THE BLOG

It's Not Taylor Swift or Rihanna That's 'Trouble', It's the Parents

04/02/2014 13:47 GMT | Updated 06/04/2014 10:59 BST

I was taken to the opening night of Taylor Swift's UK leg of her 'Red Tour', on Saturday.

Aside from the imminent threat of being transformed into eunuch by the gaggle of freshly men hating teenage girls (and the token twenty something boy), the one thing that struck me most was the quite extraordinary level of adulation the fans had for Taylor.

You couldn't look in a single direction but for a girl with a glittery tailcoat, dyed blonde hair and thick black rimmed glasses, or any of the other outfits from any of her many videos or tours.

Most had facepaint, all of which, I'm sure, was as relevant and personal to Taylor, as it was new to me - but I could tell that many weeks and months had been poured into planning this gargantuan ego rubbing.

At one point, just before the off, Taylor's mother did a lap of honour (I'm still not quite sure why) and sent the audience into new levels of hysteria (again, I'm still not quite sure why) - the sort I imagine I would probably reserve for the birth of a child, or on my wedding day. Prior to that, audience enthusiasm levels had peaked at more basic levels of human achievement like climbing Everest, or winning the World Cup.

It all left me feeling a little uneasy.

We've all grown up used to hearing about the outrage at Super Bowl nip slips, Rihanna's latest risqué X Factor performance, or inappropriate behaviour on Celebrity Big Brother.

Parents and parent groups are quick to criticise stars, celebrities and those on CBB for over sexualising their performances during peak viewing hours.

The suggestion being that if my Miley Cyrus-obsessed (hypothetical) daughter were to see her performance at the VMA's that she would then exclusively greet people by reversing into them, twerking against their crotch gently and sticking out her tongue.

Being my daughter, she would then offer to take their coat before reverting back to Cyrus, and would ride/hump the jacket to the banister where she would hang it up.

I don't believe this is really what happens to children when they watch the likes of Miley, nor do I believe if my eight-year-old daughter went to an eight year olds disco and twerked that I would have a problem with it.

Where I would be uncomfortable, would be if she became so obsessed with one single celebrity that it affected her growth and experience of other areas of life.

My point is merely that it is the adulation and idolising of a single star that I take umbrage with, and not the behaviour of the star. It's the parent that allows their child to become so swallowed up in a single thing that I take issue with. And not Justin Bieber for possibly setting a bad example to his Belieber's, by smoking a joint and indulging his passion for drag racing.

My case for this is really quite simple. The majority of people who went to the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday night are unlikely to end up playing a similar concert, at a similar venue, in ten years' time. The likelihood is they will experience disappointment and heartbreak in many areas of their life, whether it is work, home or love life - and they will undoubtedly learn from many of them.

However, if a parent (who is really the one with the responsibility of setting the right example) allows them to become so totally swallowed up in the one thing, they are not really giving their children the right tools to cope with the various disappointments life is likely to throw their way.

We shouldn't forget that, misguided or not, most of these musicians consider themselves artists, and therefore performance is important to them.

So why should influencing a child, whose parent has been unable to teach them about perspective, be the responsibility of the artist who wants to flounce around in a pair of pants whilst dry humping a foam finger?

All I will say is that the day my (also hypothetical) son returns home with a girlfriend who has a wall full of posters of a single star, whether it's Taylor Swift or Rihanna, I will hide the stew pot, lock away the kettle, and alarm the rabbit hutch.