Four people in the public eye I really admire

       We are constantly hearing about the lives of people in the public eye. There are four people, however, who are the inspiration behind my writing this article. They are four individuals who I admire and I feel deserve to be in the spotlight more, and more widely recognized for their contributions to society. So, without further delay, I hope you’ll enjoy my list.

Wang Lee Hom

Wang Lee Hom

Wang Lee Hom is an American singer, songwriter, composer, actor and film director of Chinese descent who has acheived a great deal of success in Asia. Originally from Rochester, New York, Wang travelled to Taiwan at the age of 17 to visit relatives. It was there that he was discovered for his musical talents and worked towards a life of success and fame.

Lee Hom is the son of Chinese immigrants from Taiwan. He has two brothers and has always been intelligent. He began playing the violin at a very young age, followed by the piano and self-taught guitar as a teenager. Fast-forward to 2010 and Wang Lee Hom has been active in the music/acting/film world for 15 years. Contributing to numerous albums over the years, he has 14 studio albums in Mandarin Chinese, and two albums in Japanese. He has contributed to many others as well.

Perhaps you don’t know about all his success in Asia, but you may know him from starring in such movies as Ang Lee’s “Lust Caution” where he plays Kuang Yumin. Additionally, he has done plenty of covers of American songs, one of the most recent being “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. Wang infuses Chinese elements into the cover. And that is what Wang Lee Hom may be most famous for today–infusing Chinese elements, combining them with American hip-hop beats. In this way, I strongly believe that Lee Hom is raising awareness and educating people about Chinese culture through his music. This is one of the reasons I respect the man so much. His songs often tell a story of Chinese culture and are portrayed in his music videos. He blends elements of music in such a way that I feel is incredibly unique and admirable. Lee Hom has no doubt worked hard for his success.

In addition to the numerous instruments he can play, he also speaks five languages. Being raised in the United States, English is his mother-tongue. At the college level he began studying Mandarin, moving to Taiwan he is obviously now fluent. Additionally, he speaks Cantonese, Japanese, and even French. I heard something about him learning Taiwanese as well, but I am not sure of his level of fluency. His level of success, his passion for music, his talent and ability to take on so many subjects, his worldiness, his care and work for others, and his education of the Chinese culture through music puts Wang Lee Hom on my list for people I most admired. I feel that he is extremely underrated and I wish he was more well known to people in the United States. I reccommend giving his tunes a listen. Some of his famous songs are “Hua Tian Cuo”, “Gai Shi Ying Xiong”, “Zai Mei Bian,” “Wei Yi”, “Gai Bian Zi Ji”, and many, many more. He has many types of music including rock, hip-hop, rap, balads and more. He uses many elements of Chinese music from many areas of China and Taiwan.

Steve Wilkos

Steve Wilkos, courtesy of Steve-Wilkos.com

Alright, now I know what you might be thinking: That guy that used to be on Jerry Springer? Yeah, that’s him. You probably will forever associate Steve Wilkos with Jerry Springer, and some may even dismiss his show as nothing more or nothing different than that of Jerry Springer’s. I would like to respectfully disagree with those people. First, a background on Steve.

You may know him as the former director of security on the Jerry Springer Show, but now he has his own show since 2007. The fourth season of “The Steve Wilkos Show” recently premiered. Wilkos was born in Chicago and is formerly a U.S. Marine and a former Lieutenant for the Chicago Police Department. Many of Steve’s shows center around abuse, neglect, drugs, alcohol, infidelity, and other tough issues.

Steve takes a no-BS attitude towards his guests. I guess this would probably be the very first reason why Steve is in my “People I admire” list. One of my pet peeves is when people make excuses for their actions. I am not saying I’m perfect. It’s great that Steve doesn’t take excuses from anyone and takes a stand against some of the most horrific abuses that bestow children.

Steve is not your typical talk show host. He does not spend his time trying to “understand” or “comfort” the abuser. He doesn’t look at someone who harms a child and say “What happened in your life that caused you to do this?” He simply does not stand for it. He asks the tough questions, he goes where many don’t, and he demands an answer for unnacceptable behavior. For this, I commend him.

