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Diva: Because I'm worth it

To question our life choices in the light of global responsibility, by considering the ‘diva’ mentality.

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To question our life choices in the light of global responsibility, by considering the ‘diva’ mentality.

Preparation and materials

  • You need to dress up a student as a ‘diva’ (or display a picture). You might choose to turn Gloria into Gavin …

Assembly

  1. Diva … I wonder what that word means to you. What do you think of when you hear the word diva? Talented? A star? Beautiful? Demanding? Spoilt? Or maybe your mind turns to the ‘diva among divas’ Mariah Carey?
  2. The press is full of examples of celebrities displaying diva behaviour:

    American singer Jennifer Lopez was reported to have demanded that a store be shut to other shoppers in order for her to shop alone. When the store refused, she tried on hundreds of outfits, threw them down in a pile in the dressing room and didn’t buy a single item.

    X Factor winner Leona Lewis apparently refuses to talk to anyone for up to 24 hours before a show because she is scared of damaging her vocal cords.

    Actress Brittany Murphy reportedly insists on having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which have to be diagonally cut with the crusts removed. Her assistant spends about half an hour making each one. Brittany demands one sandwich every hour.

    I’m sure you know of many other examples.
  3. But are these stars justified in making these demands? After all, they are the most famous people in the world.

    Former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland is quoted as saying that stars like Madonna should be able to ask for whatever they want because of who they are: ‘Madonna can have anything she wants. If she only wants red Skittles then get her red Skittles, she’s freakin’ Madonna! And if she wants a huge trailer, get her a huge trailer.’
  4. Meet Gloria, our glorious diva (either have someone strutting around the stage as a diva or display a picture). Here is someone who really believes she’s worth it.

    Gloria wears whatever she wants. She doesn’t care how much it costs or where it has come from. She doesn’t care if it was a child who made it. She is not interested in how much they got paid for their work. Workers on the other side of the world are not her concern.

    Gloria eats whatever she wants. She couldn’t care less what chemicals are used to produce the food she wants to eat. She doesn’t want to know how many fruits are thrown away to get her the perfect shape and size strawberries. Damaging the earth is not her concern.

    Gloria goes wherever she wants. She doesn’t spare a thought for the fuel it takes to fly her all over the world. She knows nothing about the effect her private jet has on the environment. Climate change is not her concern.

    Gloria spends whatever she wants. She turns a blind eye to the poverty and hunger in the world. Her money is her own and she will spend it however she wants. Poor people are not her concern.

    Gloria wears whatever make-up she wants. She doesn’t care if it is tested on animals. She wants to look good, whatever the cost. The suffering of animals is not her concern.

    Gloria is indeed beautiful. Gloria is definitely a star. Gloria is convinced she’s worth it. But what effect does Gloria’s lifestyle have on the world and the people who live in it?

Time for reflection

Gloria is an extreme example of someone who only thinks about herself and her own needs. But are we so very different?

How often do we consider the workers on the other side of the world who produce our clothes?

How much do we know about the farming methods used to grow our food?

How often do we think about saving energy rather than wasting it?

How much do we do to help those who are poor and hungry?

How often do we check that our health and beauty products have not been tested on animals?

Take time to reflect on these questions as you listen to the words of this prayer. You may make them your own if you wish.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

All around us are people who think only of themselves.

All around us are people who think they are more important than others.

Sometimes we are like that.

We think only of ourselves.

We think we are more important than others.

Let us think carefully about the decisions we make:

what clothes we wear,

what food we eat,

what journeys we take,

what money we spend,

what products we use.

Let us find out more about fair trade, organic farming, environmental issues,

aid and organizations against animal testing.

Let us care about the world we live in and the people who live in it,

as much as we care about ourselves.

So let it be.

Amen.

Music

‘Material Girl ’ by Madonna

Publication date: September 2009   (Vol.11 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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