviously you can choose to look at the one who have worse morals (there are alse ''religious'' Jews with bad morals) Tyger Woods who had numerous affaris, Chris Brown who beat up his girlfriend, Lindsey Lohan with her stealing and drug use....but there are more celebrities that not that have good morals. Look at Beyonce, she has good morals. She does charity, values education, so, she wears short clothing when peforming, most teenagers wear even less than her and you cannot shield your children from that as they will see how teenagers dress. Lebron James has good morals, Dwyane Wade has good morals, give 10% of his money to charity for example, the Jolie-Pitts have good morals, doing lots of charity work, Justin Timberlake has a charity foundation, Taylor Swift is pretty squeaky clean, Jennifer Aniston does charity work and has a very clean image, Affleck is a philanthropist, Matt Damon does humanitarian work, the list could go on... Most celebrities do have good morals. I'm sorry but wearing immodest clothing does not classify in this society as having bas morals, it is not seen in the wrong in the society we live in and you cannot prevent it.

(6) Kara, April 23, 2013 1:52 PM

You say that Briney Spears is not a role model nor inspiring. I actually think the opposite. She had a very embarassing public mental breakdown, she shaved her head, lost complete custody of her children.....however, she has managed to come out of it. She now has custody back of her children, and she seems happy and stable! If others had a public breakdown, where literally the whole world knew you were going insane and lost your children, others may not have made it out alive, and Britney has, which is what makes her so inspirational. 6 years on, she has her children back, in a stable relationship and is making new music. Also, Justin Timberlake Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling came out of the Mickey Mouse club and they are both pretty good role models, well, they have not done anything wrong. Also, you cannot expect singers/actors/sportsmen to be role models, it is not their job, they do not sign a contract which specifies they have to be sqeaky clean, they sign a sports/singing or acting contract. Also, you make it seem like no famous people live stable lives with children nowadays like Annette did, but look at the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Jolie-Pitts, Beckhams, Gwyneth Paltrows fam, Jay z and Beyonce, Hilary Duff, Natalie Portman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Gisele Bunchen and Tom Brady, Miranda Kerr and Orlando Boom, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon ..

Anonymous, April 23, 2013 7:18 PM


Christina was posted in playboy.... I think she has done plenty wrong! Justin Timberlake....fornication among all others listed! Plenty wrong in that category!

(5) Shulamis Silverman, April 22, 2013 7:13 AM

An Interesting Origin of "Stardom"

(4) Anonymous, April 22, 2013 1:06 AM

Wow! I can't believe I actually got a response from Lori Palatnik re: my comment on Natalie Portman. I'm flattered! Somehow I was under the impression she had married a Jewish man. Since you say that is not the case, then I agree that I would not want my child to follow suit. (I don't have any daughters.) I actually have ALWAYS believed that the parents are the ones who need to step up and be role models for their children. Although I have made my share of mistakes, I am proud to say that I married within the faith. I also do my best to improve on my shortcomings, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

(3) Sidney, April 21, 2013 11:48 PM

Right On

Very well said. If one is a Torah Jew there are plenty of people to admire and be inspired by (and I don't necessarly mean only Rabbis and Rebbetzins). There are many biographies of regular people who rose to the occasion.

Re the athelete metaphor, in Willie Myas's NY Giants days when most games at the Polo Grounds were during the day, he often would be seen playing, a few blocks away, stickball after the baseball game (for free) with the Harlem neighborhood kids.

(2) Yosef, April 21, 2013 4:17 PM

Go Lori! true...thanks for your clarity......

(1) Anonymous, April 21, 2013 1:00 PM

I agree with you 100% and always do my best to be a role model for my son. However, there is an actress who I think makes a good role model for the young people of today. Natalie Portman was always a straight A student in high school, while pursuing a movie career. I believe she attended an ivy league university, and has grown up to be a fine young woman. Re: Annnette Funicello. She too had a very loving and caring mother and father. I am so very sorry that she suffered with MS for such a long time. RIP Annette. You certainly will be missed by so many of us!

Lori Palatnik, April 21, 2013 3:36 PM

Natalie Portman

Keep in mind that this star, born in Israel, chose to publicly marry a non-Jew. Although a good role model in other areas, she certainly is not someone I would want my girls to emulate.


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