I truly believe that Steve Wilkos has one of the best shows on the air. There is no doubt that people who have stood on Steve’s stage have done wrong, and Steve makes them admit to their wrongdoings and demands justice for the people they have hurt. He provides closure to families in pain, he provides protection for the scared and the weak, and he provides help for the people who so desperately need it–whether it be drug rehabilitation, counseling, or something else.

For his work at a Chicago cop, his duties at a former Marine, and now for his honorable work on his talk show, Steve Wilkos, I commend you. Thank you for all you have done and are doing. Now come back to Chicago!

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks, images.free-extras.com

This former model-turned talk show host/actress has been in the spotlight for a long time, throughout her modeling career and her talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. She also is the host of “America’s Next Top Model.” I like Tyra for a lot of reasons. She isn’t only beautiful on the outside, but she is beautiful on the inside as well. She has covered many issues on her talk show, and I feel that she has always spoken out against the unfair standards that are put upon women to be thin and perfect.

After unflattering photos of her in a bathing suit appeared in tabloids, people speculated on weight gain and negative comments were made. So what did she do? She put on the swimming suit she was photographed in proudly, walked out on the stage of her talk show next to one of the photos taken of her, and told anyone that put down women, in school, at work, wherever, women of any shape, size, or color that they could kiss her fat ass.

Tyra Banks, aolcdn.com

The audience erupted with cheers and applause as an emotional Tyra delivered these words. It was one of those feel-good moments. You can find the clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNx129njZGI

It doesn’t apply to ony women who are self-concious about their weight, but women who have suffered any kind of insecurities, as I’m sure most women have. I feel that it was extremely brave of Tyra and honorable of her to walk out on stage in her swimsuit, proud of her body and to tell people who had negative things to say to kiss her fat ass. Additionally, Tyra always portrays women in a positive light on “America’s Next Top Model.” The competition is NOT a beauty contest, rather about a girl’s ability and skills when it comes to modeling. As Tyra has stated before, it is not simply about being pretty, but how you can use your special features to sell a product. And everyone has something special or unique about them. She has had girls of many races, many shapes and sizes and critiques more on attitude and skill than looks. Once again, I commend her for using her celebrity status to promote positive messages for girls everywhere.

 Last but not least, I commend Tyra for the work she has done on her talk show. While she has interviewed celebrities, she has also touched on some very important issues–racism, gay marriage, bullying, and more. She provides an insight to some topics we may not ever hear about otherwise. She gives a voice to those who may not otherwise have a chance to speak.

Chris Hansen

Chris Hansen

Chris Hansen is a journalist known for his work on Dateline NBC, particularly “To Catch A Predator” in which a sting operation is set up to capture adults who solicit minors on the internet for sex. Wikipedia calls Hansen a TV “Infotainment” personality.

I see him as a very acheived journalist deserving of more praise than he is often given. Many have criticized the show, saying that the show ruins people’s lives, embarassing them and is just an attempt to attract more viewers. I disagree. Because of the show, hundreds of arrests have been made. And although there will still always be people who use the internet to solicit minors, I strongly believe that because of “To Catch a Predator” people will think twice before doing so.

So not only have a great deal of arrests been made, behind the scenes, I bet a lot more people have refrained from these actions.

These are people in the public eye that I personally admire, but I would be interested to know what readers think. Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said, and who do you admire?

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4 comments

  1. Wow, good backing up and lots of background! Pretty nice.

    My opinion:

    Steve – I’m not entirely sure that ALL of his shows are actor-free, but I do appreciate the stuff he focuses on more than other shows like that. Plus it’s very cathartic!

    Tyra – Eh, other TV personalities promote those things too. She’s pretty self-obsessed.

    Chris – His show is entertaining, and nobody likes pedophiles!

    That’s what I think about the three important people.

    😉

  2. I love your selection of people you admire. I think a lot of people would pick obvious choices like Obama or Oprah or other well-known celebrities, but you chose people who are often judged by what they are known for and then disregarded. Are these people just some Chinese singer, that guy on Jerry Springer, a supermodel, or that dateline guy? No, you told us exactly why these people do stand out as good people and should be recognized. I like that. Good job! 🙂

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