Jennette McCurdy says she’s no role model -- never claimed or wanted to be one, thank you very much. The Nickelodeon darling delved into details in a public note via Reddit on Thursday.
"There was a time when I tried to live up to the aggrandizing title [of role model], that pedestal of a thing. Maybe it wasn't so much that I was trying to live up to it. Perhaps I thought I could and I thought I was supposed to, so I gave it my best shot," the 21-year-old wrote.
The title -- scuffed in recent months by a sequence of events that kicked off in March when a trio of racy pictures showed up online -- had emerged naturally for McCurdy.
She first burst onto Nickelodeon screens and into young children’s noggins as spontaneous Sam Puckett in the channel’s hit live-action comedy "iCarly." With Miranda Cosgrove (Carly) and Nathan Kress (Freddie) as her onscreen best friends, she became instantly recognizable.
"Back in my adolescence, I was more amiable, bubbly, and on lightly humid days, maybe even flouncy. I was role model material and then some," McCurdy continued. "Fast forward a few years, I've grown up a bit (emphasis on 'a bit'). I might not be any wiser, but I like to think I'm more honest."
After a five-year run on "iCarly," McCurdy reprised her role on the channel’s spinoff "Sam & Cat." Actress Ariana Grande, plucked from Nickelodeon’s comedy "Victorious," played McCurdy's partner in crime. With its already-in-place fan base, the program thrust McCurdy further into the spotlight.
"With the growing I've done, I realize that to attempt to live up to the idea of being a role model is to set myself up for foregone failure. Sure, I've made some mistakes, but even if I hadn't, people would have found invisible ones. This world is one seemingly most keen on judgment and negativity, despite all the hearts and smiley emoticons," the Long Beach native wrote.
Her trajectory seemed to shift when those lingerie selfies leaked. After that, she was a no-show at the 2014 Kids' Choice Awards, where "Sam & Cat" won the TV comedy prize, Grande took home the TV comedy actress honor and the show’s creator Dan Schneider was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Deteriorating-friendship rumors swirled around McCurdy and Grande, but McCurdy quickly slammed them. She cited issues with Nickelodeon instead, and within a few days the network announced that "Sam & Cat," which had been offered a huge 40-episode season order after only four episodes, would take a production hiatus. Cancellation came earlier this month.
Yeah, drama. If anything, McCurdy "appreciates [her fans] so much," she's just looking to clear up this role-model thing.
"Calling a celebrity a role model is like calling a stranger a role model. The knowledge you have of a celebrity is no more than a caricature drawn by media tastemakers specializing in selling you an image you’re dying to buy," McCurdy said the near ending of her note.
"I encourage you to base your idea of a role model off of someone you know well enough to see purely, not in the light, cameras, and actions of Hollywood."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times